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Wearing Commitment Under Your Sleeve June 23, 2008

Posted by Kevin Burns in Uncategorized.

Her name is Holly and she is what appears to be, a typical seventeen year-old. I first met Holly at a music recital. Children as young as six years-old each took the stage and played at least one solo piece. The audience was a gathering of family and friends of the children who had been taking music lessons. Obviously, this was a friendly crowd for any child who performed.

When Holly took the stage, we could see a tattoo peeking out from under the sleeve of her T-shirt. She sat herself upon the piano bench and proceeded to “blow the hair back” of every audience member. What this young girl accomplished at the piano was astounding. Needless to say, she didn’t miss a single note and her fingers were flying across the ivories.

After the recital, as we gathered in the church hall for snacks, Holly and her mother sat at out table.

“That was pretty impressive,” I said to her.

“Thank you,” was her shy reply.

It was then I could see the bottom of the tattoo peeking out from under her sleeve. This time I was close enough to read what it said: “Ludwig Von Beethoven.”

“I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone sporting a Beethoven Tattoo,” I smiled at Holly.

With that said, Holly pulled up the sleeve to show the rest of the tattoo. A full picture of Beethoven’s bust with his name inscribed below. The tattoo went up to her shoulder and halfway down her bicep. All tolled, it was about six inches tall and four inches wide. And it was magnificent work – incredibly detailed.

“That’s my commitment,” Holly said with a smile.

Turns out Holly, at seventeen, has been playing for only two and a half years. However, she said she practices about three to four hours a day. Her mother, who also played piano as a child, is very proud of her daughter’s commitment to the piano. Even though, it seems Holly has a hard time finding enough time in the day to practice – as she also helps out the family financially. In addition to contributing to household finances for the family, she is still in school plus she helps her music teacher out with lessons and other ways so that she can exchange for extra lessons for herself.

Holly’s commitment to being the best she can be on the piano is evident. Her heart is in it and her commitment to her music is unwavering in spite of her financial situation. There are no excuses for not being her very best.

Attitude Adjustment: What are you prepared to do to be the best on the job you can be? Are you letting reasons, excuses and justifiers stand in the way of your personal performance? Really, it doesn’t take a lot of time to read a chapter in a book that can improve your performance. If you would one day like to move up into a promotion, are you preparing yourself now by reading everything you can on leadership, management or communications? Why is it that once we have a job, we think we can stop learning? The world is an ever-changing place. Think about the technological advancements that have been made over the past five years. Are you in front of the curve or lagging behind it? If you’re not constantly self-improving, in this day and age, you are falling behind. And trust me when I say this, the people who will be rewarded with perks, bonuses and promotions in the future, are the same people who are self-schooling and self-improving today. So what can you learn today that improves your potential rewards tomorrow? Remember, no excuses.



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