Ambition.

Ambition.

The last few years of my young adult life, I’ve overcome a lot of things and have solved some of my life’s greatest mysteries. Thanks to meditation, I got over insomnia after over 22 years of suffering, learned how to quiet my mind after being diagnosed with ADD, and even learned how to subconsciously motivate myself. It’s been the most significant thing to happen to me in my adulthood, and something that could’ve changed my life entirely had I known about it in my youth. This was a several month long process that happened around two years ago. Now, something potentially even greater is happening. After a lifetime of idleness, but a desire for ambition, I have finally solved the mystery of passiveness. I have learned how to evoke and channel my ambition. And it is so exciting!

It all started a few months ago at my local Irish session. A gentleman I hadn’t met before came out, and he was a concertina player. To my knowledge, I’m one of the only "concertina players" in the area, so meeting him was absolutely delightful. I still have my entry-level Rochelle Concertina. My new friend has a Bob Tedrow(An American Maker). And it is a NICE instrument. He’s let me have a few sets on it. Playing it was so exhilarating, thrilling even. I felt so alive! And since that first time I’ve played, I’ve been working on my plan to save up the money for an upgrade. I have gone mad. Every time I discover a new concertina album, or a new player, my heart skips a beat. I’m obsessed with the few videos on YouTube of the legendary and renowned players. I am so bothered, that I am embarrassed at how much I desire more of this in my life. But as I have admitted, I am maddened.

But it’s a good insanity. My intuition keeps me in check and near forces me to be responsible with my money. Before I upgrade I’ll have a nice cushion of funds saved up and several bills paid ahead. I’m already ahead on my car insurance and will be ahead on my car payments in the coming weeks. If I make a profit of +$5,000 on my tour, I’ll be able to buy out 6 months of a lease for an apartment and pay 6 months of my car insurance up front. Judging from this last year of busking for a living and my financial records, that’s 200 music hours, working 25 hours a week for 8 weeks. I plan on working 40, with the freedom of the road and having nothing else to do but play and learn new music! I’m trying to be as realistic as I can be, but I have the numbers in front of me, it is certainly achievable! If I commit to the 40-hour plan and stay out of trouble, I’ll surely be in the clear.

But that was a digression. One of the reasons why I’m so confident is not only because of my new found experience but because; This Ambition, this Drive, this Grit, it’s new! It’s fresh! All of my life I’ve been fighting for motivation and drive. All of my life I’ve had to struggle with a spirit of passiveness and non-chalantness. But I’m not passive anymore. I’m not careless anymore! I’m active! And I care! I know what I want, and I want what I want! I have a lot to learn about ambition, but at least now I can call upon it when I am discouraged, or tired, or distressed. Now I don’t have to depend on meditation to kill my cognitive decision making biases. My own desire destroys them on its own! And now, I can take advantage of meditation, for rest, for debriefing, for clearing my head after a long weeks work and my internal music cache is overflowing.

In the last few weeks, i’ve learned two things about ambition. For me, it’s a deep and passionate burning, mostly in my chest. It feels a lot like anxiety, but also like lust. Like when I notice the sway of a woman’s hips after she gives me a coy smirk. It’s the same feeling, albeit not so much in my chest. And it feels quite different from inspiration. It’s safe to say that in my musical life, inspiration has been my driving force. It’s much more subtle than anxiety. And whereas ambition causes me to want to act, inspiration causes me to want to create. I would say that for me, the distinctive difference between ambition and inspiration, is that ambition drives me to work towards what I want whereas inspiration drives me to play towards what I want. Ambition drives me to do the necessary hard work that I don’t want to do. Inspiration drives me to do the easy work that you can’t really call work.

All in all, I feel so empowered. Like I can take over the world, my world. And all I have to do is keep my desires in my attention. That’s where it is for me. If I want to learn a new classical piece on the piano, listening to it, touching the manuscript, or watching others play it motivates me to learn it. I keep pictures of concertinas that I like on the desktop of my computer, along with other desirables like keyboards and pianos, recording equipment, pictures of Ireland, people dancing, all kind of things I want more of in my life. And it gets me out of bed. I don’t want a lot out of life, and I am a man of simple desires. Music, Love, and Friendship. And those things that must be worked for will receive their Due Diligence!

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I totally relate to what you are saying Jerone. But would you believe that I never had any ambition in my life whatsoever until I was 57 and started to play the fiddle? I am so driven by it now that I have no time to regret my past (and what’s the point because I would never have got where I now love to be without it).

