To Sing Better And Be More Successful in 2013

Posted on 05. Jan, 2013 by in Health, Performance, Singing, Speaking

Happy New year! Yes, the New Year is upon us and while people are busy breaking their New Year resolutions already, you and I are busy planning and strategizing for long-term success, right?

So you want to make more money, be healthier and sing better in 2013? Well, having goals are great. But have you thought of what the skills are that you need to develop in order to accomplish your goals? Let me address one fundamental skill here.

I want to share something about Christmas celebration – a fundamental difference between Christmases in Sweden that I grew up with, and how I have come to understand Christmas is often celebrated in the US.

And I’m not talking up the religious aspects now. I’m talking about the way presents are given.

You see in Sweden, it is on Christmas Eve that we get presents. For some, Santa mysteriously arrives in the evening. Unfortunately, poor Dad just missed him since moments earlier he went out for a walk or went to “buy the evening newspaper” at the store. (Hmmm, he always returned saying the store was closed). For others, Santa arrived during the night and the presents were found under the Christmas Tree in the morning, but were to be opened in the evening.

The point here is that Christmas Eve for a kid is just about the longest and most trying day ever. It is the ultimate test of patience. Once has to wait endlessly until one can finally open Christmas presents.

Then, once it is time to open presents, one does it in an orderly fashion. One present at a time. One person at a time.

As far as I have come to understand, many American kids wake up and open their presents right away on the morning of Christmas Day. From those I have spoken with, it is more of a process of ripping open the presents as fast as possible.

This has always made me wonder. Is there something inherent in the culture that has become accustomed to fast foods, quick fixes, quick-diets, and make-money-quick-schemes? Is there a relationship between this behavior and why the pharmaceutical companies and junk food companies are able to thrive in tandem on people’s desires for band-aid solutions?

I once chatted with a badminton player and coach from Malaysia who had represented Malaysia many times in the world championships. (Malaysia has a long history of being a powerhouse nation in badminton).

He had come to the US to train the US badminton team. He told me he noticed a fundamental flaw in the US badminton players: Lack of patience. Americans wanted to kill the ball early, while the Malaysians were all disciplined martial art black belts.

My life centers around developing strategies for effective and accelerated learning – because it is indeed very possible to learn skills much faster than most people are aware of – whether it is to become a better singer, healing an injury, learning a language, building a business, or whatever. And I find it fascinating that those who learn effectively and fast have a completely opposite attitude and mindset compared to those who seek quick fixes.

I get emails all the time from people who “just want a quick tip”, or people who seriously believe watching a video on Youtube is going to make them world-class singers

The unfortunate reality is that it is when we are poor we want to make money quick. And that mindset keeps us in poverty. It is the overweight person who seeks to lose weight quick. While she may succeed short term (oftentimes by simple losing water), she has never learned the real skills necessary and will therefore gain it all back. And it is the quick-tip seeker who never really learns.

It is the person who truly engages in training to develop the brain that learns. Yes it is always the brain that does the learning, that creates the healthy body, that makes you wealthy, and that makes your voice soar – although not the same part that does trigonometry calculations. You can indeed develop skills in months that the quick-tip seeker will spend years searching for.

The people who learn effectively and who therefore excel in various areas of life, are in fact the ones with an exceptional strong sense of discipline (which is a developed skill). They are the people who don’t mind delayed gratification. In fact, the prefer it over instant gratification. Practicing the art of delayed gratification could perhaps turn out to be one the greatest exercises you can engage in.

And as parents, delaying gratification maybe one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.

Does this have something to do with how we open Christmas presents? Maybe? Who knows?

Do you prefer instant gratification or do you prefer more powerful gratification even if it is delayed?

Please add a comment:


34 Responses to “To Sing Better And Be More Successful in 2013”

  1. Olivia

    25. May, 2013

    Hi per you have really helped me a lot the one trouble I have is reaching the high notes. Can you help me?

  2. Philomena Nally

    09. Apr, 2013

    One step forward two steps bact. I sometimes feel this way about the world we live in. I must admit I love some of the old fashioned ways, values and behaviours. I prefer the old movies, the old timer cars, the dress code especially.
    I think people took great care in their appearance and manners in past gererations. Now I feel anything goes!

  3. Jay Wilson

    13. Feb, 2013

    Hi Per,

    First off, love your program. It released a voice I didn’t realize I even had.

    Now the crappy part…
    Last month I had a rotten flu. It got into my throat and chest and ears… the whole works. Now I have lost about two, maybe three, notes off my falsetto voice.

    I was about to finish a song that had a good amount of it. I am extremely frustrated. Angry in fact. I was hoping to perform it at a show but those notes aren’t coming back. I’ve been working on this song for a year.

    Is there a way I can get them to come back? — Other than dropping the key of my song, which I can’t really do at this point due to the nature of the piece.

    I am nearly 45 and don’t want to give way to age-related loss of range.

  4. Dianne Troutt

    04. Feb, 2013

    I have learned a lot from you, I have learned to be able to hold notes real long and finally my voice has improved considerably. I feel like God has asked me to sing and I hope that I have been able to satisfy HIM! I do feel proud that my voice has improved like it has. It does take time and patience and practice. In the beginning I wasn’t so sure
    that I would be able to change my singing voice but with your help it has improved considerably. I want to thank you
    for all of the things that you have been able to help me with!
    I feel so good now when I start singing. Actually I have always wanted to sing well and now I have. You are a blessing in disguise and I am so thankful for you. I do hope
    you can understand what I am trying to say.

