Several years ago, when I was in high school, I played flute, but ended up quitting after a few years for various reasons. Fast-forward to now, and I want to begin playing again as I do really like music and feel like I am missing out on something by not playing an instrument. However, I'm having trouble dealing with practising.
I was a fair bit younger when I first started playing. I was more naive, had yet to properly consolidate my likes/dislikes in music, and was overall far less exposed to music. Since then, I have found out what I really like, what styles I want to play, and have been exposed to many great artists. I know that when I play, I want to be able to play at the level of those great artists.
So the problem is that when I practise now, it gets frustrating quickly because the little progress I make is inevitably never enough for the level I want to be playing.
When I was younger practising and playing was fun enough; I didn't really know what "good" looked (sounded) like, I didn't know what I was aiming for in the long run - mastering the next page of music to practise was good enough. And through that "illusion" I kept practising.
But now there is no such illusion. I know how I want to be playing and can see how far below that level I am. Mastering a page of music doesn't mean anything any more. No matter what progress I make, it's not satisfying, it's just a single step completed in the millions of steps needed to get to where I want to be. And as a result practising now only ever makes me frustrated and disappointed to the point where I don't continue.
How can I get around this so that I can keep practising? What methods/techniques can I use to deal with it?