Friday, September 5, 2008

Aim For Success, Not Perfection

Over fifty years ago, my family decided that I should learn to play the piano. Great excitement filled the house as a gorgeous piano was delivered and sit in a corner of our living room. A teacher was selected and I took my first lessons. The dream of playing classical and popular music for family and friends was exciting at first, but within a few months I started to doubt my ability to become proficient and I started skipping my practice sessions. I was disappointed in myself--expected too much, too soon. I wanted to be perfect overnight.

With each recital, over the next year or so, my confidence dwindled more and more. Becoming an expert was not coming fast enough, so I stopped playing altogether. That was one of the worst mistakes of my life. I have wished many times over the years, that I would have made the sacrifices it took to learn how to play. So many people would have benefited from my hard work if I had only wished to succeed instead of expecting perfection.

There are infinite possibilities in life if we are patient with ourselves and understand that we don't arrive at success by magic, but through hard work, courage, and time. Our expectations must be realistic--taking one step at a time until we achieve our goals and realize we don't have to be perfect to be successful.

Copyright 2008 By-Barbara J. Kirby Davis

7 comments:

Patty H. said...

Good post. I took lessons for abotu a yr, my teacher moved and another wastn' looked for.
I give up too easily on things.

Cheryl said...

I started piano lessons when I was six. My teacher lived next door, so she and my mother conspired to have me do this! I played all through high school, even in my h.s. orchestra! I even gave lessons to earn my "mad money"! I don't have a piano now, but I can type over 100 words a minute! (tee hee!)

Linda said...

Excellent advice. I also took lessons for a few years, but it was more to please my parents than myself. It wasn't something that I enjoyed enough to put forth the effort required to be very good. I guess I'm like my Dad who used to say "the only thing I can play is the radio"!

marilyn said...

Barbara,
This is really good. I see you're following Pat's suggestion. Wonderful! I can't wait to read about the rest. Thank you.

Pat's Place said...

I needed to hear that today. I swore off painting this a.m. when a picture I have been working on for months just refused to be the color I wanted to be. I stuffed my brushes in the drawer, put the picture in the trash and packed my paints into the closet. Guess I better take them all out and continue trying. Might even begin the canvas all over again with fresh vigor after reading your blog!

Linda Reznicek said...

That's a good philosophy. I've never been a perfectionist about anything, which is probably why I'm mediocre at so many things--but I only do things I enjoy--moderately well. :):)

Barbara J. Kirby Davis said...

I think I have some perfectionist tendencies in my personality. Always working to overcome it!!