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Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Morning Check-In: Definiteness of Purpose

Another Monday is upon us, and it's time for a check in to see if we are on track with our goals and plans for the week. Let me pose some basic questions to get you thinking about your day and the rest of this week.

  • What do you want to accomplish this week in terms of practice?
  • What do you want to accomplish this week in terms of teaching?
  • What is your review focus this week?
  • Which skill will you concentrate on this week?
Last week I suggested that the review focus be on posture and the Twinkle Variations. I reviewed the Twinkles myself and found it interesting that I could still improve on several points, even though I've been playing this repertoire for decades. I also made my students play through the variations during their lesson and during group classes. There was much that my students could improve upon as well, even the advanced students.

This week I'll let you set your own review agenda. If you don't really have a review plan, let me suggest a simple one. Make up a blank table with seven columns and as many rows as the page will hold. Label each column with the days of the week. Then begin with the Sunday column and write "Var. A." Thereafter write "Var. B" for Monday, "Var. C" for Tuesday, and so forth. Keep writing all the songs for book 1, then add the songs from book 2 and as many books as you know.
Basic Calendar Review Chart

Now your daily review plan is simple. Just look at the column for that day and review the songs listed in that column. Or just do the book 1 songs this week and review the book 2 songs the next week, and so forth. It's simple and basic, but sometimes simple and basic is all we need.

I'd like to once again urge you to think about your purpose. Let me leave you with a quote from James Allen, the author of As a Man Thinketh: "He conceives of, mentally builds up, an ideal condition of life; the vision of a wider liberty and a larger scope take possession of him; unrest urges him to action, and he utilizes all his spare time and means, small though they are, to the development of his latent powers and resources."

These are the keys to success: having what Napoleon Hill called a "definiteness of purpose." When we know what we want, there is such an unrest that builds up inside of us, that we feel compelled to do something, to move forward, to take steps to go ahead with our plans. "We have the choice to live our life on purpose or without a purpose. Life doesn't make the distinction, it simply rewards our choice." -- Day by Day With James Allen, by Vic Johnson (Sylvia's Foundation, Inc., St. Augustine, FL 2003).

Having said that, let me leave you with one last question: How can you live your life on purpose this week?

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