Category Archives for Performance

“Tone Deaf” Sings Magically On Key After 5 Minutes!

What you will witness in these videos below may seem magical. In a sense it is. However, you should know it works every time, and the reason I do this on stage is not only to crush the false belief of being "tone deaf", but to demonstrate the process of how we all - even the seasoned professional singer - can discover amazing unknown capacity within us.

Realize it’s not only these individuals who believed they were tone deaf. Their environment believed it too. People often post on FB that a "tone deaf" cannot learn to sing, or that the ability to sing on key is something you either have or don't have.

Numerous people think that just because they have tried and failed at something, it serves as proof that it's not possible, failing to realize that it was the strategy that failed. Numerous people live with beliefs of “inborn talent”.

One point of this demonstration is to crush the belief that being able to sing on key is all about your hearing. These "tone deaf" people's ears were fine and singing on key has far less to do with your ear than most people think. (It wasn’t the ear that improved in 5 minutes.)

However, the real point of of my live events are to teach the advanced skills of releasing what holds you back, rapid skill development, as well as mental peak performance training - not just for singing, but for life.

Whose who attended the previous live events witnessed not only what happened during those 5 minutes but also what had preceded it. While I of course cannot go through all of that in this short video, I hope this serves as an inspiration.

The Sing With Freedom/The Singing Zone provides important training in these mental/psychological/mindset strategies to improve effectively. At the upcoming Live Events in Las Vegas, Melbourne and London we'll take the psychology of learning and achieving to new levels.

What do you believe you cannot do or are not good at? Have you come to believe that "you are who you are" and that you can only marginally improve? Do you think you can't heal, increase your income, or become more influential? Do you think you can't do something because someone told you so, or that don't have the "talent"?

If you want to learn how you can dramatically improve any skill, and improve your life in a short amount of time, I'd love to see you at the next Live Event!
At "Per Bristow Live" in Toronto:
At "Per Bristow Live" in Miami:

Feel free to like and share this post, and leave a comment below. It might inspire someone.

What you will witness in these videos below may seem magical. In a sense it is. However, you should know it works every time, and the reason I do this on stage is not only to crush the false belief of being “tone deaf”, but to demonstrate the process of how we all – even the seasoned professional singer – can discover amazing unknown capacity within us.

Realize it’s not only these individuals who believed they were tone deaf. Their environment believed it too. People often post on FB that a “tone deaf” cannot learn to sing, or that the ability to sing on key is something you either have or don’t have.

Numerous people think that just because they have tried and failed at something, it serves as proof that it’s not possible, failing to realize that it was the strategy that failed. Numerous people live with beliefs of “inborn talent”.

One point of this demonstration is to crush the belief that being able to sing on key is all about your hearing. These “tone deaf” people’s ears were fine and singing on key has far less to do with your ear than most people think. (It wasn’t the ear that improved in 5 minutes.)

83-Year-Old Singer’s Amazing Comeback After 50 Years Of Silence

At my Live Event ("Per Bristow Live") in Toronto, I had the great honor of meeting Elaine Small in person for the first time. And what a gift she gave us all - the most beautiful lesson on the subject of “it’s never too late”. What a great role model for those who think they’re too old just because they’ve turned a certain age.

Her passion that had lied dormant for decades had awakened. She trained. She improved. She wrote a book. She recorded a wonderful CD backed by some of Canada’s top musicians, and then…

It was such a pleasure to invite her back on the same stage where one of her absolute last performances took place 50 years ago - at the famous Royal York in Toronto.

What passion lies dormant within you?

Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy and be inspired...here is Elaine Small…

Come to the next Live Event in LAS VEGAS, MELBOURNE or LONDON:

Feel free to like and share this post, and leave a comment below. It might inspire someone.

At my Live Event (“Per Bristow Live“) in Toronto, I had the great honor of meeting Elaine Small in person for the first time. And what a gift she gave us all – the most beautiful lesson on the subject of “it’s never too late”. What a great role model for those who think they’re too old just because they’ve turned a certain age.

Her passion that had lied dormant for decades had awakened. She trained. She improved. She wrote a book. She recorded a wonderful CD backed by some of Canada’s top musicians, and then…

It was such a pleasure to invite her back on the same stage where one of her absolute last performances took place 50 years ago – at the famous Royal York in Toronto.

What passion lies dormant within you?

Ladies and gentlemen, enjoy and be inspired…here is Elaine Small…

George Mumford – Mental Coach to Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and more

George Mumford - sports psychologist and meditation teacher - was a secret weapon behind the NBA Championship team the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan years, as well as The Lakers NBA Championship team helping Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and more improve their performances.

You who have followed me know that a big part of what I do is teach awareness and mental skills of effective learning and high performance. (These are subject I go into deeper at my live events.) As you can imagine, I was extremely pleased to chat with George Mumford. His insights benefit not only athletes and performers (singers), but are vital for us in all areas of life. Watch this video:

Learn more about George here:

Feel free to like and share this post, and leave a comment below. It might inspire someone.

George Mumford – sports psychologist and meditation teacher – was a secret weapon behind the NBA Championship team the Chicago Bulls during the Michael Jordan years, as well as The Lakers NBA Championship team helping Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, and more improve their performances.

