Rinkitink in Oz (Book 10 of the 14 book Oz series)
I’m guessing most people don’t read past the first book in the Oz series by L. Frank Baum – if they even get that far, as it’s easier to watch the movie (which tops my movie favorites list). Though wildly entertaining and fun to read, Mr. Baum weaved some sage words of advice throughout the Oz books, this one in particular resonated with me.
In the book ‘Rinkitink in Oz’ the character Prince Inga is stuck in a situation where he at first sees no way out, but quickly realizes that his past adventures throughout the book have given him confidence and courage which “sharpened his wits and gave him the genius of invention”. To recap the quote and put it into context, “He sat down and thought earnestly on the means of escape from his danger and at last a clever idea came to his mind. This is the way to get ideas: never to let adverse circumstances discourage you, but to believe there is a way out of every difficulty, which may be found by earnest thought.”
Sounds so simple; the way to get ideas is to never let adverse circumstances discourage you and believe there’s a way out which you will come up with by putting some serious thought into it. Easier said than done? Sure, sometimes, but if you’re serious about coming up with an idea or solving a problem, you lean into it and make it happen, right? C’mon, you know you’ve done it at least once.
Yes, Prince Inga comes up with an idea to get him out of the situation he’s in, and it’s a pretty good one, but I’ll let you discover it yourself, I can’t give everything away.
Looking back on my experience in music, it was a few local musicians who ‘took me under their wing’ that made all the difference in the world. They taught me in two years what it would have taken me ten years to learn on my own. I’m really thankful to those guys.
In 2012 I started a program with my employer Samick Music, called ‘Samick Summer Music Workshop; a hands on introduction to the music industry”. What started as a way to ‘coach’ and ‘share my knowledge’ is turning into something really cool. With several industry sponsors coming on board and contributing, the teens who participate in this program get a life experience they will never forget (as seen in the pic above, which started out as a lesson in ‘what goes into a major concert production’, and ended up with a cool meet and greet with the band KISS).
So far, one of the best parts of the experience is what I’m learning by sharing what I know. I’ve learned that kids today are much busier than I was as a teen. They have higher school demands and try desperately to divide their attention equally to an overwhelming number of distractions. They’ve yet to learn that to be good at something you’ve got to dedicate time and do it every day. And of course, the communication – not from teen to adult, but to each other is nothing short of comical. They all have cell phones, but won’t call each other, and they sit in the same room sending text messages to each other rather than talking. I’m not criticizing it; I would have loved not having to talk to people when I was growing up. (OK, maybe this is all normal teen stuff, I’m still a rookie with a teen of my own, but it has once again put into perspective the differences in our generations.) All that being the case, I also found that the kids were receptive to what they were learning, maybe because it was so much fun. Leadership, responsibility, team work, communication (yes, still working on that one), and basic business skills all taught through the vehicle of being in a band. I’ve gotta admit, I love the concept (I know I’m not the first to do it), and with school music programs continuing to decrease, putting time into this program is the least I can do to help out.
As we get ready to kick off the 2013 program I’m honored by the people who have offered to help. Volunteers, product sponsors, and industry professionals who support a program that seeks to keep the arts alive while teaching teens a few life skills along the way. The most recent supporters are the city of Gallatin Arts Council, who will assist in the final decision of the winning group this year, what a great addition to the roster.
I know every person has a story to tell and life experience that can be shared with others, I hope you’ll consider sharing yours with the world. If you only change one life for the better, you have single handedly made the world a better place.
To learn more about the summer music workshop, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SamickSummerMusicWorkshop
When it comes to goals, I’ve noticed people usually fall into one of three categories.
1. They fly by the seat of their pants and hope they get to there.
2. With discipline, they systematically plan, and stay on that road until they get there.
3. They reluctantly draft a plan because they know it’s the only way to keep the ‘fly by the seat of their pants’ nature focused on reaching the destination.
I usually default to option three. I have the discipline to make the plan, but I really just want to say “on your mark get set go!” and get there already. I have reached goals without writing them down and having a plan, but it was at the expense of ignoring other goals I actually had a written plan for…if that makes any sense. Lack of self-discipline? Sometimes, but I’m in need of continual discipline as it keeps me on the path toward better things.
How do I do it? I refer to my written goals daily. I keep a copy hanging in my closet, on my phone, computer, and in my journal. When I’m not sure what to do with my time, or I feel like I’m just sort of wandering, I look at my written goals to remind me where I should be putting my energy. Crazy as it sounds; it actually works…even if I am flying by the seat of my pants once in a while.
Like running a great distance, lifting a heavy weight, or trying for the millionth time to master that arpeggio, when the pain hurts and the going gets tough, the path of least resistance is to quit. Don’t. Becoming good at something doesn’t happen without focus, dedication, hard work, and yes, some pain…I guess being smart might help a little too.
It was a tough year (not just for me, for many), and I thank those who helped me through the trials and tribulations of 2012. It was a year like no other in my life; I learned a lot, had some first time experiences, and was reminded that I’m not in control of things. I experienced loss of loved ones, yet I end the year with greater relationships than ever. I didn’t achieve all my goals, but that’s part of what drives me harder into next year.
So, as I close the door from 2012 behind me, I walk through the open door of 2013 with excitement, anticipation, and the comfort of knowing there won’t be a dull moment. Can’t wait to see you there.
Wishing you the merriest Christmas and a day filled with love.
If you’re blessed with more than you deserve, reach out to someone with less, and always shine your light on the world.
He is the reason for the season.
Once upon a time there were three turkeys, and though they knew their eventual demise, they all hoped for one thing; to bring love and cheer to others on Thanksgiving Day.
The first turkey ended up on the dinner table at the White House as the center of a prestigious Thanksgiving dinner celebration. He was a gorgeous presentation proudly served on a silver platter with all the trimmings. He thought he must be the best looking Thanksgiving Day turkey in the world. But, when the meal was served to the guests, all they talked about was politics and the economy, no love or cheer like he had hoped.
The second turkey ended up on the Thanksgiving dinner table of a rich and famous Hollywood movie star. There was a ‘who’s who’ of Hollywood peeps in attendance that day, and though he was served on an expensive designer crystal platter and prepared by a world famous celebrity chef, all the dinner guests talked about was money, cars, and plastic surgery, no love or cheer like he had hoped.
The third turkey ended up as the turkey lunch at an elementary school cafeteria. He was served cold on plastic dishes, and looked nothing like a fine Thanksgiving Day turkey, actually he was more like a step up from cheap grocery store lunch meat, and this made him sad. How could he represent the spirit of Thanksgiving and bring love and cheer to others when he didn’t look like the Thanksgiving Day turkeys in cook books and woman’s magazines?
Then all at once it started; teachers trying to keep control of their class, yelling students dressed like Indians, complaining parents trying to fit into the elementary school chairs, and then suddenly…laughter, smiles, and kids happy to be able to spend a little bit of time with their family and friends. And though he had to share a plate with instant mashed potatoes and canned gravy, the third turkey realized that he was bringing love and cheer to others on Thanksgiving Day, as he had hoped.