Un-waste Your Potential: Resolve a More Musical Life

Un-waste Your Potential: Resolve a More Musical Life

I sat down to play the piano my parents gifted me during one of their decluttering sprees. When I struck the first chord of one of my old, favorite songs, my fear was confirmed – I was awful. This was kind of sad; I was once so talented! 

And now? Well, beyond being untalented, I was in a quandary. Do I keep this large piece of furniture that I may never use … or do I get rid of it? 

Later that day, when I was driving and heard the piano in one of my favorite Ben Folds songs, I was inspired and thought that I’d be so happy if I had 1/1000 of his talent, which seemed like a realistic goal. I wondered what would happen if I committed to playing 15 minutes a day for a year. I started to do that math and thought that if I made this minor time commitment, over time I’d have a habit, and a year from now maybe I’d be decent again. So, I did it – I locked in that goal.


We are in the New Year – a natural goal-setting time. I know that many of us aren’t goal-setters; that’s not to say goals aren’t being set for you. Some of you have forecasts that just launched, project deadlines you must meet, or productivity goals that have to be hit. 

Like my piano playing, many of these goals aren’t new to you, either, which can make them seem daunting because you’ve got an appreciation for what it’ll take to be good at them. Here’s some things I’m learning from dusting off my piano goals that I think can help remind you that you’ve got what it takes to achieve whatever it is that’s ahead of you:

  • You’re not starting at zero. You’re not a beginner, which means your re-learning curve will be faster, and progress will be quicker.
  • Don’t strive for perfection. No path to goal attainment is perfect. Strive for good enough; good enough is the gateway to great.
  • Milestones are motivating. Don’t look at the big goal – smaller goals within goals are easier to achieve and encourage you along the way.
  • Incremental accomplishment is the way to go. Small things, over time, lead to big things. 
  • You might better your best. You could discover that with a renewed focus and commitment, plus a time investment to help you improve, you’ll amaze yourself with even higher achievements.

Here’s to a great 2023. Let’s work to ensure it’ll be better (more musical) than last year, and possibly even better than we envisioned. Dust off your potential – set a small achievable goal and commit. 

Share with me: How will you make your life more musical?