What Else Are We Missing?

This is so awesome. Please take a moment to read:

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that 1,100 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by, and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace, and stopped for a few seconds, and then hurried up to meet his schedule. 

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping, and continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried, but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally, the mother pushed hard, and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money, but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians in the world. He had just played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste, and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?

One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be:

If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?

As posted on Facebook.

Completing Any Goal: From Tripped-Up to Triumphant

It’s February.  Only a month and a half ago many of us set goals and made New Year’s Resolutions.  How’s that working out for you? Are you making strides or are you…stuck?

It’s OK. Many of us get tripped up on the path to triumph. You’re at a critical point at this moment though– you can choose to throw in the towel or push through. When you have trouble imagining how you’ll ever achieve your goal (whether it’s writing a book, completing a dissertation, moving up a level, enrolling more people, or making headway on a project, etc) it’s time to stop and go through a visioning process.

When I work with clients one-on-one or in groups, I take them through several visioning exercises.  One that I often begin with has 5 steps:

(1)  See it: Close your eyes.  Look at your goal square in the face.  What does it look like when it’s finished?  When you look around, who do you see?  Where do you picture yourself?  Get specific.  I often encourage my clients to put together a vision board that keeps these pictures in the forefront of their minds.  What images remind you of your goal?  What lies beyond once that goal is achieved?

(2)  Sense it: This may take some practice– especially if you are filled with stress and angst right now.  What will it feel like to achieve your goal?  What do you hear around you?  What does victory taste like and smell like?  The more visceral you can make your goal, the more driven you will be to achieve it.

(3)  Say it:  We are often caught using the future tense when talking about the completion of a goal.  “I will finish it” might sound good to you but it doesn’t put you in action.  In fact, that kind of language can invite procrastination.  Who says when the “I will” will actually take place?  When speaking to about your goal, say it as if it is happening right now; “I am completing my ________ by April 1,” “I own my own home in December 2012,”  “I have straight As on my report card,” or “I am a graduate of XYZ University by June.”

(4)  Believe it: Sometimes we feel as if we are lying to ourselves.  Do I really think I’ll finish?  That kind of goal-robbing gremlin needs to be put to rest.  If you don’t really believe that you’ll be able to succeed, you probably won’t.  When you have unwavering commitment and conviction in your goal, nothing can stop you.  Be sure to put any voices of doubt to bed so that you can concentrate on taking action and making things happen.

(5)  Achieve it: This is an active process.  Achieving your goal means following your plan, ticking off your check list, and moving forward.  Are you closer to your goal than you were yesterday?  If so, you are in the process of achieving your goal.  And of course, once you check off the last item on your list, the final part of achieving your goal is celebrating your success!

Where are you in the visioning process?  Have you set your goals and intentions?  Have you created your plan?  Once you established where you’re going, the path is clear.  Now all you have to do is follow it!

drrobynsig170 Completing Any Goal: From Tripped Up to Triumphant

The Enabler

What is an enabler?

Well if you Google the term you’ll come up with this: “One that enables another to achieve an end; especially :one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.

When it comes to parenting today this is an all too common occurrence. Is it a good or bad thing? Well I guess it depends on which side of the fence that you’re standing on.

For the parent that enables their child, it might seem like the right thing to do at the time.

For the Teacher, Martial Arts Instructor, or anyone else, this looks like a helicopter parent on seek and destroy.

Being a fulltime Martial Arts instructor for the last 8 years, I’ve seen enabling from one extreme to the other and everything in between.

Here is one epic enabling moment that comes to mind.

A couple of years back I was hosting a birthday party for one of my five year old children’s students who had invited 20 or so of his friends and school mates.

Most of the kids arrived with a parent or two, with a majority of the parents just sticking around long enough to make sure everything was okay.

One particular little boy whose dad had stayed with him was a little reluctant to participate, so to make a long story short he ended up negotiating with his dad.

Now this wasn’t about him not participating and going home,  he wanted his dad to take his place at the party.

That’s right a 35 year old grown man lining up with 20 five year olds.

Being the good enabler that he was, and along with his poor negotiating skills, he participated in the class while his five year old son snapped pictures with his camera and looked on.

How could anyone, including the father not see something wrong with this picture?

To him this seemed completely within reason, to anyone else other than a fellow enabler this was absurdities finest moment.

That of course was an extreme moment, with a BIG  X.

On the lighter side of enabling, if there is one, I’ve heard this all too common enabling phrase over the years “I don’t want to force them to come to class.”

What the heck does that phrase mean? Isn’t this the same force you use when you make a child brush their teeth, go to school or eat there vegetables?

Why should anything else that’s good for their fitness, health, character, self-esteem and growth be any different?

Enabling our kids may seem like the right thing to do at the time, but for their long term social, character and physical development it becomes detrimental throughout their entire life.

Is shielding a child from fear, actually teaching them how to face it, defeat it and own it?

Is not teaching a child how to lose before they learn how to win, really helping them appreciate the sweet taste of victory and accomplishment?

Is negotiating with a five year old, really teaching them right from wrong?

Is wanting to be your child’s BFF really such a cool thing?

Maybe it’s because I was brought up in a different era, maybe it’s because I had to deal with fear, failure and hardships at such a young age.

However you look at it, it’s made me the person I am today. I can look fear in the face, I’m not afraid to lose or to fail or to take a chance or to give up on anything, ever.

Isn’t this really what everyone wants for their kids?

By: Master Tim Bell