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Jerone, you’re keeping me on my toes lately. I’ll try to keep up.
Your ambition is laudable and you strike me as very focused, despite the diagnosis of ADD (ADHD?).
It’s all relative.

The only thing I can think of at the moment is don’t put too much responsibility on your shoulders all at once. There are people who want to help you in your ambitious goals. Let them. Ask them.

I know you are aiming to earn your way and are working diligently on a business plan to make the busking and professional gigs contribute to funds necessary for success. Have you considered crowd sourcing also?
I have some friends in Chico who own a used bookstore which would not exist without (more than) a little help from their friends. I don’t know if you want to try Kickstarter at this time but if you ever do take a look at how Matt and Shannon Heaton set up their campaign to fund one of their projects. I love their music and was very impressed with this particular project.
~
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ShannonHeaton/shannon-heaton-records-her-brilliant-blue-dress-ir

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Gobby, they don’t teach us Grit in school. It turns out that ambition is such an abstract concept there hasn’t been a lot of studies done on it. But hopefully, there will be more information and resources available for the next generation. I’m happy that you found it! It’s still very surreal and new to me. It’s only been a few weeks but I’ve accomplished enough through enough strife that I know now that it is real.

Wouldn’t you know it, I discovered a TedTalk on Grit just a couple of weeks after I learned how to awaken it in myself? It was posted over 4 years ago lol.

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You’re quite something, Jerone. I hope I meet you some day.

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AB, as I just mentioned in a different discussion, and as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before, I am a big believer in utilizing all resources. I would’ve started a Kickstarter before but I didn’t have the confidence that I would be able to deliver the goods, that I do now. I didn’t believe in myself because I knew myself. I knew I couldn’t trust myself to follow through with my commitments. I’m sure the members have paid attention over the years. I haven’t always posted the videos I promised or finished the classes I took up. I haven’t been as present and active as I’ve wanted to be. And even though a lot of that is due to various tragedies that have happened over the years, it doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t follow through. Hopefully, in time, I can make up for some of those shortcomings and failures.

It’ll be nice to use Kickstarter when I have an active project that needs a little help but until then I’ll keep doing the hard work as I feel this is the best way to learn and progress.

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Thank you Ailin, me too. I hope I meet the lot of you in my travels. Sharing music and enjoying friendships is what this is all about. I think that’s what it’s always been about. Well, that and finding a wife xD

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Here’s the "Old Philosopher" coming out to play.. We’ll still be friends no matter how you respond to this. The idea that you take the time to think of these things have earned you all the respect I have to give.

Ambition is a wonderful thing. Without it our species might still be using stone tools. It leads to achieve great things as individuals and cultures. Reach high my friend. Don’t forget that too much ambition has a price…nagging, eternal dissatisfaction with what "is". As with any journey, don’t forget your compass. Maybe the hardest concept for anyone to understand is this…"enough". It’s not easy to put the love of what can be, together with the love of what is, but I truly believe that only when you do (meaning "one does") can you ever be truly happy.

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Best to you, Jerone. You’re so close to realising your potential I can almost taste it.

Be well,
AB

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Ross, I take to heart what you said. Firstly, thank you for your kind words.

My impression of ambition comes from Macbeth. He knew what he wanted, but he was so wrapped up in the desire he failed to realize it would’ve come to him period. He didn’t have to do what he did. And that’s what’s so messed up about the story. I don’t want to get so lost in the desire that others are hurt because I just happen to feel like they’re in my way. Thank you for bringing this up, it is indeed very important to ponder on.

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Jerome, I am truly impressed with your depth. In all my years I’ve never found anyone who would relate so readily, Macbeth to his own life. Hat’s off to you. If you ever find yourself in Salt Lake City, or near, let me know. My door is always open to you even if you just need a place to stay…of course playing some tunes is always a good idea!

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” I would say that for me, the distinctive difference between ambition and inspiration, is that ambition drives me to work towards what I want whereas inspiration drives me to play towards what I want. ”

Thanks for this line Jerone, truly inspirational. IMHO, we should all be choosing to follow our inspiration more and our ambition less. Our ambition can be easily manipulated/changed by external factors, but our inspiration comes from an internal place and can’t be manipulated.
Your conviction is an example to me. Bravo, bravo.

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Thank you Rosie. It has truly been an extremely introspective experience. I’m almost overwhelmed, not only by the energy, but by how much I’ve learned about myself and these emotions as a whole. I’ve always had a difficult time explaining to others what inspiration was to me, I could only tell them where it seems to come from. And you’re right, it does seem to be a very internal, self-governing device.

