Step 41: “Ten minutes of determination can be more powerful than ten years of doubt”
The 88 rungs of happy people
In this chapter of «The 88 Steps of Happy People» I explain how to get out of the way everything that prevents you from moving forward
This Step will tell you a true story. It is the story of my friend Manuel y describes how ten minutes of determination can be more powerful than ten years of doubt. It is a combination of several previous Steps, as it applies many of its principles. The message behind this story has the power to revolutionize your life, to motivate you to do something you’ve never done or to blow up your routine. It is the history of the saxophone. This is the story from Manuel’s mouth …
A few years ago I promised myself that this was the last year of my life that I would not know how to play the saxophone. I was wrong. I failed that year, and the next, and the next. For ten years I was defeated in a battle that I already gave up being able to win. But I missed a great weapon that every human being has: the power of determination. One day you wake up in the morning, you look in the face at that enemy called laziness, and you say to him: “I’m sorry, but I have decided that today I win.” You start off like a train without brakes on a very slight incline. It barely carries speed, but no one can stop it anymore.
This is how it happened… It was Three Kings Day and I decided to give myself a saxophone. I made the purchase of the instrument online, and a couple of days later I received it at my house at 13.55:14.00 p.m. At 16.00:XNUMX p.m. I obsessively went online to find someone (whoever it was) to teach me how to play it, since I had no idea. At XNUMX:XNUMX p.m. I did a one-hour class with a very freaky teacher: a four-inch toupee, sneakers and a skateboarder’s shirt, and under twenty years of age. It was the first one I found. “I have two goals: the first is to learn to play the saxophone today. The second is to play the most famous saxophone solo in history, “Careless whisper”. Oh, and get it before twenty-four hours have passed, “I told him with all the candor in the world as soon as I opened the door of my house. Later he confessed to me that when he heard my first objective, he thought I had just smoked something and that with the second he directly concluded that I was crazy.
He explained to me how to seal the mouth so that the air does not escape, where was each note, how to place the hands, how to hold the instrument, how to blow, how to line the tooth with the lip. I paid attention to everything, and I tried to do what he did, but without success. It couldn’t even produce a single sound! Neither at five, nor at six, nor at seven in the afternoon … Only with him in front of me I was able to extract a couple of fears of something, if not music, then noise. The rest of the afternoon, after endless attempts on my own, I was only frustrated. Finally, around eight o’clock in the afternoon I began to make the first moderately decent sounds; and to my surprise, once the first ones sounded, the rest arrived not with difficulty, but with ease. It’s like digging ten meters without finding the gold and then finding a whole mine just one centimeter lower. What the treasure gives you is the last centimeter, but its merit is no greater than that of the previous thousand.
I couldn’t believe it, but I had reached my first goal. The next day I continued playing, and after a huge number of recordings trying to get a single take without fail, I finally managed to get a good take of my prized “Careless whisper.” Was it well played? Absolutely. It sounded horrible. Did I get to play it on the flip side? I wish. I had to record it in chunks and then stick those chunks together to get the final shot, but that didn’t matter. I had achieved it and no one could take away the taste of victory. I fell asleep on the couch … and smiled.
A month later I was in an interview on Radio Nacional de España and they asked me for some music that I had recorded. I did not hesitate. It was my worst recording … but my greatest feat. You may wonder how I managed to end ten years of laziness. Here are my tips:
– Don’t ask yourself “why yes?” Say “why not?”
– When you want to play the saxophone, the piano or the guitar, do not allow the brain to think. Just grab the instrument and get to it.
– The only thing that separates you from doing something you’ve never done is… five minutes.
– Write on a sheet in large letters: “I may?”; and then delete both questions.
By the way. Two unimportant notes about my friend. The first is that, although the story is real, his name is not Manuel. The second is that … lives in my mirror. (Although the least important is the protagonist).
[Listen to the original interview by entering this link. It will surprise you: www.88peldaños.com]