Have you ever set your mind on achieving a goal and fallen short? Haven’t we all? Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we miss the mark. It could be that we simply underestimated the amount of time, focus, and energy it takes to accomplish something. Other times, life just gets in the way.
Whatever the cause, it’s not uncommon for us to view these events as complete failures. We keep our eye on the prize. We either win or we lose. And when we have this “make it or break it” mentality and fall short, the outcome is usually some combination of frustration, blame, and regret. It’s a recipe that leads most of us to throw in the towel. And tragically, we often quit right before we would have had a major breakthrough.
There is an approach that will turn all of those negative feelings around. Here’s the little secret that will guarantee success in whatever you choose to do throughout your life. We call it Better Your Best at Oregon Music Academy. It’s one of our Core Values and it’s a key ingredient to learning and growing at OMA and in life.
It’s The Journey, Not The Destination
Success, excellence, satisfaction, or whatever you want to call it are not really final destinations. They’re part of a journey. When we view life and all of our aspirations, challenges, and milestones as steps in an ongoing journey it opens up a world of lifelong learning and growth. We start to see the pattern that every destination we aim for is just another stepping stone, a starting point for the next destination. We realize that if we don’t land exactly where we planned, we still have opportunities to move forward or change direction if we choose. “Failure” becomes a time for us to pause, reflect back, and learn from our past. It also becomes a point to adjust and make a decision about where to go from here. Even the biggest failures aren’t really failures at all when we view them as opportunities to learn and grow.
Making It Even Better
Better Your Best isn’t just about improving on mistakes or setbacks. It’s not just about persevering through minor failures. It works even when you reach or exceed your goals. The marvelous thing about learning and making music is that there is always something new to learn. Even when (especially when) you’ve reached an advanced level, there’s always room to ask, how could I make this even better next time?