Well here I am… I’m a big girl now! Getting up in front of my best friends and teammates, with some ridiculously profound words in mind to share with all of them. Problem is… I have, or had up until this moment, no idea what those words would be, and I am delivering this speech on Friday. But my best thoughts come to me when I lay my head down on my pillow, ready to doze off, which can actually be quite inconvenient. But sometimes the thoughts are just too important to put off, so here I am. And here I go:
“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else(Gal. 6:4 NLT).
I was sitting in theology class this Monday, staring at our first homework assignment on the board. The word “happiness” followed by the word “mystery” seemed to jump out at me. I had no idea what the assignment was yet, but the words got me thinking. The biggest mystery in life can sometimes be, what is it that makes me truly happy?
Part of the assignment turned out to be just that. We had to write down three things in our notebook that bring us happiness. So I wrote the obvious: family and friends. Thinking, what would i do without them? Even though they can get on my nerves. I decided I wasn’t satisfied with my thoughtless, go-to answer, so I thought a bit further. Ice cream! Yes, that’s it. Ice cream brings me joy, no matter what the circumstances. But then something real came to mind.
What… is… success? Success can seem to be a mystery sometimes. The way my friends measure success is so different than the way I do so often that I lose track of my own successes, and in turn, my own happiness. But I need not lose sight of the personal goals I set out for myself every day and the work I put into achieving them. Being aware of my own successes is a key source of my happiness.
So how does this apply to band?
How doesn’t it?
For a lot of us, band is very important and we value the activity and the people working with us in it. Because we value this activity, a passion is created inside of us to achieve greatness in the activity. The passion drives each of us individually, and all of us as a team, to set goals daily, weekly, and overall for the season. Our goals drive us to work hard, because we want to achieve them. And when we achieve them, we succeed. And when we succeed, we are happy. Not only are we happy, but we are happy together, and nothing could be better than sharing joy with the people you love.
So this season, I encourage all of us to set goals for ourselves daily. To write down our goals as a group for the week, whether it be to improve this set or that measure, or that visual. There is always something to get better at, and we can’t afford to lose track. If you forget the visual tonight, or you can’t seem to remember what comes next in the music… if you walk off the field feeling disappointed and hopeless, create a goal for yourself. Write it down as soon as you can! If we continue to focus on improving, we will never let ourselves down or feel like we are failing. We will never truly fail.
Tonight I want to succeed more than anything. I have no trophy to win tonight, but this performance sets the stage. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Success, and in turn, joy, does not come from being the BEST. It comes from being the best of yourself, and for us, it means being the best team we can be. To be the best team we can be, we need to reach our goals together. My goal for tonight is to give it my all, focus in on everything I need to be doing, and do the best I can at what I know. If I do that, I will walk off that field with a smile on my face. This time and every time. Are you with me?