You who have followed me know that a big part of what I do is teach awareness and mental skills of effective learning and high performance. (These are subject I go into deeper at my live events.) As you can imagine, I was extremely pleased to chat with George Mumford. His insights benefit not only athletes and performers (singers), but are vital for us in all areas of life. Watch this video:

Remarkable Performance at Per Bristow Live Event

At "Per Bristow Live" in Toronto, I had the pleasure of inviting Deidrey Francois up on the stage. Only a few years ago, she didn't believe she could sing - that she wasn't "good enough". No one in the audience was prepared for the emotional impact she would have on us all. Here's the video. (Although this video does of course not do justice to the amazing experience we had in the room.)

Much of my Live Event is about learning how we can recognize the restrictions that hold us back in life, and then learn strategies to release them. (The next Live Event is in London May 21.) It's remarkable what happens when we ignite our ability and love to improve, learn, and discover, and develop greater awareness and freedom.

That's how we can become more creative and productive in life. That's how we can lead a more fulfilled and purposeful life, and accomplish great things.

Deidrey expressed how music has changed her life, and her song "I Am Free" became an inspiration for us all.

We of course realize that Deidrey has been able to sing for a long time. But however "good" we are, many (perhaps most of us) walk through life with the hampering feeling that we are not "good enough". Deidrey expressed how music has changed her life, and her song "I Am Free" became an inspiration for us all.

Thank you Deidrey for being such a positive role model, for releasing your voice to the world, and for sharing your passion.

Feel free to like and share this post, and leave a comment below. It might inspire someone.

At “Per Bristow Live” in Toronto, I had the pleasure of inviting Deidrey Francois up on the stage. Only a few years ago, she didn’t believe she could sing – that she wasn’t “good enough”. No one in the audience was prepared for the emotional impact she would have on us all. Here’s the video. (Although this video does of course not do justice to the amazing experience we had in the room.)

Much of my Live Event is about learning how we can recognize the restrictions that hold us back in life, and then learn strategies to release them. (The next Live Event is in London May 21.) It’s remarkable what happens when we ignite our ability and love to improve, learn, and discover, and develop greater awareness and freedom.

That’s how we can become more creative and productive in life. That’s how we can lead a more fulfilled and purposeful life, and accomplish great things.

Deidrey expressed how music has changed her life, and her song “I Am Free” became an inspiration for us all.

Performance: What does it mean to “perform”?

So in the last blog post we addressed the voice. Let’s today address the issue of “performance”. I am known as a voice and performance coach, so let's address the issue of how to perform well. What does it mean to "perform"? What does that word “performance” mean?

“Performance” to me is not just about getting up on stage, or performing on a sports field. Being able to perform well is about being able to live life with greater enjoyment and greater success. We want our body and mind to perform well. If the body and mind doesn’t perform well, life becomes tough. Training - i.e. being engaged in activities to improve - is about getting the the body and mind to perform at higher levels and with greater functionality - whether it is about getting the vocal cord to operate with greater functionality, or getting your body and mind to operate at higher levels during times of pressure and stress.

Being able to perform well when it matters the most is perhaps the most valuable skill we can ever develop.

It is the person who finds creative solutions when the pressure is on who becomes highly rewarded. In fact, the person who can perform at high levels will likely be seen as a role model and leader, and therefore becomes very influential.

On the other hand, the person who chokes, panics, loses composure, focus, or becomes stressed and weaker during times of distress, does not only create havoc to his/her own body and mind, but also to his/her surroundings.

It is the person who can turn things around when things aren’t going well, who lives a more empowered, healthy, confident, joyful and peaceful life.

The person who can be confident, free, spontaneous, creative, alive is not only the person who becomes very attractive on stage, but attractive in life.

Realize, however, that these are developed skill. It is not just about mindset, although mindset is crucial. (Operating with an empowering mindset is also a developed skill.)

Being “confident” is a developed skill. Becoming more spontaneous, alive and more creative are developed skills. Getting your body and mind to operate and perform at higher levels, whether in life in general, on stage in front of people, or in other “pressured” situations, is not only doable but highly rewarding.

What is “performance” to you?

So in the last blog post we addressed the voice. Let’s today address the issue of “performance”. I am known as a voice and performance coach, so let’s address the issue of how to perform well. What does it mean to “perform”? What does that word “performance” mean?

“Performance” to me is not just about getting up on stage, or performing on a sports field. Being able to perform well is about being able to live life with greater enjoyment and greater success. We want our body and mind to perform well. If the body and mind doesn’t perform well, life becomes tough. Training – i.e. being engaged in activities to improve – is about getting the the body and mind to perform at higher levels and with greater functionality – whether it is about getting the vocal cord to operate with greater functionality, or getting your body and mind to operate at higher levels during times of pressure and stress.

Being able to perform well when it matters the most is perhaps the most valuable skill we can ever develop.

It is the person who can be resourceful in the midst of chaos who becomes valuable in any field. It is the person who has developed skills to find inner strength during challenging times who can heal and live with greater well-being.

Use This To Achieve Your Goals

I'm sitting here in the Los Angeles sunshine today (we have had a couple of really warm days), doing what I love to do this time of the year.

And that is to reflect.

I am in one sense a very future driven person. I have always been a big dreamer. However, part of dreaming big and being able to accomplish big goals and dreams is to also be able to reflect on the past.

