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“When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself. When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself. It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged. It’s up to you. Encouragement should come from the inside.”           Joel Osteen

I found this out the hard way. If you wait for somebody to encourage you to use your talents (real or imagined) to create something, you’re going to be waiting for a very long time. People are just amazed when you actually come up with something, but it seems like NOBODY is inclined to: 1. Help you discover your talents, 2. Encourage you to begin using them, or 3. Encourage you to to keep on creating once you’ve begun. All of that, unfortunately, usually has to come from within yourself. It takes a bunch of self-discovery to figure out what you’re good at. It takes courage to begin. And it takes a bunch of self-discipline to keep going.

I heard a great talk this morning by Adrian Dayton. He graduated from law school 5 years ago. He got a good job at a law firm and thought everything was set. He was surprised when the law firm closed and he was fired. He could have become discouraged or distracted, but what he chose to do was to write a book. He made himself get up each morning and before he did anything else (including eating breakfast) he wrote a chapter in his book. He was done in a month or two, he said. He now travels all over the world to speak to people about it, and that the venture has become very successful for him. He has now written two books:  LinkedIn & Blogs for Lawyers: Building High Value Relationships in a Digital Age (West 2012), co-authored by Amy Knapp, and Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition (ARK 2009). He is a great guy and an inspiration to people. He chose to do something that he had never done before, and I don’t doubt that he will do a whole lot more before he’s through. He’s just that type of guy.

I recently performed at a stake Relief Society function. I played 6 hymns that I had arranged, and several people told me later that they loved how these pieces sounded. One lady wanted the stake to record them and give them to everybody. She actually talked to someone in the stake Relief Society presidency about it. But these were just 6 of the songs I had arranged. I have enough songs to keep going for quite some time.

I decided to write these arrangements because as I was playing the prelude music before a funeral one time, I found myself vamping and vamping…the funeral just never seemed to materialize. I was playing song after song from the hymnbook for upwards of TWO HOURS, and people were getting sick and tired of listening to me.

I went home and decided to make the most beautiful arrangements I could come up with, so this would never happen again. I did it the same way Adrian did, by just spending an hour each morning working on it. I was amazed that it actually worked. (I found that by the time I had actually finished each piece, I’d pretty much erased the whole thing and completely rewritten it, but that’s beside the point!). That’s how I came up with an hour’s worth of music to play, and it sounds pretty good.

So I guess the upshot of all this is, if you want to accomplish something, just take an hour each morning and work at it, and you’ll eventually get there.

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