MegI could hear her voice coming through the phone that was held up to my wife’s ear.  “You want to hear about my most awesome week!” Meg blurted out.

My daughter Meg is a music student in her second year of college.  She has been working since she was 10 years old to figure out if the flute and she were ever going to become one.  She spends hours and hours each day working on her craft, learning and preparing.  As with any artist, there can be great highs and crashing lows.  One must have a keen sense of self, deep determination and a genuine passion for the craft to survive the long walk.

“Sure Meg, tell us about your awesome week,” my wife replied.

“So, I had a really good performance in studio class this Monday, and I had a lesson today with Prof. Sherman, and guess what he said. He said, ‘I wanted to tell you this in studio, but Meg, you could really do this. You could really succeed. You have found your sound, your voice. And it is different than everyone else. All you need to do now is build your repertoire.’

“Mom, I can feel the difference in my sound, too. It’s so exciting. And the crazy part is that it all happened within a week! I mean, I know that everything I’ve been practicing has helped, but it really seems as though this week I finally understood what it meant to be a musician. It’s not about competition, self-image, nerves, egos. It’s about creating and sharing joy. That’s really what my individual sound has developed out of.

“What has really helped me is setting small goals. Trying to conquer the world in one day will set you up for failure. Being patient while your brain digests information is the key to finding joy in the challenging things. And in the meantime, love that your brain is taking so long to understand something.”

Creating and sharing joy in every stepping stone of life – that’s a worthy daily goal. Instead of forcing effort in trying to find your voice;  let it come to you.  Increasingly, I am seeing individuals who focus on creating and sharing joy tend to be happier, and in turn,  have a greater impact. Remember small goals and be a joy-maker.

Blog’s on Joy: Job #1: Design For Joy

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