In order to achieve goals we need to learn, develop, and grow in some way. Right? After all, what point is a goal if it doesn't include a challenge? The whole point of a goal is to achieve something we haven't achieved yet, to be able to do something we cannot do yet.

In order to achieve something challenging, we need to become something we are not today. We need to develop skills that we don't have yet. It's not about changing who we are. It's about becoming a better version of yourself. It's about evolving as human beings. It's about living and enjoying life.

And in order to evolve, learn and develop effectively we USE THE PAST.

Yes, the past is wonderful. The effective learner is the one who uses past experiences and transform them into new learning experiences. Every new experience becomes integrated with past learning experiences.

I've written many times about the art of transforming so-called "mistakes", "failures", etc. into successes.

The dilemma is that, although we all tend to measure the present against some past experiences, many have not been trained to transform it into new learning. For many, past experiences have become the very roadblocks for future learning, rather than being the building blocks for extraordinary achievements. Many people transform failures into more failures, rather than into successes and an empowered life.

Learning effectively means transforming "successes" and "failures" - i.e. every experience - into a new, more worthwhile, experience. And we cannot learn and develop effectively unless we understand how to use the past.

However, in order to use dreams and visions of a great future as magnets for our actions, and in order to be able to reflect on the past, it all begins with developing a high level of awareness. We want to develop greater awareness of the present moment, as well as awareness (and knowledge) of who we are and what drives us.

I believe one of the biggest lacks of awareness among humans is the lack of awareness of fear. We do everything we can to pretend we don't experience fear - fear of living our dreams, fear of doing what we love to do, fear of singing out, fear of not being good enough, fear of making a mistake, fear of what others might think of us, fear that I might fall short, fear of my own potential, fear of being wrong, fear that my beliefs might be completely erroneous, etc

But awareness is more than being aware of fears and emotions. Many times we are not aware of what are body is saying to us until we are in serious pain and it becomes much more difficult to fix. And many times we are simply unaware of solutions because of lack of education and research.

So Future, Past and Present are equally important. I believe it serves us well if we understand and are able to distinguish which is which, and also understand how they affect each other. Our ability to reflect on the past and envision a future is what sets us apart from other species. Let's use it to our benefit.

I highly encourage you to use these last days of the year to reflect on the year that has been (and previous years). Reflect on the good and the bad. What did you experience that you would consider "mistakes" and "failures"? Were you able to use those experiences to evolve as a human being? Maybe there are patterns in your life that you are sick and tired of?

What about your singing this year?

What gives you a sense of gratitude? (As a matter of fact, once you get used to this kind of thinking, you realize that it becomes easier and easier to actually feel gratitude towards everything - including the failures, mistakes, pain, the time you were burned, or someone was mean to you."

In fact, I never engage in silly New Year resolutions. In the next blog post, I'll explain why I don't, and why I consider them meaningless - even destructive.

Feel fee to share some of your reflections of the past year.

I’m sitting here in the Los Angeles sunshine today (we have had a couple of really warm days), doing what I love to do this time of the year.

And that is to reflect.

I am in one sense a very future driven person. I have always been a big dreamer. However, part of dreaming big and being able to accomplish big goals and dreams is to also be able to reflect on the past.

In order to achieve goals we need to learn, develop, and grow in some way. Right? After all, what point is a goal if it doesn’t include a challenge? The whole point of a goal is to achieve something we haven’t achieved yet, to be able to do something we cannot do yet.

In order to achieve something challenging, we need to become something we are not today. We need to develop skills that we don’t have yet. It’s not about changing who we are. It’s about becoming a better version of yourself. It’s about evolving as human beings. It’s about living and enjoying life.

And in order to evolve, learn and develop effectively we USE THE PAST.

Yes, the past is wonderful. The effective learner is the one who uses past experiences and transform them into new learning experiences. Every new experience becomes integrated with past learning experiences.

The Abuse That Kills Children’s (And Adult’s) Voices

I am addressing this for the sake of our children, for the sake of you adults, as well as society in general. In my previous article, I wrote about the tragic beliefs that prevent so many from living fulfilled lives. In fact, they prevent people from fulfilling some basic human needs.

As a parent, educator and coach, having personally coached hundreds of people (thousands probably) with belief systems that stem from subconscious traumas often formed in childhood, this deeply concerns me. When it still happens in our school systems through sheer ignorance, I find it even more disturbing.

To bring home this point, I will here use a real exchange with a human being – a woman named Gail. Ultimately, it's not about her, but about the common beliefs and tendencies she expresses.

She had publicly posted a comment directly in regards to what I do and offer. This time, instead of just ignoring it, I wanted to dig deeper. I wanted to understand what drives someone to believe this, and why someone wants to post it publicly. It turned into a fascinating and frightening exploration of human ignorance and the subtle abuse of children.

Gail first wrote:

“You have to be born with a voice, just like a ball player has to be born with a pitching arm.”

Now, these nonsense comments are not new. In this case, anyone would understand that it is somewhat helpful to have a voice if you want to sing, and an arm if you want to pitch baseball. But, she obviously means more than that. So I decided to post this response:

“The good news is that most people are born with a voice, just as most people are born with an arm. Then the question is what we want to learn to do with what we were born with.“

She then responds:

“Of course everyone is born with a voice. I was talking about a GREAT voice. Or a great pitching arm. You have to be born with those talents. Everyone can't sing. That's a scam, saying that. Watching the video cannot turn a monotone into Whitney Houston. Don't be ridiculous. One has to have the pipes, has to be born with the voice."

