I’m a better musician now than ten years ago. A lot.
Ten years ago I thought I had taken my abilities to the limit of what my talent would support, but what I’ve learned since then hasn’t changed my native talent, it’s all practical stuff that I could have acquired at any time before.
Ten years from now I suppose I’ll be able to repost this verbatim.
I thought talent was my main bottleneck rather than just time spent playing. The reason was that I didn’t have any idea of how much time it takes for each little increment in ability. Just playing and playing makes you better and better, but a tiny bit at a time. You need to play and play and play and play to improve enough to have something easily visible.
One of the big things I’ve learned is how far work will take you as a musician. If you shed every day of your life, you’ll get pretty decent.
For example there was a spot in a song that called for a solo and my solo just sucked. So I doubled down on that spot and tried out a million possibilities until I finally had a good idea for how to approach it, and then the solo played itself just fine. In the meantime my wife nearly left me because of the horrible racket, but you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.