The One Thing That Determines Your Level Of Success


Start Teaching GuitarI want to tell you about the most important part of your body that you use when you teach guitar…can you guess what it is? (hint: it’s probably not what you think!)

If you thought the answer was “fingers” or “hands” or even “mouth”, you’re wrong…the most important part of your body for teaching guitar is your BRAIN. The way you THINK has a bigger impact on your teaching (and playing) than anything else.

You can have one of two “outlooks”, or “filters” you use to view your life and the world around you: a positive outlook or a negative outlook. You get to choose which set of filters you want to look through…no one else can make that decision for you. And the filter you choose determines whether you have success in your life or failure. Let me illustrate this for you:

You could choose to be a guitar teacher who views life with a negative outlook. You can be pessimistic and critical of everyone and everything. As a result, you won’t really believe in yourself or your potential to succeed. When things get tough…when the frustration or fear set in, like they always do…you’ll probably fold under the pressure and either get stagnant or give up. Also, you’ll develop a reputation of NEGATIVITY…people will be more HESITANT to study with you, support you or even be around you.

You could also choose to be a guitar teacher who looks at life with a positive outlook. You can believe for and expect good things to happen. As a result, when times get tough, you’ll instinctively know that better things are always just around the corner. You’ll understand that the frustration and fear you feel now are just doorways into greater results in your guitar teaching business than you’ve ever seen before…so you’ll stay focused and keep moving forward. Also, you’ll develop a reputation for being POSITIVE… people will be more LIKELY to want to study with you, support you and be friends with you.

This isn’t magic or blind faith…it simply comes down to a choice. Positive THOUGHTS lead to positive FEELINGS…and positive BELIEFS…and positive ACTIONS…and eventually positive RESULTS. The same is true for negative thoughts. If you choose to see the world…and your guitar teaching business…from a positive perspective, you’ll do much better than someone who chooses to see the world through a negative filter all the time. So decide: which one will it be for you?

What do you think about the power of positive thinking, as it relates to your guitar teaching? Leave a comment below and tell me about it.

Image: nuttakit /

The One Thing That Determines Your Level Of Success was last modified: November 14th, 2012 by Donnie Schexnayder


  • Hey Donnie,

    You hit the nail right on the head yet again!!

    If anyone thinks that this stuff is bunk then they should not only re-read what you presented here…I would suggest some supplemental reading as well.

    Some years ago, I read and re-read what I considered to be life changing stuff by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale…”The Power of Positive Thinking” and it not only changed my life back then, it continues to be a road map for me every single day.

    It’s amazing how true to form this information really is. Let’s face it, whoever you are, you have to make choices every single day. And whatever choice you decide on, you’re absolutely right. If you choose the negative course of action, then you will certainly experience the negative with all it’s hooks, lines and sinkers. Every single time. What else can you really expect, you chose the very direction you will travel. It’s like gravity. You jump off a building and it doesn’t matter who you think you are, you’re going to hit the ground.

    The great news of course is that if you choose to be positive then again, you’re absolutely right. Your choice will take you in directions you may not even be able to imagine, especially if you keep your eyes open and your head up because there will be an abundance of opportunity coming your way. What else can you expect, that’s what you chose.

    The biggest difference, aside from the obvious, is that you must be prepared to recognize these opportunities when they present themselves. In other words, you have to be in a continued state of preparedness or readiness. So if you choose the positive, it can’t be a flash in the pan, it has to be an ongoing process. Harder…maybe. Worth it…absolutely!

    If you’re not ready to receive an opportunity, you will not recognize it and it will simply pass you by. It’s like an old saying that my Dad used, “The poor fella doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”

    I have a 19 year old daughter who is a very busy gal; attending University, figure skating, modeling, guitar and of course a plethora of social demands. Every once in awhile she lets me know that the world has decided to rain on her parade and nothing ever goes right and how come she is the only one these things happen to and…and…

    She forgets the silver lining chat that we have from time to time. From my experience, I’m gradually trying to teach her (and to her credit, she grabs it most of the time), that every experience in life has a positive message, if you take the time to really take a good hard look from a positive state.

    So we do the half a glass of water drill. When things get a little weird I ask her, very gently of course, to go get a glass, fill it half way with water, sit it on her desk and tell me if it’s half full or half empty. She’s a smart girl and I know and she admits that sometimes she will tell me what I want to hear…but she has also admitted that she looks at that glass a lot. She’s learning! And she will also admit that she always feels better when that glass appears to be half full. Again whatever she decides in the moment, she will be absolutely right. Half full or half empty.

    This is powerful stuff. I can certainly tell you that with my students and my guitar school I want my glass to be half full all the time. If anything, I really don’t think that I can afford to miss any opportunities. I can’t speak for my competition, but I know that I’m always on the lookout for silver linings and my teaching business if full with a waiting list and I charge twice what the other guys claim.

    So take it for what it’s worth…it’s your choice after all. I can only hope that this information can help one more person to be successful.

    Thanks again Donnie for all you do…you really do make a difference.

    Take care,

    Rick Fysh

    • Thanks so much for the insightful comment, Rick…I couldn’t agree more!

      I like the idea of actually using a half-full glass of water to illustrate the point. Sometimes just saying “is the glass half full or half empty” doesn’t have the same impact as actually seeing it.

      It’s totally true that how you view the world determines what you get out of it…I get proof of this every single day.

  • Paris Asuan

    Indeed Positive Thinking is the best option to be succesful at anything even if tough times come out! As succesful guitar teachers is our duty to support and motivate our students every time they come for lessons and also stay at order every day

    Great post Donnie!