Aha, so there we have it. She meant, and quite adamantly so, that one has to be born with a GREAT voice. But in order to do what exactly? Is she the one who is able to pinpoint who exactly it is of all newborns who has the “GREAT voice”? Perhaps she would like to be the one who labels those who don’t. So she concludes everyone can’t sing? Okay. So what? Not everyone can speak Swedish either. I have yet to hear an infant sing Ave Maria.

She mentions that watching a video cannot turn a “monotone” into Whitney Houston. Have I claimed this? (She is referring to the free video presentation at The Singing Zone.) If she had bothered to educate herself and do a little research, she would know that I am a proponent of training. Whitney Houston is, in fact, a great example of someone who was engrossed in training (i.e. singing, exploring her voice and expressing herself in song), as well as being exposed to great singers and mentors from when she was born.

But like we discussed in the previous article, I don't need to beat Roger Federer to enjoy playing tennis, so I wrote:

"The other good news is that you don't have to be Whitney Houston to enjoy singing, nor do you have to be the world's best pitcher to play baseball. Of course everyone can improve their singing, just like everyone can improve throwing a ball. The question is how to improve effectively. This training is for those who love to sing, and would love to engage in ways to effectively develop this wonderful form of expression."

She responds:

“That's true, but there are some monotones who will never sing. It is a scam to promise people they can learn to sing. That's false.”

So what on earth is a “monotone”? Who is Gail, and who is the child or adult that she wants to label “a monotone”?

I should add that I have never met someone who has the ability to utter a sound at only one frequency. Have you? Imagine every sound you make is exactly 440Hz. Wow, that would be pretty incredible. Our friend Gail does apparently not really know about music, frequencies or what the word “monotone” means. Nor does she evidently have any idea of what singing and singing training is, or what I do. Nor does she likely know what drove her internally to post this in the first place.

She obviously feels a need to express herself. She wants to feel important. She wants to be heard. We can all understand that. These are basic human needs. This is also why singing is one of the most empowering activities we can engage in, why every culture sings, and every infant "sings" - until they are shut down by people like Gail who tell the untrained, or the ones who don't measure up to Whitney Houston, to be quiet and call them "monotone".

You may have seen some of the many case stories, such as the video with James who was shut down all his life from a belief that came from a choir director once telling him that he would never be able to sing. But now, he is finally finding so much joy singing in the choir.

You might have heard the enlightening wisdom from Art Therapist Laura about the traumas of being silenced as a kid, and the important therapeutic benefits of releasing your voice – however good or bad the Gails of the world think you are

And Gail goes on:

“There are absolutely people who can never carry a tune. Ask any nursery school music teacher. We all have different skills in life. Not everyone can sing. You're making false promises, if you promise that.

Nursery school teacher? Now, that’s interesting. Is she herself a teacher? At a nursery school? And she believes that from having observed a child who doesn’t sing in tune, she now has the right to judge the child’s future abilities?

Has she really no understanding of the vast difference between an observed ability/skill in the moment, versus what a person is potentially capably of in the future.

Does this labeling only apply to singing and throwing a ball, or all other skills and abilities also?

So I wrote, admittedly quite harshly:

"Imagine the child entering Gail's nursery school who doesn't sing in tune and is told: "You will NEVER learn to sing". Imagine the child who misses the first attempt at shooting a basketball and is therefore told: "You will NEVER play basketball". Imagine the child who cannot write and is told: "You will NEVER learn to write". It is tragic that children every day are being abused like that."

Now, I call it abuse and that's a strong word. Many times what happens is not meant as abuse. It comes from loving people who just don’t know better.

When my son was in preschool we noticed a pattern that his teacher was often jokingly telling him “You never talk to me”. Several years later she would still repeat the same thing. And she was right. Why on earth would he want to talk to her after having received that label? Does she really believe putting a negative label on a child will make the child change? Of course not. Finally when he got another teacher, he would open up and communicate in a completely different way.

Does our friend Gail seriously think that the kid who feels she doesn’t sing well, is the kid who is going to go home and practice like crazy to overcome this difficulty – especially if she has come to believe there is something wrong with her, that she was never born with “the voice”? Especially since she has been told by her trusted teacher that she cannot possibly learn, and that anyone who tells you so is a fraud and a scam.

Is this child suddenly going to feel comfortable to sing out beautifully? Of course not. The fears and discomfort of “not being good enough” alone is enough to restrict the vibration, which makes singing on key extremely difficult.

Maybe the kid hasn’t been exposed to music, or she has never had the opportunity to experiment and explore her voice without being judged. Maybe he has been told to be quiet. Maybe the key the teacher picked doesn’t fit comfortably. Maybe there is a hearing problem. There are a numerous factors that can all be fixed. And there are always ways for someone to become better at a skill through effective strategies.

Yet, the ignorant teacher, who does no research and has evidently no interest in learning herself, prefers to simply label the child (and adult) as someone who is “not born with a voice”.

