Effort, teamwork, leadership and time well-spent generate beautiful results
One of the blessings of having children is enjoying their talents and gifts, specifically those we never developed ourselves. My husband and I love listening to our children play their instruments and sing. Both play the piano, and our daughter also plays the harp. I feel taken away by the beauty of the notes, the harmony and the way all the instruments together create something completely different than any one of them alone.
Music has taught me much. First, the more time you invest in something, the better you will find the result. Any musician will say that hours of practice have gone into the beautiful result. These hours could have been spent watching TV, playing video games, chatting on the phone, etc. How we spend time matters.
Second, music has taught me the importance of teamwork. Teamwork includes encouragement, coaching, practicing together and brainstorming solutions to problems together.
When I enjoy a beautiful concert where all the sounds come together to create an experience unlike any other, I recognize that it doesn’t happen without effort. Those individual musicians have worked diligently to perfect their own technique and their own skills, but that alone is not enough: They must watch the conductor, listen for the soloist and be certain they not only follow the sheet music in front of them, but also be attentive to the details of each different instrument in the group.
Third, music has taught me the importance of a great leader. The conductor is always a sight to behold. She has the big picture in her head. She knows how she wants the music to sound. She knows who needs to come into the piece at what time. She has the attention of each and every musician.
Both during and after each performance, she is responsible for keeping them engaged, motivated and looking and sounding beautiful, as well as keeping the crowd happy.
IS YOUR BEST MUSIC AHEAD?
Finally, music has taught me to never stop learning — your best music could be ahead of you. Author C.S. Lewis once said, “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” You have heard me say, I believe that the future is up to us. How we spend our time creates our future.
I am not saying all work and no play. I am saying that when the time is up and you look back at what you have and have not done, what will you be the most proud of, and what will you wish you had spent more time doing? Spend time on those things now. In “The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems,” author Stephen Covey cites his personal motto: “Live Life in Crescendo! Your Most Important Work Is Always Ahead of You.” Be happy with accomplishments, but always be looking for the next great contribution, he adds.
Keep asking questions, look for that “3rd alternative” answer that no one has thought of and most of all, enjoy the moments you spend creating the music of your life, knowing that the best way to spend life is to live as Stephen Covey says — in crescendo. OM