Today's blog post is from my archives... an old reflection I wrote a
while ago, but one whose sentiment makes a reappearance in my life
on a regular basis: where I excitement leads to high standards and
While doing so, I drank my morning coffee and checked up on some of my most inspiring Instagram pages: an outstanding hip-hop violinist, a successful violist and teacher in Philadelphia, a cutting-edge composer of instrumental music, among other musician role models whose passion and hard work keep me motivated… so I sat down and made a list. Who do I want to be? What do I want to do?
I look at the clock, at my calendar, in the mirror, and back at my list… Where should I start when everything is my first priority? As I’m leafing through my schedule, trying to allocate time to practice, to study, and to spend time with relatives; I begin to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and finally hopeless. In search of a solution, I thought to myself, “first I will calm down to focus,” “if I can just eat first, I will be ready to begin,” “later will be a fresh start,” but where did the rest of that day go? What work was eventually accomplished? I couldn’t tell you; however, I can tell you that the very same thing happened again today – just as it has for uncountable days over uncountable months.
I want to be everything in the way that no simple, small task would be
fulfilling enough: only mastery is acceptable.
The vicious cycle of unmet expectations perpetuates itself as I waste time on the thought that, “if I can’t possibly do everything, any effort is hopeless;” in this way, I begin the following day even more behind as my list of ambitions grows longer and longer.
Why is my inspiration met with stress? Why doesn’t ambition lead to productivity and to improvement? Why can’t I convince myself that doing something is better than doing nothing – even when I’m not doing everything?
Every Minute Counts.
Just as the absence of planning not met by efficiency, an abundance of planning is not met by its fruition. I have spent all of my time planning my schedule to the most minute detail: by the time I finish, my day is practically over and I don’t end up actually doing anything. On the other hand, jumping into a project with no idea my goals or priorities will cause me to flail aimlessly before finally latching onto something important. While there is a time and a place for thinking, there is a time and a place for action. Balance is achieved between thoughts and actions for combined efficiency with peace of mind.
My goal for the future is to effectively allocate my time in such a way that I accomplish tasks based on my order of priorities and by hierarchy of urgency. Through this method, planning ahead and enforcing discipline are the vehicles of success. If I want to do something: I must plan it as well as execute it.
Perfection is a Habit
Although it is impossible to do everything at once, or to do everything imaginable, perfection is still an inspiring aim because the way we define “perfection” is unique to each person. Our criteria for “perfection” reveals what we value in life. As long as we aim for our own standard of perfection, we will at least be making progress in the right direction. Whether or not it can truly ever be achieved is irrelevant.
The important part to keep in mind is to avoid the All-Or-Nothing scenario to which I myself often fall victim. Even while we aim for perfection, we must not be discouraged or lose patience while we are not yet meeting our goals. Even after an incredibly productive day, week, or even month, you cannot expect to have made it to the finish line. Advancing a skill takes time; and building success takes a lifetime.
Positivity is Looking Forward
We have every day to become a different person than we were yesterday. We don’t need money, toys, popularity, or even great health to have hope in ourselves and hope for the future. As long as we still have our life to live (which we do), every day is full of opportunity, and every opportunity a learning experience.
If we’ve done even one good thing, it’s something to be proud of. If you wake up late, miss a day, miss a week, never even started… now is the time! Pick something and go for it! It is still not too late to start working towards becoming the best version of yourself. Every day is a new day and it’s never too late to pursue your dreams!