Did you know that how you live your life today is preparing you for tomorrow?
You are either getting yourself ready for success or failure. Which one is it for you?
Think about this scenario. You want to learn how to read music. The music theory book that teaches you how to understand what you’re reading is sitting on the kitchen table waiting for you to open it.
So, you get up out of bed, sip on your coffee, watch a little television, get ready for work, go to work, come home, fix supper, put the kids to bed, and watch a little more television before it’s time to go to bed and start it all over again.
Is there anything listed above that is helping you prepare for improvement in your music reading? Not really.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” – John C. Maxwell
And now enters the ant and the grasshopper…
The Ant and Grasshopper Story
Aesop’s Fables aren’t just for kids any more. Some of us adults can learn a lot from them too.
In particular, we can understand the value of preparation by reading the ant and grasshopper story.
If you’ve never read the story, we can sum it up quickly by saying the grasshopper decided to play all summer long while the ant used that time to gather food to store for the winter.
Once winter set in, the ant had plenty to eat while the foolish grasshopper starved. He learned the hard way that it’s best to pay first and play later.
Pay First, Play Later
If you play and take it easy today, your life will be harder later. But, if you pay now doing the work you need to do first, things will be much easier later on.
In other words, preparing yourself today will keep you from a lot of regret later.
Now, the music theory example listed above may not be that big of a deal unless I told you that there was a deadline to complete 15 pages in one week. Are you feeling a little nervous yet?
Preparation is Important
If we don’t take the time to prepare, then we are not taking charge of what we really want to accomplish in life. Why starve when you have all the tools necessary to thrive instead?
1) Being prepared gives you confidence for tomorrow.
Working on your music theory each day will give you confidence for the final exam four weeks later. Practicing your instrument will help you feel ready for your next lesson.
2) Being prepared leads to success.
Instead of reacting to life’s circumstances, be proactive. When you work proactively, you are:
- Using money wisely (paying for a lesson you’re not ready for is not a good use of your money)
- Paying now for tomorrow
- Taking your skills to a higher level
If you spend all your time repairing, you are:
- Focused on yesterday
- Wasting time
- Becoming discourage
- Spending money unwisely
- Paying now for yesterday (Ouch!)
- Stopping yourself from growth
What Can You Do About This?
Decide to pay now and play later. Your future is dependent upon it. Don’t leave any room for regret later on.
More specifically, here’s what you can do today to prepare for success:
1. Plan out your day. Know when you are going to practice your music theory or instrument.
2. Develop a routine. Make this new plan part of your daily life.
3. Create new habits whenever possible. The only way to get rid of an old habit (watching too much t.v.) is to create a new habit to take its place (like going through your theory book).
4. Set some goals. Decide what you want to achieve today, tomorrow, next week, this month, etc.
5. Give yourself a deadline. The purpose of a deadline is to make sure you accomplish a task in a reasonable amount of time. Without a deadline, it’s way too easy to keep putting it off until tomorrow.
6. Start now. Don’t wait until tomorrow to get these changes put into place. Start practicing them now.
How About You?
Are you playing today knowing you will have to pay tomorrow or are you paying now so that you can enjoy tomorrow? Which one are you, the grasshopper or the ant?