People have told me that I inspire them, especially with my words. I think it’s because I always try to be human, transparent, and sincere in how I feel about what I write/do. Maybe now with a sense of ambition, I can begin to not only further inspire them, but to drive and motivate them. Which means serving the world in the best capacity I can as a musician and as an artist. I’ve made a lot of questionable decisions over the years in the name of art and music, so I’m glad to finally be receiving some form of reward for committing to them xD lol.

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Congratulations on your new found sense of direction. As for your ambition, I say go for it. All great artists are obsessed. However, if I may offer a word of caution, keep your financial affairs to yourself. Not only is it considered impolite and embarrassing in the art of conversation, its also bloody boring.

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Thank you Fidele, and dually noted. On the note of financial affairs: A concertina upgrade is a major purchase and I hope to have all of my bases covered before going through with such a decision. Naturally, finances will have to be brought up if I hope to make a wise decision that’s in my best interest. Unfortunately, this community is the only community I have that can offer insight on the pros and cons of investing in an expensive musical instrument so caution to the wind, I felt it was relevant to the discussion. Unbeknownst to you, because of questions unasked as of yet, the question remains if I’m going about doing this the right way.

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It feels like babysitting sometimes.
The experience I’ve gained from caring for my children, all grown up now, and my two infant grandchildren, seems to serve me here, now.
Short attention span, inaccurate and immature conjectures, wild fantastic and unlikely expectations; snowflake people who are self centred and overly self-confident.
I don’t blow my own trumpet.
I’m a dour old scot. I don’t feel confident shouting my ambitions, proclaiming my wonderfulness, saying how excellent I am. I know it’s is cultural and nationalistic, societal and a bit religious.
I cringe at some postings here, the arrogance and ignorance of youth, the casual sexism, the sense of entitlement (tell me, show me, worship me, praise me!).
Just learn the tunes, behave in sessions, don’t boast, don’t alienate anybody.
Don’t create a "celtic" uber-land which doesn’t correspond to real countries and places; Ireland, Scotland, Montreal, et al.

Thanks Jeremy. Sorry I didn’t behave better all the time, I’ll look and use and not comment anymore, if that’s ok?
Caio.

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Allan21, do you wanna talk about something in private? My inbox is open and I have all of the time in the world. Today is a practice day for me, which also means it’s a social day. Hit me up, we can talk in private and you can say whatever you feel the need to say.

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Allan, I’m also open to any conversation you want to have in private with me. If you want to.

Ben

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Re:- " the arrogance and ignorance of youth"……… I am 66 years old and I feel privileged to have learned from and been befriended by many of the younger people on this site (including Jerone who once went s out of hi way to personally help me). The average age of people in my nearest town is 55, which means that many people (to me it seems like most) are older than I am, and I assure you that there is plenty of arrogance and ignorance in that population. To discriminate against young people is as bad as sexism. Unlike when I was young, our current generations are able to learn from each other and I really value that, both on this site and in my day-to-day life.

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We live in interesting times. Some might say too interesting. Communications are expanding faster than ever. One reason I’m turning to books (remember books) is so I can touch them; turn the pages and discover something outside my immediate world; a gift from an author. When I was younger our local library was an incredible source of vast information, stories, places for me to imagine visiting simply by opening a book.

Books are wonderful in their way. I appreciate their ability to connect me with the way the world was before. Sometimes I wish today’s world provided me with less information. It’s then I need to find a balance as I did before when I was young, curious and eager to learn about everything. It’s a life ~ learning to balance everything.
Life never waits.

So I appreciate discussions like this one from Jerone. When someone is willing to reveal his inner self, ambitions as well as doubts. It’s not arrogant to bare one’s self. Ignorance, yes, but ignorance with a drive to ask for advice. In this case not just asking but a willingness to listen carefully and learn from others’ experience.

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Onward and upward, Jerone. Don’t pay any attention to the moaners, groaners and old scolds.

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Thank you meself. You already know what it is.

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I wish someone would understand how frustrating this is becoming. Think of POTUS and his constant tweets.
It happens here as well.

Peace,
AB

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Does this happen a lot, Ben? I’m not as active on the site as I use to be. And I’ve never been much of a lurker in all the few years that I’ve been here.

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Jerone, I’m talking about all of us. My frustration is not with any one poster or any trend on the site.
My frustration is with forgetting we are all human. We are all one person.

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Books!

