A Secret I’ve Learned Recently About Excellence

(or a secret to success, learning, what have you)


Well, my body and mind said that it was time to get up. However, at 5am there is very little I can do that won’t wake up the kiddos.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been reflecting on an issue that I have been having for a few years. The passions that I had as a teenager/college student don’t really do anything for me anymore. So I have been asking myself “why?”.

Coincidentally, I have been noticing a parallel problem with some of my music students. Playing and learning don’t seem to be going as well as it did in the beginning. For a while I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but now I think I know the answer. It’s one of the most simple answers i could ask for but it is very hard to implement. The problem is joy, or lack thereof. I am too cerebral in my endeavors sometimes (ok, most of the time) and I can suck the joy out of what I am doing if I am not careful. I have forgotten how to do things with a smile or with a little laugh at myself. I rarely approach challenges and tasks with the same amount of enjoyment that I used to and I am convinced this is a widespread problem.

Some of my students take themselves too seriously and can’t let mistakes roll off their back. They can’t seem to find the enjoyment of just playing to be playing or learning for the sake of the fun of learning. So this is going to change. I am going to approach things with joy as much as I can to instill the habit of being joyful.

For my students, I have already made them start smiling while playing or laughing at their mistakes. It is amazing how far a fake smile will go and eventually bring a true smile and real enjoyment (I think I clocked a student at 1.2 seconds). It has worked wonders and their ability to learn, retain, and perform did improve during the little joy exercise.

So be sure to practice joy. In your personal, professional, learning and leisure lives. It makes life a lot better (you thought I was going to say enjoyable didn’t you?).

Coming Next Week on the Creative Dad Blog

This week, I found a piece of online tech that I think is really amazing. It is a tool that can help any professional,  parent, blogger, or student. There are some amazing things about this free product and some drawbacks. I will get into those and more next week. i have to play around with it a little first so I can show you how to use it.

Please feel free to comment below on joy and subscribe to the blog. I am also on Facebook and Twitter (which are at the top)

6 thoughts on “A Secret I’ve Learned Recently About Excellence

  1. I think you put your finger on it! Lily is a little more joyful lately and it’s wonderful to see. Today she played “Baby Mine” on a grand piano in a lobby at the Watchtower facility in Patterson NY, and in front of a handful of strangers. I was pretty happy myself… 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Obligatory Thanksgiving Post – a.k.a. The Power of Gratitude | The Creative Dad At Home

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