How do you handle failure? Do you take it personally or do you accept it as a reason to do more? I find that we have created a generation of people who expect a prize from every endeavor whether they've earned it or not. Everyone gets a trophy today for just showing up! What happens as you get closer to adulthood and now are given true results of your efforts. Can you handle the truth?
One of the things that I always liked about the bagpipe world was that you only received a medal or trophy if you earned it. No one running the competitions felt any guilt if you walked away with nothing. We used the competitions as a reason to practice and improve ourselves. If we really had the burn to improve, we made sure that the dates were on the calendar and that we took advantage of the competitions. We also went with an attitude that we wanted to win. Wanting to win motivates you to work harder, improving your skills and creating the passion needed to become a great performer. Accepting defeat was also healthy. It made us responsible for ourselves and gave us the perspective needed to improve for the next performance.
I believe that if you want to be great, you need to find something that pushes your buttons. Something that you can't wait to do on a daily basis. Do you have something like that in your life? I had dinner with someone recently who is out of job for the first time in their life. When I meet someone like this, I always ask them the same question: "If you won the lottery today, and you never had to go to work for money ever again, what would you do with your time?" The guy was totally stumped. No one had ever asked him anything like that before. He said that he's been working for as long as he remembers. Can you answer that question? The answer to this question may determine the true passion in life.
Your true passion will be the stability that you'll always have in good times and bad.
Gary Guth is a professional bagpiper with over 45 years of playing experience and has been teaching bagpipes full time for the last 20 years. He has written "Bagpipes For Beginners", "the Bagpipe Hymnal", and " A Piper's Christmas".