“It’s easy to be mediocre but it takes diligence to be successful.”
— John, my son’s piano teacher
Great motivation can come from unexpected places. Tonight, during my son’s piano lesson, I heard a life lesson.
(Paraphrasing) “It’s easy to be mediocre but it takes diligence to be successful,” John told my son, Zachary. “You can go to a recital and play ok with a few flubs and misses and your friends will all applaud, and your family will say it’s great. But when you come back here, to your lesson, you and I will know it wasn’t your best.”
“Teachers don’t yell and scream any more to get their students to do things better,” he continued, “but the challenge is still there. It’s up to you to believe it, embrace it, and pursue it.”
He went on to show Zachary how to break down a measure of music and really get to know what the notes are telling him. He showed him the difference between just playing the notes and really digging into the music.
And that’s my lesson, too. Just playing the notes can get you by, as I know all too well. It’s when you spend the time to understand something better, to go farther, and to dig deeper into what you’re doing. That’s where life’s music is made.
No one likes to practice, but that’s what it takes to do more than just play the notes.
With diligence, you can make music. Beautiful music.
Although I gave an hour today to listen to my son’s music lesson, another hour to be trained to teach Art Lit next week to my daughter’s class, still another hour to a conference call for volunteer Toastmasters, and a further half hour reading to my daughters …
… I still think I received the most.