NEW CASTLE —
I don’t normally ask this of you, but I have a favor.
Please watch the video at right, or below, before you read my blog today. Mere words can’t begin to describe what you’ll see, so it’s better to sit back and allow the visuals to invade your senses.
Afterward, scroll down and we can discuss what you’ve witnessed.
Sound like a plan? Good. Let’s connect again in a few minutes.
Wasn’t that just too cool?
THAT’S why I coach.
THAT’S why I lead.
THAT’S why I write.
THAT’S why I love to be around young people as they discover their unique gifts and, even more important, learn that it’s OK to share them with the world.
There are dozens of potential takeaways from the video, but here are five important lessons to ponder as you watch it again — and share it with your friends.
1) REHEARSE YOUR COMFORT — It’s obvious that Nathan Chan and Michael Province have put in the work. No one plays that beautifully without hours and hours of disciplined effort to improve.
So, as we can see, preparation breeds confidence — and a level of extreme comfort.
You don’t think abour your surroundings. You don’t focus on what might go wrong.
When you’re prepared, you just DO.
The lesson: Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you CAN’T get it wrong.
2) PLAY PRESENT — Your workday won’t always go perfectly. Your game won’t always flow perfectly. Your homework, marriage or friendships won’t either.
Just play through it. Nathan and Michael did.
Listen closely and you’ll hear a couple of notes that veered from their original destination. Who cares? Just get back on the path to Perfection and eventually you’ll see plenty of signs for Excellence. That’s ALWAYS a good place to sit for a spell.
The lesson: There are no such things as mistakes — there are only learning opportunities. So, go ahead and experiment. Get sweaty and dirty. Extend beyond your comfort zone. True greatness always lies just outside our original grasp. Learn from your experiences and reach just a little farther.
3) TRUST YOUR ROLE — Why did Nathan choose the cello? Why did Michael vie for the violin?
It’s what their hearts desired.
Think these guys are heroes in the hallways at school? Maybe, but I’ve completed high school and my guess is not. That’s what makes this video even more special. They were compelled to take a certain route to joy — and they didn’t give in to peer pressure or fear.
How about you? What do you feel drawn to? What special talent might you be hiding because it’s not “cool?”
The lesson: Please do live your life for others — yes, give your life away daily — just don’t let others decide what YOUR gift will be. God has created you as a unique masterpiece, fearfully and wonderfully made, and He delights when we find pleasure in the desires and talents He’s asked us to steward and share. And the really cool thing is, so will you.
4) FIND JOY IN THE JOURNEY — Take another look at the faces of these young men. They love what they do. They even break out into laughter on a couple of occasions.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if youth sports coaches could help their players compete that way?
In other words, do athletic contests ALWAYS have to be called a “battle” or a “war?” Or have those terms stemmed from our own anger issues and insecurity?
The lesson: Play hard. Play with passion. Play to win. But always remember, it’s “play.” Don’t forget to have fun in games.
5) SIMPLICITY SHINES — You probably noticed early on that Nathan and Michael are in a sparse room, in front of a drab wall and non-descript table.
Then you forget where they are and simply focus on the music and the boys.
The lesson: Fundamentals can be a beautiful thing. Sure, flash is fun. Lasers and lights often add life to a performance. Colors can heighten our senses. But there’s something to be said for simplicity. More isn’t always more. Bigger isn’t always bigger.
And once isn’t always enough.
So go ahead, watch the video again. But this time, reflect on the lessons we’ve just explored:
•Trust your preparation and let it rip.
•Despite a few potholes along the way, just keep driving.
•Know who you are — and embrace your role.
•Enjoy the journey. Smile, laugh and play! In reality, every day is Christmas and you’re just opening a present and showing it off.
•Sometimes, simple can be sensational.
And sometimes, as we’ve just witnessed, an uplifting performance can remind all of us what to do when we’re tempted to look around and trade our unique talents for someone else’s ...
Let it be.
Nathan and Michael rock it!