Don’t Stay Discouraged

We often hear, “Don’t get discouraged.” I’d rather it be worded, “Don’t STAY discouraged.”

Discouragement is all too common an emotion. Most of us, if not all, have found ourselves living from time-to-time in that rundown establishment known as Hotel Discouragement. Do you visit there so often you have your own room? The trick is to stay there no longer. If we wake up in the depressing, filthy, crusted sheets of despair, the choice is ever present to get up and move to a sunnier place.

Here’s a good quote to help us do so. I found it at David Lebovitz’ website. He was speaking about writing cookbooks. Yet his advice pertains to all writers, artists and any other valiant individuals. David advises us all to shun the dark moods of despair, reminding us:

“…don’t be discouraged. Julia Child was rejected by almost everyone because Mastering the Art of French Cooking wasn’t considered salable. Later in life, another of her books that was turned down became a huge success.”

Hmmm. Good things really do come to those who patiently work hard…and who choose to move out of room 232 in that shady establishment, Hotel Discouragement.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just got back a little bit ago from my daughter’s voice lessons. I’ve sung professionally and it’s been a treat to sit in on her lessons. I love her voice teacher.

Today my daughter had an hour lesson, in lieu of her normal 30 minutes. And wow, was she exhausted by the time she was finished…this is how excellent her lessons are. True singing can very easily be compared to fine athletics. Complete focus, engaged musculature, etc.

What a treat it was to sit there, observing, and then accompanying her for a time at the piano while the teacher worked with her further. And it reminded me of something I read over at Sally Evans “Embracing Creativity” blog. She spoke of how good practice is simply teaching the body good habits, thereby getting rid of bad habits. And it takes effort.

I thought during the lesson how true this is. A lifetime, even for a youth, can be full of sloppy habits when it comes to singing. Nothing but focused efforts can replace lazy muscles with energized ones that contribute to beautiful sound. And again it takes effort, effort, effort. Which is why my daughter came home tonight fatigued. :0)

But wow, the sound coming out of her mouth by the end of the lesson. She was glad to be done, but I was thrilled to have been present to see the effect of practice, practice, practice. (Which applies to nearly every other category of life.)

[P.S. Here is a link to Sally Evans’ blog. It’s fun to read and full of great things to muse on for days.]

Teamwork Succeeds. Renegade Burns Out.

It’s a funny thing about life. When we shut loved ones out of our heart–whether from being hurt or from being angry–we close the door on some of the most important aid we can receive in this life.
As 2010 begins, it would be an important activity for you to find a quiet place and ponder the relationships in your life…and which ones you want to build during this coming year.

We’re not talking about toxic relationships. No, we want you to ponder on who the three most valued people are in your life, and then analyze the health of the relationship. Is there something you can do to improve it?

Remember: teamwork for anything will succeed when people are “on the job” looking out for others’ successes, in addition to his or her own. Being a renegade–someone who insists on going it alone–leads to burn out and loneliness.

Now that January is here, here’s a simple suggestion. Pull out your journal and write down the names of three people who matter most to you. As you work through 2010 toward your dreams, make sure you are building relationships long with your success goals and dreams acquisitions.

For, don’t you want to share your future “having arrived” with someone?