It’s also interesting that Gail refers to baseball – especially in the light of the fact that I have written extensively about sports, including my son’s baseball endeavors and his skills. I’ve written about when my son showed up on the baseball field at the age of 5 and astounded everyone with his “natural talent”. The reason I wrote that was exactly to help explain the enormous amount of training he had already been engaged in to develop the coordination and awareness of his body, eye sight, mental attitude to learning and performing, the mechanics of throwing, etc., that the uninformed unfortunately just want to call “natural”.

Now we could easily argue that I am abusing Gail, here. She will be invited to read this and I’m sure it won’t be pleasant. We can all understand and be compassionate since it is very possible that Gail is not aware of some traumas of her own that may have caused her to believe this. I frankly hope this will help her awaken.

As adults we do have the potential to reflect and make choices. We can choose to become even more hostile and go on the attack or we can choose to reflect and learn from hurtful events and our mistakes. Perhaps Gail would like to reflect on why it is that she likely has not developed her singing voice herself, or why she likely isn’t very good at throwing a ball.

Perhaps she would like to reflect on the fact that those who have learned how to acquire skills are also the ones who often willingly want to help others. Perhaps she wants to do some more research and think before calling the next educator and trainer a scam due to her own fears.

Now, she did write one final response to my last comment to defend herself. She wrote:

“I have never discouraged a child in my life. You do not know me. I will never tell an innocent child she can't do something. But holding out a false hope to an adult is a scam. Tell me you don't make money from this? I have never put down a kid in my life. I have great works of art all over my fridge from grammar school art projects. They are cute and beautiful. What were you thinking accusing me of putting down kids. You don't know that I worked, advocated for kids all my born days. I'm 72.”

So there we have it. She has never discouraged anyone. Except for the fact that she has publicly tried to discourage everyone who wasn’t “born with a GREAT voice”.

She will never tell an innocent child she can’t do something. The question is if that only applies to those who are “born with the talent”, or it would otherwise give them “false hope”. (Or maybe that was just for the adults.)

We have never doubted she has great artwork by kids on her fridge. The question is what happens to the art that by her is deemed not great.

It is not surprising that, as it turns out, she loves children and wants to protect them. Gail is probably a wonderful person in many ways who has done a lot of good in the world.

But this article is intended to encourage thought. I hope it encourages you, who may have come to believe in what you can or cannot do, to realize that it is perfectly fine to engage in activities, improving them, and enjoying them, without having to be judged as “great”.

I hope it encourages everybody to watch out for the tendency to label children, as well as label adults. They way you lead your life today is likely due to beliefs you have formed at an early age. Perhaps you have been hurt and ridiculed. Perhaps you have been labeled. And we should also understand that “you are a natural” is also a label that can cause just as much problems as “you are a monotone” with the heightened expectations that come with it.

To close, we should understand that hopes, goals, dreams and aspirations are very frightening for some. Many adults want to protect children by shutting down goals and aspirations out of fear of disappointment. They don’t realize that it is not the accomplishment of the dream and goal itself that is the reward, but it’s the journey that gives life a purpose. Yes, we understand that there are many out there who are afraid, and therefore don’t want to encourage “false hopes”.

Personally, I don’t provide hope. I provide training.

Per Bristow

P.S. Read the hundreds of comments, and feel free to comment yourself below.

FREE VIDEO Demonstrates Per Bristow's Revolutionary Method
That Has Freed and Empowered Voices In 132 Countries. 

Here's How YOU TOO Can Release Hidden Restrictions and Sing –
REALLY SING – With Confidence And Freedom!

I am addressing this for the sake of our children, for the sake of you adults, as well as society in general. In my previous article, I wrote about the tragic beliefs that prevent so many from living fulfilled lives. In fact, it prevents people from fulfilling some basic human needs. As a parent, educator and coach, having personally coached hundreds of people (thousands probably) with belief systems that stem from subconscious traumas often formed in childhood, this deeply concerns me. When it still happens in our school systems through sheer ignorance, I find it even more disturbing.

If you haven’t read the previous article, you might want to do so first. (By the way, thanks to all of you who made some wonderful insightful comments!)

To bring home this point I will here use a real exchange with a human being – a woman named Gail. Ultimately it i not about her, but about the common beliefs and tendencies.

She had posted publicly a comment directly in regards to what I do and offer. This time instead of just ignoring it, I wanted to dig deeper. I wanted to understand what drives someone to believe this, and why someone wants to post it publicly. It turned into a fascinating and frightening exploration of human ignorance and the subtle abuse of children.

How To Succeed When Things Aren’t Going Well…

I started out this series of blog posts about “Exponential Learning and Peak Performance” by using my son’s experience in his first baseball game of the season as an example.

I wrote that the ability to perform at your peak when it matters the most, and to be resourceful when things aren’t going well is a developed skill. I wrote about the predictability of success, and how turning “failures” into successes is something we need to train. (See the previous 4 blog posts here)

I also mentioned that my son (who just turned 12) has become known to be very good at this. Numerous times has he come through when it matters the most. I shared this because it is important to understand that there is a reason for this, and how we can apply it to our lives - whether it is about learning to sing effectively or to live a creative, productive and inspired life in general.

So now that we have ended the baseball season, how about I round it off with another example from my son’s baseball world.

He and his team have had a fantastic season, and now they reached the championship finals – to be played as best of three games. (If you don’t understand baseball, keep reading anyway, because you will get the gist of it anyway)

In game one of the finals, he is the closing pitcher. He comes into the game with two innings left and his team has a comfortable lead 5-1.

