Today’s fast pace and shorter attention spans make it easier than ever to feel stuck in a rut. Within a week after we return from a vacation, we can find ourselves feeling uninspired, unmotivated and dull. Building on an idea from a previous post on this blog (Move That Mountain – Do One Thing), I would like to offer this suggestion: change one thing.
When I was little, back in the pre-digital toy age, I used to love to play with kaleidoscopes. These cardboard tubes contained endless changing designs in beautiful colors. All you had to do was to point it toward a light and turn the tube. The colored beads inside miraculously arranged themselves into fabulous symmetrical patterns. It was definitely not a dull world inside the kaleidoscope.
The trick of the kaleidoscope was that the materials inside never really changed. The beads just fell as I turned the tube; it was the mirrors inside that created the patterns and made it all seem new with every turn.
This is the idea I’d like to offer you: one small turn, one seemingly insignificant act can be enough to change your outlook and reinvigorate any area of your life. Here is a brief list of some possibilities:
Change One Thing: Practicing
1. Try a new routine for improving your technique.
2. Move your music stand. A new outlook can be surprisingly refreshing.
3. Play a piece backwards, not note by note, but section by section.
Change One Thing: Getting Gigs
1. Learn some new repertoire.
2. Design new business cards.
3. Form a new collaboration with your colleagues.
Change One Thing: Teaching
1. Start each lesson with a game.
2. Have your students research a “Composer of the Month,” bringing one new fact to each lesson.
3. Overlap your students’ lessons and have them play duets.
Change One Thing: Cooking
1. Discover new ways to use a favorite ingredient. I’m trying pumpkin recipes this month.
2. Try an online menu plan.
3. Have a “Cooking Day” once a week and prepare all the week’s meals.
Change One Thing: Exercising
1. Go the gym at a different time of day and see some new faces.
2. Change what you listen to while you work out.
3. Change the pace of your exercise. Try a slow motion workout, or a cardio energizer.
What can you change today?