Even the Cymbal Player Gets Sheet Music

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When I was in the high school concert band, I really wanted to play the drums. But we had an awesome drummer already, his name was Rob Bell. Besides, I was a freshman so there was no way I was getting near that drum kit.

You had to pay your dues to work up to it.

So I started where most percussionists do. With the cymbals. Or wood block, triangle, and wind chimes. I’ve done it all. Never got to be the star of the show, but I was on the stage.  And I played my part as enthusiastically as I could.

Here’s what’s interesting to me: even though I was only playing a small part I still needed to see the sheet music.  All of it.

Even though my part didn’t come until measure 72, I needed to follow along from the beginning to make sure I was at the right place.  And even if my shining moment is only 6 quarter note cymbal crashes, if I mess up it everyone will notice.

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It’s Okay To Say I Don’t Know

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I don’t like this response.

Especially with my kids.

“How did my iPad get 12 new Angry Bird apps?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why is your brother crying? And why is there a clump of hair in your hand?”

“I don’t know.”

Well if you don’t know, who will?

I find this is true with my clients and students as well.  When it’s time for advising, coaching, or training – we often find that people don’t know what they don’t know.

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Leonardo Da Vinci… the Accountant?

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In 1945 within a tiny village of Vinci (near Florence), Leonardo was born to a poor peasant woman named Caterina.  His father, Ser Peiro da Vinci a very prosperous accountant and notary was not married to Caterina, and thus disqualified Leonardo from following in the footsteps of his father’s business.  His family was able to send him to apprentice under Andrea del Verrocchio a master painter and sculpter.  He apprenticed under Verrocchio for 6 years before he was able to advance to another area of his passion: the human anatomy.

While Leonardo is globally recognized for his painting and sculpting, he was also a world-renowned musician, engineer, mathematician, inventor, anatomist, and writer.  He is one of the most diversely gifted people in history.

What would have happened if his rich father married his poor mother?

We probably would have only known Leonardo da Vinci as the amazing accountant.  Certainly a noble profession and he probably could have revolutionized the accounting industry.

But he didn’t have that choice.

Often we don’t have a choice either.  Our background, family, and medical history had little to do with our decisions.

It’s something we’re born with or have little to no control over.

It’s what you do with what you can control that determines your destiny.

So rather than relying on some old antiquated idea of what you *should* be doing because your family or society expects it – you should take the responsibility and do the hard work of figuring what you were meant to do with your life.

Don’t worry if it takes some time.  Da Vinci spent 6 years cleaning the shop while he worked on his craft.  And then the next 10-15 years apprenticing at other professions so he could learn other skills.

What is it that you were really meant to do?