Everything Else I’ve Written Pales Compared to This

(Tid Bit: I definitely want speak on this topic at some point in the future. How about I present this topic for my birthday on November 11th, 2012?)


If you’re having trouble sticking to commitments or playing long and complicated pieces, consider this (NOTE: You’ll want to actually follow along for this post)

This tool has changed my life more than anything else.

(Also! You may find it interesting to note that this represents the biggest cause of divorce in the United States — Statistics will tell you “Money fights,” but it’s the principle BEHIND the  money fights that causes the problem!)

I now quote/paraphrase Wyatt Woodsmall, Ph.D., Certified NLP Practitioner:


Enter Wyatt Woodsmall

“Point to your past, don’t think, just point to your past.

Now point to your future.

There are two basic ways people view time: In-Time and Through-Time


In-Time People:

In-Time People perceive their timeline from side-to-side. Where the past stretches from your left to your future to your right (or vice versa if you’re left-handed).

  •  Are Often Late for Commitments
  • Don’t See The “Bigger Picture”
  • Can’t Get Themselves Organized
  • Hate Schedules/Planning
  • “In The Moment”
  • Sleep More Easily

Cons: The people are more likely to take drugs, for example, because they don’t see the long-term consequences.. they don’t see how it’ll affect them in the future.

Pros: However, the positive of these people is that they can really enjoy life, enjoy the moment.


Through-Time People:

Through-Time People visualize their timeline from back-to-front and can therefore “see their future.” Because through-time people can see ahead in their timeline at most times, they naturally think about the consequences of their actions.

  • Arrive On-Time Or, Usually, Early
  • Always Think a Dozen Steps Ahead
  • Usually Consider the Consequence
  • Sometimes Have Trouble Sleeping

Cons: These people can have trouble living in the moment… Have a “Through-Time Mindset” tends to ruin the luxury of a “care-free vacation.”

Pros: These people run our society. You can rest assured that Presidents and founders of Fortune 500 companies are “Through-Time” People


You-Time People


Now, here’s what you can do. Take your timeline and ROTATE it 90%.

If your timeline goes from side-to-side, you can rotate it so that your past is behind you and your future is in front (typically avoid placing your past in front of you).

If your timeline goes from back-to-front, then you can rotate it from side-to-side (typically, if you’re right-handed, so that past is to your left and your future is to your right.

Now that you’re aware of how your mind perceives time–and how our perception of time affects our life, you now have the option of making yourself more structured and organized, or alternatively you have the option of making yourself more spontaneous and in the moment.”


If you’ll just play with this at varying times in your life, you’ll notice some profound differences in everything you do: From music playing, to signing your music contract, to interacting with your musician friends.

I tend to favor Through-Time, by the way, because when you hold yourself in a “Through-Time” manner:

  • You’ll be more likely to play in harmony with the rest of your band members
  • You’ll “see/hear/feel” the notes well-before they come to you
  • If you have something memorized really well, you’ll think about the outcomes you want for your performances
  • You’re more likely to see the consequences of any deal you sign
  • You’re more likely to direct your practice to making ACTUAL differences in your playing ability, in other words:
    • You’ll tend to practice more complex, “stretch” material that extends beyond your comfort zone
    • You’ll tend to avoid playing things that you’re super comfortable with (usually) so that you can actually make yourself better
  • You’re more likely to make good decisions involving the outcome of your band, your gigs, your songs in general
In-Time has it’s advantages, but Through-Time has always panned out to be the best way of perceiving time that I currently know of (other models exist, but this will do for now).

I LOVE Wyatt Woodsmall for showing me this. He’s changed my life sooo much after revealing this to me. So, I wonder how this will make a lasting change in your life?

Check out his hidious website here, and check out his Ted X Presentation, too.

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