Paying My Dues

One thing that regularly gnaws at me is envy. I'm sure this is not unusual, but it's the topic of what I want to write today.

I know I'm not the only person who sees other people's lives or accomplishments or celebrations on Facebook (weddings, awards, graduations, etc.) and feels a little inadequate. "Why don't I have anything like that going on?"

It's all well and good to be reminded that social media isn't real life but it is a kind of real life. Most people don't completely make stuff up on social media. What we do on social media is selectively reveal what we want to. For example, I've had a policy for years of only posting when I had something positive to say.

But I wanted to take a moment to complain to remind myself of common sense.

The thing that all of my successful friends have in common is that they put in work. When someone builds a successful business, it's because she put in hours behind the scenes. Someone who receives a great professional honor has worked hard to achieve that. We don't see the time and hours behind the scenes, unless we're looking carefully. But I know enough about these people to know that they deserve their success.

Me? Well, I'm sitting on my couch typing this up instead. I spent more time playing with Google Drawings yesterday morning than I did practicing piano all last week.

No lasting success comes without work. I realize this in some parts of my life. I get that if my choir is going to be successful in April, we have to start working toward it in August. I get that if The Woodlands Chamber Music Project is going to grow, it will take work to reach out to the audience and to maintain correct records, etc. I know the singing on a musical I'm working on will take teaching and reteaching to be solid.

Where I can't seem to get it through my head is in the realm of personal development. I have lots of things I'd like to improve about myself, whether it's developing positive habits, learning new skills, or improving existing ones. I'd love to be a highly accomplished pianist, a master conductor, in shape, and with a consistent social life and professional reputation.

But when the time comes to work on those things, I balk. Rather than stepping forward into the challenge, I back off. Not from fear, but from lack of discipline. I want to be good, but I don't want to put in the work to get there. I'd rather skim Facebook for the dozenth time today than read a real book. I'd rather watch TV than go to the gym. I'd rather wander into my bedroom and read until I pass out at night than prepare myself for the next day. I'd rather sit on my couch and text friends than go out and try to meet new people.

If I want success, it's a matter of actually doing the thing. Regardless of whether I pick the best place to start, something is better than nothing, and that's where I am right now.

So now that I've talked myself into this, it's time to get some work done. I don't want to go to bed tonight with nothing to show for the day. And that should be true of every day.