Where I’m ’bout to go, the lights all glow
And there’s no rejection, all I see is hope
My promised land
— Promised Land, by OMI
Everyone is preparing for the conventional sense of better. Starting new companies, writing the MCAT, LSAT, enrolling kids in genius-baby programs at a year old, working that new startup from the basement.
I’ve renamed it the great Canadian Dream. For the Promised Land.
There is a lot of pressure to move on, keep moving, moving, moving. My friends have always been go-getters, but I reckon that I only feel pressured now because I was truly wandering for four months of travel.
Here are a few changes I’m making these days. I’m calling this Experimental Happiness, because, frankly, I know I want to be happy but I don’t know how to turn my journey into one laced with such yet.
You’re not meant to please everyone.
I run into former music students once in awhile; I have nothing but fond memories of them, and we say hi and I notice how I can’t armpit-hug them anymore.
There were ways I could’ve been a better teacher and business person–but those are details. The reality is, I was the best teacher I could’ve been at that moment, given the time and resources.
You know what, though? People remember how you made them feel, rather than what you did. It made my day when a student started singing to their performance pieces. I loved that my students were so comfortable with me.
Perhaps people will never know you spent the night pacing the floor contemplating minuscule details―the way you prep a lesson, whether your eyelashes are glued on for dinner, does it matter? Years and years down the road, they will remember the care and love you put in for them and how you made them feel.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. If they’re not pleased by your efforts, then they’re not meant to be pleased.