I learned a valuable lesson over the weekend. I was invited to sing at an awesome and inspiring event. So I did my usual routine. I rehearsed and I rehearsed and then I relaxed for a bit. The next day I warmed up my voice and went to sound check. Things were well on their way to being a typical performance. Then a few hours later it was show time! I was called to the stage and my music track began to play. I sang the first verse and chorus and then….the music stopped! Yep, there was now silence coming from the speakers…except for me singing. In a split second, I had to make a decision. “Should I ask them to restart the song after I was already so far along or should I just keep going?” Welp! I decided to keep going. I sang the rest of the song a cappella. I knew that since I decided to sing it a cappella that I could not depend on the music to provide the groove so I had to. I had to turn MY energy up so that the audience knew that I was ok and that it was ok to have fun with me and boy did they! It really felt like they were on my side. I appreciated their energy and in turn, they appreciated mine. It turned out to be a better show than I could have planned.
I must say that I am so GLAD that happened! Of course, I don’t enjoy technical difficulties and if I never had another in my career I would be very happy about that but this situation occurred to remind me that at the end of the day, “The show must go on!” It showed me that quitting doesn’t have to be an option and that sometimes there is beauty in a breakdown! The message was also restated in the Superbowl last night. Although I was rooting for the Falcons I had to acknowledge the tenacity of the Patriots. They were losing but did not accept defeat which made the game that much more interesting and made history in that being the first Superbowl game to go into overtime. Although I was rooting for the other team I had to respect the victory because the Falcons certainly did “turn it up” in the second half.
These were life lessons that I personally feel like can be applied to so many things outside of just a performance. How many times do we give up too soon in other areas of our lives? How many times do we say to ourselves, “But the music went out on our relationship/marriage?” It wasn’t supposed to be that way, that is why it didn’t work!” or “But look where and the way I grew up there is no way for me to “win” life!”
“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win.” – Zig Ziglar
Part of winning is to keep going. We are often taught that it’s just about talent, or having money, the rags to riches stories that I have read from Oprah to Eminem to Jay-Z to J.K. Rowling to Walt Disney have one thing in common…Perseverance!
“I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” John D. Rockefeller
I believe there is a true feeling of satisfaction when we persevere. I believe that it not only makes us stronger and more resilient performers and partners in relationships (personal or business) but it also reaffirms our faith in who we are as people! It shows us our areas of strength and what we can work on as well. The music stopping made me say that “Hey I can do this! I can make it through this and have fun with the audience at the same time.” It also showed me areas for improvement. It made me realize that I need better breath control so I need to do more cardio and sing while I do it. It also made me realize how much I would like to perform with live instrumentation. But the most important thing it showed me was the former. “Hey, I can do this!” Sometimes the setbacks in life are merely meant to remind us of our greatness and to teach us that giving up doesn’t have to be the option, it can be an option but life can be much more satisfying when we choose to persevere.
Look at your life and see the areas that you have “given up” or chosen not to persevere. Re-examine your decision. Can you try again? Can you choose to persevere this time? Go for it!