But now the nightmare begins…

In my first article, I wrote about the pressure of starting the first game of the season. I wrote about how he managed to turn it around after a troublesome start. (This is part of the training to be resourceful when things aren’t going well.)

But here he is in a situation endlessly more challenging. Because after a lot of great attempts, things are going downhill. His pitches are not the consistent strikes as we have been accustomed to seeing. We are in the last inning and he finds himself in the worst situation ever. The game is suddenly tied 5-5. And worse, after another unintentional walk, the bases are loaded.

Can you imagine the pressure? Can he find strength within and work it out?

We don’t know. Because this time, our coach (who is fabulous), can’t let him be in that situation and decides to replace him. It’s a decision any good coach would make and my son knows it. Yet, naturally, it hurts. How would you feel? Would you feel you have let down your team? Would you feel rejected?

Now as so happens, his teammate in the bottom of the last inning hits a fantastic walk off home run and we win game one.

Relief.

But now the question is, how will my son be able to bounce back? You see, in game two he is scheduled to be the starting pitcher.

Fast forward to game two and my son is indeed the starting pitcher. He has prepared, and is excited…

...but things don’t go well.

With every miss, he tries to shake it off, tries to refocus. The attempts are admirable, but it’s just not working. It’s not just his fault. Some errors by his teammates make things worse. A strange call by the umpire goes against him. Ever had that experience? Would you start blaming your teammates? Blame the umpire? He doesn’t. Never has. He knows everybody makes mistakes. Yet, one can sense the energy draining from his body with the increasing frustration.

In the third inning, he is replaced and we are down 1-7. Not exactly the fairy tale comeback from the previous game that we would have liked, right? So again, how would you feel? Would you start thinking in the line of “I’ve been doing well all season, and now when it matters the most I fail”?

The team is down 4-8 but fight back to tie it 8-8. They fall behind again 8-12 and then come back once again to tie it 12-12. And then starting the last inning, they are batting first and are down 12-13.

Now here’s the thing, his batting hasn’t worked in the game either. He has struck out twice, which has never happened before. What is wrong? Can you imagine the frustration? You’re playing your worst game of the season when it matters the most. It’s even worse if people have come to believe that you are the one who is supposed to do well in these situations. And yet, unlike John that I wrote about in the previous article, he tries to be a good role model and support his teammates.

So here we are. We are down 12-13, we have a runner on second base and my son is up to bat…

And that’s when it happens…

He swings, and WHACK…

The ball flies above the outfielder and almost goes to the fence. He gets to second base, and the runner ties the game! It’s not only the most important, but probably his best hit ever.

He then steals third base…

His teammate hits a single, my son runs home to take the lead, and the crowd goes wild.

Fast forward to the bottom of the last inning. The other team bats last and still has a chance to score. My son now plays third base. With two outs and a runner on first base, the batter hits a fly ball. It sails beyond third base towards the side fence to go foul. But my son runs like crazy, and right before the ball is about to hit the fence, he makes the catch of the season for the win! They are now champions.

You can imagine the celebration…

So what’s the lesson here? Well, we could write a book about all of them.

Talk about fairy-tale ending. Talk about coming through when it matters the most.

Now, here’s the thing: What do you think my son will remember? The bad start or the unbelievably successful finish?

What if he had “given up”? What if he had started thinking that he wouldn’t hit that ball today, that it was a horrible day, or given up on trying to catch that last ball? Or worse, what if he has started to blame external sources, such as umpires or teammates, which is the common response when things aren’t going well?

The feeling of success naturally becomes even greater because of the prior struggle. And it’s not about victory over the other team really. It’s about victory over yourself.

I wrote before that people tend to give up far too easily. Most of us have bad experiences in life. Most of us fail and lose. Most of us are knocked down, replaced and rejected at some point. Some use this as fuel to become better and find ways to experience success, while others make the determination to give up and never do it again.

What we must remember is that successful people are those who have failed the most.

It is far too common that when things don’t go well we blame outside circumstances whether it is the government, the economy, the music industry, or the umpire.

The bottom line is that no matter how badly things seem to go, there is always an opportunity to learn and grow. There is always an opportunity to be a role model for others. There is always a possibility that something wonderful can come out of struggle.

Even if my son hadn’t made the hit that tied the game, scored the winning run, and caught the winning catch, he could still have felt victorious from having been a presence to support his teammates who all did fantastic things in this game. Even if they lost, we could still have been able to transform it into a terrific learning experience that would fuel future success.

And in closing, I’d like to stress one thing: To be able to be resourceful when things aren’t going well is much more than having a “positive” mindset and “believing”. To learn effectively and exponentially from every experience (including every vocal practice and performance if we relate this to singing) is an advanced developed skill.

How does this resonate with your life? Feel free to share…

I started out this series of blog posts about “Exponential Learning and Peak Performance” by using my son’s experience in his first baseball game of the season as an example.

I wrote that the ability to perform at your peak when it matters the most, and to be resourceful when things aren’t going well is a developed skill. I wrote about the predictability of success, and how turning “failures” into successes is something we need to train. (See the previous 4 blog posts here)

I also mentioned that my son (who just turned 12) has become known to be very good at this. Numerous times has he come through when it matters the most. I shared this because it is important to understand that there is a reason for this, and how we can apply it to our lives – whether it is about learning to sing effectively or to live a creative, productive and inspired life in general.

