In my previous article I wrote about what I consider one of the absolute most important skills to develop in life. And as much as it has to do with improving the quality of our lives in general, it also has everything to do with improving our singing and performing. It has everything to do with learning effectively. It has everything to do with being able to release restrictions within body and mind and set the real you free.
If you haven’t yet read that article, go here to read it first or the following will make no sense.
The subject was the “ability to respond”. Our entire life, the outcome of everything we do, is shaped by how we respond.
A lot of my teachings center on developing greater awareness, and it is how we respond to what we become aware of that determines how effectively you learn and develop. The results always come from “how” you do something rather than just “what” you do.
As a communicator and influencer (which is what you are when you sing), you need to develop the ability to respond. And I don’t believe it is ever possible to experience true success in anything if we don’t learn to respond effectively to challenges and to “failure”.
As I mentioned in the last article, the human tendency is to respond negatively and abusively when things don’t go well – abusively towards our mind in the form of negative self-talk – abusively towards our body in the form of unhealthy eating, drugs, non-activity, etc. – or abusively towards others in the form of blame, accusations, violence, etc.
A comment to my previous article was that many are rewarded in society by complaining and bullying. This is true. Many have come to believe that you get what you want by complaining and bullying. And many times their beliefs are reinforced, because it is easier to just give a bully what they want to have them go away.
Just a few days ago something happened that was very interesting, and which I’ll take the opportunity to use here as a perfect example.
This will also be helpful for those who are members of The Singing Zone or those who are considering joining, so it doesn’t have to happen to anyone of you.
First some background facts:
As all members know, The Singing Zone provides new content every month, and as all members also know the billing is automatic. In this day and age, most subscriptions and recurring services offer automatic billing for a very good reason.
If I would be forced to have to sit and write checks every month to keep my telephone, Internet, website hosting, video hosting, newspaper, and all other recurring services alive, I would go insane. Even payments to our son’s private school, monthly tuition to swim team, etc. are automatic. Automation is always a service to the customer to ensure that there is no interruption in service. With The Singing Zone, I also must have automation in place for programming reasons so that the new lessons are delivered on the promised day for each individual.
Now, there are those who respond internally with great resistance to the idea of “automatic billing”.
Some people react negatively because they have heard of, or been exposed to, the dubious practice when the information of automatic billing is hidden.
Others are of course really not afraid of the billing. They’re really afraid of themselves, of their level of responsibility.
Now to help out with the first category, I go to extreme lengths to inform. Those who have visited the Sing With Freedom order page see that joining The Singing Zone is optional and there’s a big paragraph that explains the necessity of automatic billing.
Then, if you check the check box to add the membership, a second box pops up above the order button.
It now becomes impossible to place the order without once again reading the information in the bright red can’t-miss background. One has to check this second checkbox of agreement to proceed.
Now, the reason I have two check boxes and make it so “difficult” to order is to protect the customer. This way, no one can order the membership by mistake. I of course only want members who really want to be members and I do everything I can to make sure they have a phenomenal experience once they become members.
In addition, I provide a welcome video, I send out several emails, and I even send out a reminder before the first billing so they don’t forget to cancel if they want that. Most importantly I try to engage people so they get the results they came for.
So here’s what happened the other day: A person who had been a member for several months emailed and was raving mad because he didn’t know why he had been billed.
We emailed him back with the information and gave him a link to the member log in page and the order page so he could reacquaint himself with what he had ordered (which he obviously hadn't taken part in).
Now the “responsible” person, once he realizes he has made a mistake, would simply acknowledge it, and then he could make a decision on how to solve it from there.
This person instead emailed back, called me a rip-off and threatened to write bad things about me all over the Internet if we didn’t do what he demanded.
Now what is so interesting is his response and his belief that doing something against someone else - me in this case - would help him.
So here’s one question:
It is easy to just say, “ah, give him what he wants so he goes away”. But is this the behavior that should be rewarded? Are we if so helping him, or are we really hurting him? Are we helping the next person he comes in contact with if he has learned that the way to get what you want is by making threats.
So the topic is to develop our abilities to respond, which is closely tied to the fear of mistakes we hold within. Like I mentioned before in the previous article, the initial mistake is seldom an issue. It is the negative response to that "mistake" that compounds and becomes the real mistake. And that will always happen if we are afraid of making "mistakes".
Here’s a perfect example of a person who is so afraid of making a mistakes that he refuses to go back and find out if indeed he might have made a mistake.
People who are afraid of making mistakes are also the ones who make mistakes. And to try and protect themselves they blame the mistake on others. It is when we are afraid of making fools out of ourselves that we make fools out of ourselves, and we can go on and on.
But remember, being able to “respond with ability” and becoming more and more responsible for our successes and “failures” is a developed skill. We could easily call it an advanced developed skill. And when we respond effectively to what we experience in our body and mind we become effective learners.
Today is a beautiful day to practice responding in a resourceful way to whatever happens today. What do you say?