My daughter started a new instrumental music class a few weeks back and today she was filling me in on how things are going. She told me that the teacher routinely counts “1&2&3&4” and flails his arms. Sometimes he gets really loud and moves his arms so fast it looks like he is trying to fly. The punchline in all this is that she did not realize he does this to set the tempo of the song. Apparently her other teacher conducted differently therefore, she and several other students thought he was being silly and would play the song at their own individual tempo. This leads to more frantic conducting on his part. Now that she realized what is going on, she found it funny and I about died laughing. I also thought there is surely a life lesson in this, and indeed there are at least two of them.1. If you do not understand what is going on, do not proceed in the face of uncertainty. Stop and clarify, ask questions.
2. If you are not getting to the desired outcome it may be possible your plan is flawed. Speaking loud and flailing your arms may be fun, but it is a lot easier to inquire and teach. Just think how much further along you will be if you stop assuming and ask.
Interestingly, the two lessons are actually the same. Assumptions and preconceptions can create barriers to success for us and others. Instead of beating your head against the wall, try taking a step back and look at the possibilities. There may be another way and it can all start with a question.
The Perfecting Project is….your life….HATCHED!