Lesson 1: Learning a Melody
I grew up taking piano lessons. My piano teacher may be the greatest influencer on my life outside of my family; she was (and remains) amazing!
I’m not a perfectionist but I like to revel in the good moments while growing easily frustrated when I loose my way. In piano, this manifested in how I would approach a new song. There might be a beautiful melodic line and I would want to hear it, or rather play it, in it’s entirety. If, at any point, I messed up, I would want to go back and start at the beginning so I could hear it all together. This isn’t how you learn though. I needed to keep on going or stop and fix the part which foiled me. Likewise, when I’d finally get the problematic line correct, my tendency was to completely freeze whence I approached the next section; I struggled to anticipate what was coming up next.
Lesson 2: Serve, then Return
I wasn’t a huge team-sport kid, I preferred sports like tennis and golfing.
My father started teaching me tennis when I was around 10. Our family loved going to any number of beautiful public parks in Kelowna where we would seldom have to wait for a court to free up. Learning to serve was a real challenge for me and it took many weeks of practice to get even 50% of my serves to go where they needed. When finally I was able to get the ball to the right place, I was so excited that I often found myself lost in pride while completely neglecting to get into position for the return. Often, this was how I’d loose a match in my early years; I’d be too excited about the first play to anticipate the next.
Life is a series of complicated melodies and difficult matches. We don’t get to put a hold on too much nor do we get too much time to revel in our success. It’s the accumulation of all the little things done successfully in sequence that create the big wins. And it’s the times we stop to master our challenges which produce the ability to play out an entire event with finesse and skill.