Study your profession with intense detail.
I have a client who is an aspiring musician.
I sent him a text at 1:46 in the morning on Friday night after I listened to Turn the Page by Bob Seger.
I have a few friends that think at a very high level. Most of my friends are older. When I say older, I mean double my age. I figured out a while ago, that the more advanced my friends would be in terms of wisdom, the more advanced I will be. That’s why I hang out with my parents like crazy. They think at a more advanced level than people listening to rap in a club. One of my friends and I were listening to it in the car and we were commenting how they don’t make quality music like this anymore.
We were studying the mechanics behind what makes the song so great.
I told him to study the classics over and over again. To listen to the passion in the voice and how it’s coming from the heart. He’s expressing his pain.
Bruce Lee said something great. He said something along the lines of it’s easy to show off and do a fancy move. It’s really hard to honestly express yourself.
When you do express yourself honestly, that’s when you create something spectacular.
I told him to listen to the short phrases and how they are sharp and to the point. Study the timing of the words and how they line up with the melody. Listen to the raspiness in his voice. Listen to how he has a soft voice and then he intensifies his voice at the right time.
Kobe Bryant studied Michael Jordan at a level that the average fan cannot pick up on. Most people see the whole game. Kobe Bryant is watching footwork. He’s seeing the game in frames. He’s seeing where Jordan created his separation by studying how his leg kicked out at the right time. He watched how long the ball should be in the air before the release. He studied the spots on the floor that create the best leverage against the defenders.
Kobe often says that he is not even watching his defender when he plays, but that he is looking at the help behind him because that will dictate what play he should run. Even most NBA players are not seeing the game at that level. That’s why they don’t have 5 rings.
When I study people in my profession, I’m picking up different things that the average person cannot possibly hear. I am studying tonality. I am studying the pauses. I am studying the hesitations that make it great. I am studying stutters. I am studying mannerisms. I am studying when they introduce humor and when they get serious. When they are calm and when they get intense.
Study the best in your profession at the tiniest details. Don’t just watch the game or listen to the whole song. Break it up into frames.