I taught myself to play classical piano pieces by skipping the early level primers and diving straight into the complex pieces that moved and inspired me to learn. My crowning achievement was to learn the entire, unabridged, Sonata Pathetique mv2 by Beethoven.
I learned this from memory, measure by measure, over the course of months. Months of spending 6+ hours a day plugging away at the keyboard. I exaggerate not. I was working a night shift at the time and would take a nap when I got home and then spent the entire afternoon and evening trying to conquer this one piece. People thought I had talent when they heard the results. My only real talent is my mile wide stubborn streak.
If I want to do something, I can guarantee that I will do it. It may take a while, but in the end, you will be fooled into thinking I have actual talent.
So yes, it is a setback that I once again failed to place at the Jiu Jitsu World Championships. I missed out on the podium by one match. However, I’m just on the first page of the Sonata. I’ve still got more movements, key changes, time signature changes… I haven’t even hit the “Forte” parts yet! This is just the intro, and I’m not quitting until the whole thing is complete.
Then, I’ll pick a whole new piece to learn.