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The Puzzle of our lives

This title is directly ripped off a post by Jason Heath, who in turn directly ripped it off an article by Doug Yeo. They are both well worth a read.

Jason talks about how he was recently going through his filing cabinet, and discovered his goal journal from when he was studying. How many of those goals had he achieved? None. How many of those goals would be very similar to my own goals? Most of them.

He goes on to say that even though he hasn’t achieved those goals that he set out to achieve, he’s probably as happy with his life at the moment. With a lot of the goals that we set – for example, A principle position in a leading orchestra – we have no control over. With that example, we may set ourselves a goal of being Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony within 10 years, but we have absolutely no idea if the current concert master will still be there in 10 years, or if the position does open up, the quality of other players that will apply with the same goal as yourself. We can’t control who turns up, or who is on the panel, and what they listen for. We can’t control so many things, that this sort of specific goal is not a great goal.

What keeps you going in music is not the results, but the process. I remember one of my friends (after a slightly drunken after-party) asking me how I could stay in control. How do I get through the rehearsals if I’m not really going to party hard at the end of it. For me, it was because I really enjoy the playing. There have been times this year when I’ve sat in rehearsals and said to myself “I am really enjoying myself here.” Having a support crew around you is also important – friends and family. Thankfully, I’ve got both, and they’re really supportive of what I’m doing.

I’ve just started up a goal journal, with long term goals such as “a permanent position in an orchestra” – it’s an achievable goal, and not too specific. But after reading Jason’s post, I’m starting to wonder if I need to add some more goals in there. Goals such as “always enjoy my music making” and “ensure I spend time with my friends and family.”

There have been times where I’ve thought that in order to succeed I might have to limit my social times, and put away things that are important to me like my faith. After reading these two articles, I realise that my faith, and my friends and family, are just as important pieces of the puzzle as my work on my music is.

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