keys to series

Featured Content: Keys to Marking Off Your Checklist.

Okay if you are like me, you can find finishing tasks to be a task in its self. We are only human and life throws things at us that takes us off the tracks sometimes, but how many of those railcars have you re-boarded, or did you just pass up the ride all together and decided to wait for another train? How well has that gone for you? Well not so well with me. I’ve waited to finish and even start things and have regretted it. But do not fret, it isn’t too late. Don’t listen to anyone else that tells you otherwise.

You want to write a book? Do it, it’s not too late.

You want to finish school? Do it, it’s not too late.

You want to start a business? Do it, it’s not too late……….I could go on and on. But the point here is that is isn’t too late to achieve your dreams and to complete the checklist you have created for yourself.

But in order to do these things, there is one big fundamental trait you have to develop and or learn, and that would be discipline.

So the biggest key being mentioned and talked about in this article is discipline. While some may say that determination is the biggest when it comes to accomplishing anything, I would counter and say that, yes determination is super important, but if you have determination without discipline, there is no productivity. Determination follows discipline is this formula. That’s why I say discipline is the biggest key in this article.

Let me take you back to my childhood for a moment….

I was three years old and I always watched my father play the piano, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever to watch him play different songs. So one day I went into my parent’s room and I started pressing keys making different sounds and somehow I found myself playing Mary had a little lamb, and later that day twinkle twinkle little star. I couldn’t wait for my father to come home from work so I could show him what I learned, and that I was just like him playing the piano. So when my father comes home, my brother and I run to greet him at the front door like we always do, and I was jumping telling him I can play the piano just like he can. In hindsight, I was nowhere near my father when it came to his musical talents at that time in my life. But anyway, I showed my dad what I learned and he was excitedly surprised. I then told him that I wanted to learn how to play the piano so I could play what I called at the time princess music. Princess music at that time referred to Für Elise, Moonlight Sonata, and Claude De Lune. So my parent’s said that I could take formal lessons when I got a little older. So when I turned six my parents enrolled me in a piano class at a piano shop. I was excited and nervous on the first day of class. But I was going to learn how to play the princess music. To my surprise, that wasn’t the case. We had to learn about music theory before we started playing any songs. I was disappointed and I went home and told my dad I didn’t want to go back because we weren’t learning how to play the princess music. He told me, that in order to play the princess music I had to learn a bunch of stuff first. So I said okay, and I stuck in there. While there were some ups and downs with my musical learning, I eventually was able to play the princess music I had always wanted to play by the time I was ten years old. By this time I was taking private lessons and I participated in an average of four recitals every year. At this time I was also playing the Flute at school. Since I was already playing the piano and knew how to read music it wasn’t difficult for me to play the flute after I learned the fingerings. But there was one thing I wanted to accomplish next, and that was to be able to play like my Father plays. My father knows how to read music for the most part and understands music theory, but he mainly plays by ear. He has been like that since he was a child. I grew up watching him play the organ and keyboard at church, and always thought it was amazing, and I wanted to do the same. It wasn’t until high school and me being in jazz band, that I realized it was difficult for me to play by ear. Whenever there was an improv part for the piano I would be silent until the measures were over. I was too afraid of messing up or sounding bad so I never did it, until one day I said, “you know what I am the daughter of my father who I have inherited this musical talent from, I can do this.” So I would go home every day after school and practice until I became comfortable improving to a particular song.

I knew we were going to have a improve test soon, and I wanted to be ready. The day came, and I conquered that test. And from that day until now I work hard at trying to allow myself to be creative and play by ear without worrying about messing up. So now I will practice the runs I remember hearing my dad play; one every week and later perform them for my father and mother. {these jam sessions always turn into praise and worship COGIC style}

So I shared all that to say that, in order to accomplish the things that you want you to have to be disciplined about it. Discipline creates a structure in which you hold yourself accountable and in turn translated into determination. They work hand and hand efficiently.

Remember determination without discipline is not productive. You either end up going in circles, or it takes you longer than it needs to for you to reach where you want to be.

[SN: To my family and friends that don’t understand why I don’t know about the music you’re talking about most of the time or even movies. It’s because I grew up listening to classical and gospel music growing, and yes if you ask me about any of the new contemporary gospel music I’m not going to know what you are talking about most of the time. I tend to stick to classics.]


Keep smiling

-The Smiling Peach

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