So now that we have ended the baseball season, how about I round it off with another example from my son’s baseball world.

How To Turn Failure Into Success

To follow up on my previous two articles regarding exponential learning and peak performances and why they are developed skills, I promised to address one issue that we human beings are generally pretty lousy at.

I think when you start recognizing this tendency within yourself, you will set free a huge piece of what is restricting you from living your dreams.

Two emails we received in the last weeks serve as a perfect example.

1)A person who just joined The Singing Zone wrote: “I’ve tried to log in 20 times and it’s not working. I give up. Give me a refund.”
2)A second person who was 64 years old wrote that he had been in the choir in school but had been told to be quiet and had never sung since.

I have full compassion for that frustration when things don’t work out they way we expect them to and the emotional trauma from bad experiences (and as kids we are very susceptible to what people say). Interestingly enough, during the time period the first person tried to log in, hundreds of other members successfully logged in. So why didn’t it work for her? Well, that is of course what my support staff is here to help with, but this person never sought any help.

The second person’s reason for giving up because someone else said something is exceptionally common.

Both of these people gave up. They never turned the “failure” into a success, and, instead, their learning experience was to never do it again.

I’d like to suggest that, in general, we human beings give up far too easily, and therefore have negative (erroneous) learning experiences.

Let’s turn back to the example of my son’s baseball experience (read it here if you haven’t). Should he have given up after having missed a couple of throws? If so, should he have walked away saying “never again”?

That would have been ludicrous. If so, he would have been deprived of the opportunity to experience success. And that is exactly what happens to so many.

Success can never be experienced unless we understand that challenges are prerequisites.

It is BECAUSE we have been made fun of, made fools out of ourselves, been treated badly, had numerous bad experiences, been rejected over and over again, that we develop the fabric that creates success and happiness… but only IF we learn that turning failure into success is a developed skill. It is more than a mindset. It also takes training to develop.

So here’s my question? Do you ever say: “I don’t do that.”? Is there something that you stopped doing because of a bad experience? Most of the time we are not even aware of why we believe what we believe, because we have justified it so well.

One person told us “I don’t order online”, someone else says “I’ve been scammed before”. Others say “I have no talent” before having trained one minute of their lives. Many times the fears and beliefs are not even based on past experiences, but on something they have been told.

So what if we’ve been scammed and cheated? Is that going to stop you from experiencing the good things in life? Is watching a bad movie going to stop me from watching a good one? So what if I’ve you’ve been humiliated. Welcome to the club. Is that going to stop you from experiencing joy and love?

Now having said this, realize that success does NOT come from just doing the same thing over and over. Successful people ADJUST. Trying to log in 20 times the same way without adjusting or asking for help is indeed setting yourself up for failure. My son didn’t just keep throwing, hoping the ball would finally hit it’s target. He is trained to adjust. He adjusts his focus, energy, balance, breathing, mindset, whatever is needed…

Being able to do that better and better is part of what we call learning and that comes from training.

As you know from your own successes, and what anyone of you role models will tell you, there is never ever a straight line to success. We always need to adjust. This is also why it is so crucial that we study the mindset of our role models.

Feel free to share what "bad experience" has held you back and what you are doing about it, or a success story of how you turned failure into success, or something else that comes to mind when you read this.

To follow up on my previous two articles regarding exponential learning and peak performances and why they are developed skills, I promised to address one issue that we human beings are generally pretty lousy at.

I think when you start recognizing this tendency within yourself, you will set free a huge piece of what is restricting you from living your dreams.

Two emails we received in the last weeks serve as a perfect example.

1) A person who just joined The Singing Zone wrote: “I’ve tried to log in 20 times and it’s not working. I give up. Give me a refund.”

2) A second person who was 64 years old wrote that he had been in the choir in school but had been told to be quiet and had never sung since.

I have full compassion for that frustration when things don’t work out they way we expect them to and the emotional trauma from bad experiences (and as kids we are very susceptible to what people say). Interestingly enough, during the time period the first person tried to log in, hundreds of other members successfully logged in. So why didn’t it work for her? Well, that is of course what my support staff is here to help with, but this person never sought any help.

Exponential Learning and Peak Performance – Part 2

In my previous article I used my son’s sport experience as an example. I also promised a follow up to dig deeper into this important subject matter

If you haven’t yet read the previous article make sure you read it first. Click here to read it.

So I mentioned my son had started off missing his first 4 throws in his first baseball game of the season. And similarly, the other boy (who we are calling John) also missed his first attempts. One boy came back and had a great game while the other one didn’t. One turned a challenge into success, while the other boy turned failure into more failure.

I also suggested this outcome was quite predictable, and that this pattern is a developed skill.

How do we develop it? Well, allow me to share the conversation at our dinner table after the game. I tell my son a story:

“You know, its so common that we human beings tend to get so frustrated, sad and angry when things don’t go well. Thats understandable. Of course it doesn’t feel good when things don’t go well. But then what often happens is that we get so frustrated that things get worse, which make us even angrier, and then it gets even worse and we get even angrier, and things just get worse and worse.

