Year of Standing Up, Not Fearing People
Abstract: Reflections on the past year and a half as a first time drummer and how different people and events have inspired me to take it up. Hope you can be inspired too. Enjoy!
Setting goals: At the start of last year, I was fired up to set new goals that were ‘SMART’ (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound). It began with a fun, lengthy list of stuff I wanted to pursue – some old, some new. It’s often the case that we struggle to maintain commitment to the goals that we set. I came across a study at the time which showed how most people who committed to a goal for 30 days were more successful at maintaining it long term because it became part of their routine for a long enough period (e.g. going to the gym, eating healthier foods, etc). If this study was correct, I was determined to ensure that I fell into the category of “successful” with my goals.
Keeping it to yourself: Once the list was complete, my first thought was to share it with others out of excitement. However, an inspirational video on Ted.com led me to have a change of heart. It explained one possible reason why we struggle to achieve the things that we set out to do, especially when swept up in the ‘new year-new start’ hype. It highlighted the fact that we find satisfaction in telling others our goals, which gives us a false sense of achievement. I suppose there’s nothing inherently wrong with telling others your goals. In fact, it could serve as a motivator if someone else is aware of what you’re aiming to achieve as they could help push you forward. But by keeping it to yourself, you are then motivated to achieve it as a way of showing it to others.
Finding inspiration: The book “Pleasing People” by Lou Priolo from Montgomery, Alabama greatly inspired me while setting my goals. It challenged the desire we all have as human beings – the approval of others. It spoke about the ‘people pleaser’ in these terms;
The people pleaser “selfishly uses the wisdom, abilities, and gifts that have been given to him for God’s glory and the benefit of others for his own glory and personal benefit” (Pleasing People, page 33)
This particularly challenged me, as a Christian, to want to honour God more with the gifts I believe he’s given me. Something I love passionately is music – playing, listening, or dancing to it (sometimes all three at once). You’ll more often than not find me plugged into spotify while out and about – one of many ways I find inspiration to write about stuff. I find playing piano very relaxing and reflective, and after reading this book I wanted to pursue the goal of playing in church. I took up the courage after church one Sunday to speak to one of the music team leaders to express my interest in playing with the band. Unfortunately, at the time of asking, the rota was virtually full and the only other instruments needing players were bass guitar or drums.
One door shuts, another opens: Now, I’ve never played bass before in my life and wasn’t too keen on learning it from scratch. I do admire it and the depth that it adds to a band, and would still love to learn it one day. With drums, I’d only ever had mess about sessions – e.g. my old flatmates djembe (African drum), or in GCSE music lessons. So I knew the rhythm was there enough to pursue, but my confidence, assurance, and ability were somewhat lacking. I look back in amazement at how far I’ve come along this musical adventure and feel a tremendous sense of achievement. My confidence, ability and variety on drums has grown massively and I’m forever grateful for the help of James (my instructor) for helping me achieve a level of “success” with one of my goals.
Drumming – A new adventure: January this year marked the one year mark on this smashing adventure (see what I did there?!) :P. I find listening to music a completely different experience now as I’m subconsciously trying to piece together the drum beat in my mind. Looking back on the past year and a half, the confidence placed on me by the music team and other people, has been an incredible blessing and motivator. I hope you can be inspired too as you plan and move ahead through 2015. Never give up on seemingly lost dreams.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)