    GOD bless you,
    Dianne Troutt

  5. Courtney

    22. Jan, 2013

    I just love christmas but i’m not like some lunatics who rip open the paper and don’t care who’s present it is. I do things metodically. Happy New Year to you allxx

  6. Carl Henri Dubois

    18. Jan, 2013

    1/18/13 Sorry,i viewed the message late. Great q&a, on wednesday,1/16/13. To respond to this article, as with everything,I personally try to reason, more than to be emotive(that may not be what’s outhere, but nobody knows my thoughts better than me,I am dipomatic, almost to a fault) As an adult, i am patient enough, to wait for delayed gratification.I am not use to instant gratification, although, it would be good, occasionally. While i dislike bad surprises, an occasional good surprise, would be divine . Happy New Year, to everyone!

  7. Jessie Stark

    13. Jan, 2013

    Per, your Jan 05, 2013 post is very interesting. The comparison of how gifts are unwrapped in different cultures is thought provoking. I was teased for being so slow about unwrapping my gifts this year.
    Your teaching has helped me a lot. After wishing for many years, I finally joined the church choir. I would not have had the confidence too if I had not listened to the things you had to say. As a teen, I was told that I am an Alto. After using my OWN voice I find I am a Mezzo-suprano. I was always self conscious and confused about whether I should sing Falseto or Alto so finding my voice makes singing a pleasure.
    Thank you for your contribution to the world. It would be a very quiet world if only the best birds sang.

  8. De Hunter

    13. Jan, 2013

    I love to barrel race. When I first started all I thought about was completing the clover leaf pattern with the fastes time. I went to a clinic and learned there is a lot of stuff that hapens before getting to the first barrel and so on. It is not the speed that wins the race but doing everything correctly on time, before, during and after circling the barrel. Point being, everything takes time to develop as stated above in all aspects of life and my singing.

  9. nicole

    10. Jan, 2013

    HI Per I have read this article all the way through and i could not agree more. I admit as other people in the comments have yes i do sometimes like quick fixes but only on minor things. But i agree, there is a very fine line between achieving instant success and being rewarded with true skills from really working hard. The way i see it, when we really want something we often want to immediately jump to the end result. However i do not believe that is necessarily because we are lazy rather, that we as a nation have always had a huge drive to succeed and thrive in our dreams and life goals and i believe that’s a wonderful thing. But we sometimes forget that in order to achieve instant success, we must go through the steps to get it. That is why i agree so strongly with what you say. Yes it is very possible to learn quickly and achieve instant success but sometimes we may need to go through a bit more steps and we often let our ambition make us, for lack of a better term, jump the gun. Maybe that is why that coach perceived us to be lazy. But i can assure you not all Americans, just because they want quick fixes, are lazy; they just let their excitement confuse them where they cannot tell the difference between something that you can quickly learn and something that takes practice. I admit i have been guilty in the past of doing this. I apologize as i realize i am becoming very confusing here. My basic point is that i agree with you; it is possible to quickly or instantly become good at something without much work as it shows you have excellent skills and a strong frame of mind however even if you are able to do so you must first know the steps to be able to repeat your actions in the future unless you are a one time learner meaning you will remember the steps to anything the first time around, but other things require just a bit longer and more discipline and patience. But it takes a truly trained and hard working mind to be able to tell the difference. Either way i believe that hard work is always important if you truly want to achieve your dreams. I hope i have made sense and thank you for reading.

  10. Pauline

    09. Jan, 2013

    Hi Per – You are totally right! I don’t like quick fixes, no way. In the end you have to do it all over again. My motto – do it right the fidrst time and save yourself a lot of headache!

  11. Francis Xavier

    08. Jan, 2013

    Hi Per, I like what you wrote in this article. This is the point, this is the right attitude: courage, discipline, constancy, lerning = success. I look forward to write to you soon so that I can get a little help from you. I wish you a nice year. God bless!

  12. Cherokee

    07. Jan, 2013

    I admit I want things fast. I’m impatient. Maybe I have little mental discipline. My mind is always flying from one idea to the other, and I have so many good ideas. I never finish one before I’ve started on the other. Of course, this is partly because I have a bad memory, and won’t remember the idea for long, so I have to write it down while I have it. However, oddly enough, if I seek out something of my own free will, and I want to know it, I read it, perhaps write it down, repeat it in my head a few times, maybe take a short test on it, I find that I can pretty much never forget what I chose to learn. On the other hand, it I didn’t really want to know, or didn’t care about it, it doesn’t stick and I forget. So I do end up seeking instant fixes, sometime due to my oddly working memory and sometimes just because I don’t want to put in the time and effort, or I’m just plain impatient. But could I really fix all of THIS? With some trained discipline? Man, it sounds hard… I guess that’s the point.

  13. Bob Irvine

    06. Jan, 2013

    Hi Per i’m still reading your emails and can pick up stuf about life and singing . Hope to get back soon . Bob Irvine

  14. Alice Smith

    06. Jan, 2013

    Will be interested to experience what you have to offer.

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