But see, once I saw this amazing guy with a remarkable skill. He was the starting pitcher in a baseball game. Guess what he did? He started off throwing 4 balls in a row to open a game. Now that would be really frustrating for a lot of people and I’m sure it was for this guy too. But then guess what he did? The second batter approached the plate and he threw… Bam. Strike one. And then… Bam! Strike 2. And then instead of playing it safe, he goes for a curveball, which he’d only done a couple of times before in his life – and it was the most awesome curveball… Bam. Three strikes in a row. Amazing."

My son breaks out in a wide smile, face beaming: “You’re talking about me.”

We have now turned this event into another one of his great successes. He has a decade of those - from imaginary situations with me in the backyard to real situations with others. In the backyard, from when he was only a few years old, he somehow always managed to come back from close defeat to victory in imaginary big game situation.

Sure, in the beginning I “arranged” it so he would come out victorious and he began to love greater and greater “pressure”. Sometimes I would win and let him handle defeat, so he would develop the desire to go at it again.

Nowadays, I never let him win. These days, I swear he’s messing with me when I’m falling behind. I manage to get closer and closer, and then when I’m real close to actually wining he pulls something out to defeat me. I bet he’s letting me come dangerously close in order to put greater pressure on himself.

Now with this real game that I wrote about in the previous article, you realize there could have been numerous scenarios and we would still have been able to turn it into a success – a successful learning experience. We don’t need to create fairy tale stories. All we need do is reflect on the absolute truth: That real achievements and successes come from how we handle various difficult situations.

Do you think he will be afraid of these situations in the future? Of course not. And as we alluded to in previous articles: It is the person who is afraid of failing who also fails.

As you know, we tend to replay past events in our minds. What do you think the difference is between someone who replays failures over and over in his mind, versus someone who replays his successes over and over again?

Everyone has heard that “we learn from our mistakes”. As I wrote in the last article, there is no such thing as “mistake” or “failure” and that we spell it learning. However, what we should realize is that we learn far more from our successes than we do from failures. When we don’t know how to transform failure – such as in John’s case – it just leads to more failure. Misery leads to more misery. Violence leads to more violence. Blaming others lead us to become greater and greater victims.

Success, on the other hand, feeds success. Happiness leads to more happiness. Gratitude leads to more things to be grateful for. Love leads to more love. This is the real power of attraction.

However, there cannot be success without learning. And a success that has no challenge isn’t much of a success, is it?

So therefore, these words “success” and “failure” become irrelevant, as they are mere labels. What are of real importance are our discoveries and experiences.

And this is where exponential learning comes in. We develop effectively because of the cumulative effect of every experience. Every experience becomes multiplied because we tend to replay it, and every experience affects the next experience. A recent experience makes a previous experience even more profound than it initially was, and so on.

Those who have trained with The Singing Zone program know that this is what we encourage and attempt to accomplish. As an example, the lessons of Month 4 may be called “vibrato lessons”. But once we get there we realize that it is the cumulative effect of everything we have done previously that makes vibrato happen more easily.

Those who have worked on the advanced range sessions of month 8 realize how the very first exercises of the Sing With Freedom program have been so important – And they have perhaps become even more important than they initially seemed to be.

Our learning then also affects our lives beyond that specific activity. My singing training, as most students have attested to, is designed to not only to make you sing and perform better. Likewise, my dinner talk with my son is naturally not just to help him become a better athlete. More importantly it is to help him become a more empowered human being.

Now there is one thing that we humans are inherently quite bad at, which if we become better at dramatically improves our lives. I‘ll address that next time.

For now I’ll leave with some questions to ponder. What events in your life have you replayed as “failures”, and have therefore become the fabric of who you believe you are? If you have performance anxiety, feel you’re never good enough, believe you are a perfectionist, etc., then I can guarantee you have been replaying something for a long time – too long. In fact, every fear we have is likely due to replaying something we have perceived as failure, and then projecting it into an imaginary future.

I get tons of emails from people who don’t dare to do something because they have been “burned” in the past. Being “burned in the past” is exactly the same thing. These fears might be not daring to sing in public, not daring to use a credit card or purchase on the Internet, not being able to make a decision, not being able to experience love, etc. Therefore, they won’t give themselves permission to engage in what they love and follow their dreams.

So what if we’ve been burned in the past. So what if we have “missed”. So what if we have made “mistakes”. The replaying of a bad event and making that stop our entire life is as ludicrous and tragic as if an 11 year old boy came to believe that he should never pitch a baseball game again just because he “missed” 4 in a row.

What do you think?

In my previous article I used my son’s sport experience as an example. I also promised a follow up to dig deeper into this important subject matter

If you haven’t yet read the previous article make sure you read it first. Click here to read it.

So I mentioned my son had started off missing his first 4 throws in his first baseball game of the season. And similarly, the other boy (who we are calling John) also missed his first attempts. One boy came back and had a great game while the other one didn’t. One turned a challenge into success, while the other boy turned failure into more failure.

I also suggested this outcome was quite predictable, and that this pattern is a developed skill.

How do we develop it? Well, allow me to share the conversation at our dinner table after the game. I tell my son a story:

“You know, it’s so common that we human beings tend to get so frustrated, sad and angry when things don’t go well. That’s understandable. Of course it doesn’t feel good when things don’t go well. But then what often happens is that we get so frustrated that things get worse, which make us even angrier, and then it gets even worse and we get even angrier, and things just get worse and worse.

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