Six Things I Learned From James Morrison

1.     Playing a trumpet is a great way to start a conversation.

…even if it’s done badly

…especially if it’s done with some panache

…particularly if you are James Morrison

2.     Play on

…If you commit to achieving something and it all goes belly up in the middle, play on

….. even if the slide on the trumpet flies off into the audience

….. even if you mess it up.

People don’t care so much about how great your result is, but we care that you try.  We’re a nation of battlers, and we love someone who has a go. Play on. Stick it out. Deliver anyway. Do your best. And you will be applauded. And you will learn that people are forgiving, if you are forgiving of yourself.

3.     Now! is almost always GREAT!

…Think about it.  Think about your life right now.  Are you breathing? (this is a good start). Are you free of immediate danger? (another key point to being happy).

…So the plane might crash, and you might have yelled at your kids this morning (notice when you are thinking about worries for the future and worries about the past),

… but right now? In this moment? 

… is it great?

4.     Don’t stop

…This is another version of play on but it’s so important I wrote it again!  It’s all about performance.  My daughter’s piano teacher Elissa Milne, taught my daughter Olivia “no matter what, don’t stop.”  If you’re in the middle of playing, speaking, performing, delivering… and you make a mistake? Don’t.  Stop. 

         i.     Very few people will even know you’re made a mistake

         ii.     Those who do know, will appreciate your courage in continuing…

…I spend a lot of my time stopping, correcting myself, and sometimes not even starting for fear of getting it wrong.  When I just start…. just start…. and don’t stop….  I am amazed at what I achieve.

… It doesn’t matter what happens, it’s what you make of it, what you do with it… 

My Mother tells me “a job worth doing is worth doing badly.”  What she means is that it’s better to do something, even  badly, than not do it at all. Let’s not make our perfectionism stop us from even trying.

5.     Know why!

…Knowing how - is important and is the basic level, but in and of itself may not make you happy. For example, James knows how to play the trumpet. I know how to facilitate.

…Knowing what – is the next level eg know what to play. I love knowing what will best evoke the change people are seeking in my programs - the right questions, processes, activities, conversations..

…Knowing why – is the most important thing and here’s the thing… if you know why you do what you do, it doesn’t matter what you do and the ‘how’ you do it will come out of the why.

I love people falling in love with themselves all over again – when they understand more of themselves, and why they do what they do, and what it is they really want, and how to get there…. That’s joy!

… Don’t get stuck in the “how”

6.     Play music

…You don’t have to understand music to feel what it is saying

…It can shift your mood, bring you into the now, and

… when things get tough – put some music on

... and dance.