What I’d like to share with you today is perhaps the most important skill we can possibly develop in life. We could call it a mindset, quality, trait, principle, or whatever… but frankly, I like to call it a skill. You’ll understand why shortly. You’ll also see why I am absolutely convinced that when we are engaged in developing this skill, it improves our lives dramatically – and it does so rather predictably. And yes, that includes your singing voice and your performance skills, but as you will see it goes way beyond that.
Let’s start off with some questions:
What is your response when your voice “breaks”?
What is your response when you don’t sound as good as you wish you could when you sing?
What is your response when you read something horrible in the newspaper? What is your response when you don’t get the audition, when someone treats you badly, when you get fired from a job, when you are stressed, when you have a bad day?
What is your response when you make a “mistake”, when you miss an appointment or arrive late, when you fail at something, or when things don’t go as well as you would like?
What is your response when someone else makes a mistake?
What is your response when you experience a health challenge? What is your response when you face a financial challenge?
I’m not talking about verbal and external responses here. I’m talking about how you respond within.
Let me share with you a transformative experience from my own life.
Have you ever gotten upset from getting a parking ticket? I have. Have you ever been in a situation where you arrive at your parked car just to see a traffic officer just starting to write a ticket? Have you ever gotten mad at that person? I have. Ever gotten livid? I have.
“I was just 20 seconds late for crying out loud!!! I’m right here and about to leave!!! Have some heart!!!”
I actually, didn’t express myself that way. Much of the reason was that I had my oldest son with me who was 3 years old at the time. Was I really going to resort to blaming and accusing another human being for my mistake? Was I really going to try and make excuses? Is that what I would teach my children?
I told my son that I had forgotten to put money in the meter and therefore will pay a fine. I had no anger in me. Although we were struggling financially at the time, I felt relieved. I went home and gladly wrote the check. From that day, I vowed to never blame anyone else for my mistakes. A mistake would always be a wonderful learning opportunity. This was not a new mindset for me, but this event took everything to a new level.
If you study human behavior, you will notice something very predictable when things aren’t going well for a human being.
I observe this with fascination among players, parents and coaches during my kid’s sports games. If it is an important game and things aren’t going well, at some point people will start venting their frustration. The referee will almost always be blamed. Many times the coach vents his frustration towards his players (depending on who the coach is). Some kids who make a mistake, have such a negative reaction to it that they begin making more and more mistakes. Some kids even start blaming other kids.
And bare in mind that these are nice ordinary people who just react and respond the way most humans do when things aren’t going well.
I have witnessed kids who have actually blamed a loss on a referee, and even blamed a team for cheating.
As long as this mindset prevails, this person will grow up feeling someone else is against him. He doesn’t understand the fear that lives within him. He will be a victim of external circumstances. He will blame “unluck” or “non-talent”, or he will blame other people, or the political system, or “the economy ”on his misfortune. He will never become a top athlete or successful in his life, because however much “talent” he has, he will never be able to perform well when the stakes are high and when it matters the most. He will not understand that the state of his mind and the state of his body is an accumulation of past years and decades of programming.
Nor will he discover how it is absolutely possible to release new abilities within him that could transform his life.
My kids don’t blame referees or other people. We just don’t do that. It is fascinating to see how this mindset and developed skill affects life in so many ways. At the age of 10, my youngest son has already become known for someone who is calm and cool and does exceptionally well under so-called “pressure.” Many people do not understand that this is also predictable. It is a result of training. It is a result of not being afraid of mistakes, and of not being judgmental about other people’s “mistakes.” It is a result of being confident in his abilities, and being able to be resourceful and focused when he is challenged.
As you may know, as as those who study with me know, my training goes beyond teaching someone how to sing better. My passion is to help and train people to become more empowered in many ways. This includes being able to empower your own mind and body for effective healing and rapid learning. This includes being able to acquire the advanced developed skill of being able to perform well and find solutions in “high-pressured” situations.
This includes being able to lead a life with greater confidence of one’s ability to respond to life’s challenges. This includes knowing what to do on a “bad day” to still come out a “winner” – to turn things around. This includes being able to give permission for “mistakes,” and therefore not needing to be afraid of making “mistakes.” This includes becoming resourceful and never needing to make excuses, or blame anyone else or outside circumstances.
When you become more empowered like this, you naturally also become more creative and productive. You find solutions when others resort to whining and complaining. You have no reason to beg or ask for handouts, but you are instead focused on what to do to become more skilled and valuable. You feel there is a purpose to waking up in the morning. You accept and embrace challenges in a different way that make you stronger and more able. Since you are less afraid of making “mistakes,” you are more willing to take “risks,” and can therefore confidently follow your dreams and passions and discover what you are truly capable of.
As you have noticed, I have avoided using the expression “take responsibility.” That has become a phrase that we tend to use to admonish people with, instead of understanding what it truly means.
I prefer to look at it as the “Ability To Respond.” This is, indeed, a developed skill in my mind. If I didn’t have that belief, I would once again be a victim and believe that the way I am is the way I am – that there is nothing I can do to change or improve. Yet we can absolutely develop this ability and we can develop it dramatically. The more advanced we become in our “ability to respond” – the more successful we become.
So it might be interesting to go back to the questions I asked in the beginning. Then become more aware of how you respond internally to various situations.
Please share below what you have done today to work on developing your “ability to respond” in more resourceful and empowering ways. Your ideas might help someone else.