Oh! I forgot. Books are awesome Ben! I like them a lot myself. Everything I posted up top could be said came from a book in some way. I like listening to lectures sometimes too, but only short ones. Things I’ve been reading about and talking with others about. Books are excellent if you value them enough to spend quality time with me. Even music books are great if they’re well written and provide accurate information. I actually bought a small music book just today on learning the Jazz method for piano and will be ordering a larger one in a couple of weeks. We have so many resources at our disposal, and books are timeless! The really good ones are worth LOADS more in knowledge than they sell for in dollars.

You know, I finally got ahold of that Geraldine Cotter Irish book for piano right? I LOVE that book. And it’s designed and written so well. It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I recommend to every single person who asks me about learning Irish music on piano. On a similar, you know that App, "Duolingo", they have every lesson written out in detail on their website. We no longer have an excuse to skip our Gaelic learning studies! Even better, this fall, Barnes N’ Noble sold a HUGE hardback book called "A Treasury of Irish Fairy and Folk Tales". I already had a much smaller leather bound, that was also just gorgeous and I finished all the stories in a couple of weeks. But the larger book, it has over 200! I’ll be enjoying this thing for years!

Don’t say books around because I will talk your head off!

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"I’m not as active on the site as I use to be. And I’ve never been much of a lurker in all the few years that I’ve been here."

You’re better off that way.

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Jerone, I’ve always found your posts here to be thoughtful, helpful and informative. Your excitement about what you’re learning about music and about yourself is infectious and to be admired, not scolded. If we’re static we’re done for - life long learning is what it’s all about.

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Thank you triplet upstairs. That’s my intention. I like to share because I want others to know that we can be proud and enjoy ourselves. We don’t have to wallow in our shame and shortcomings. We can move forward, and be better musicians for it tomorrow. What’s the point of playing music if we’re going to be too ashamed of ourselves to enjoy ourselves?

I know the consequences of over-sharing. People will judge me, misunderstand me, cherry-pick to nitpick, and even assume that I’m a braggart. But for the sake of someone hearing that it is possible, that they can do it too, that there is a way, that there is hope, I am willing to take that chance, in all the shame that it brings. Because what matters most is that the people who doubt themselves learn to at the very least believe in themselves. Understand that they can be great. Or at least better. I owe the world a lot for what it’s given me. I will give back what I’ve learned to the next generation. And I will continue working and learning to ensure that I give them something worth believing in.

These posts that I write here, they aren’t just me talking. These are essays, articles, excerpts, short stories, and other writing materials for my future writing career. It was the members of THIS site who shared with me that they believe I have the potential to be a really good writer. So it is here that I share my writings, for safe keeping.

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Interesting, Jerone. I am a writer, too.

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Bluestocking, I’m not going to call myself a writer. I’m a "practicing" writer. An aspiring one! A wannabe lol. A funny story, writing was my first talent, but I fell in love with music before I had time to realize the value of writing. So I didn’t focus in my English classes like I did in my music classes, and I didn’t read books as much as I listened to music albums. I hope to make up for all of that though in some form.

Since I’ve been able to focus more on my music career this last year I’ve also been able to focus more on writing. Now that I have a computer again, I can write whenever I want to. And I can buy books and read to my hearts content. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be as good of a writer as I am musician, but if there is any chance of that, I HAVE A LIFETIME OF WORK TO DO!

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I understand you, Jerone. But I must disagree. Anyone who writes, consciously, thoughtfully, consistently—writes with the passion of one’s heart, the thirst of one’s soul—he is a writer. So you are a writer. And I am a writer.

If the work that appears on a writer’s page is poor, then that writer is merely a writer. If the work is good, then that writer is a good writer.

So we are both mere writers, who wish to be good writers.

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Some posters don’t like a bit of negative kickback. If you put yourself out there, you have to expect not everyone to agree, it’s not just your mates who read it. If you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, keep out etc. That’s life, tough, get on with it and play a few tunes. We’re not all happy clappy, pat on the back types :)

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Who are you talking to, Kil? Did Jerone complain about negative kickback? If so, I must have missed it. If not - what exactly is your problem?

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I love your posts Jerone - love the positive energy your bring.

If you’re grooving on your concertina lately, I have a recommendation for you; http://www.concertinachick.com/

Check out Flo Fahy’s stuff. A wonderful player and an even nicer person. She has an album coming out in a few weeks.

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Jerone, your posts are positive, fresh and well written. Always worth a read. Thank you for the insight and the bits of beauty and ordinary miracles you reveal through them.

And I was THRILLED to read your rhapsody on books!!! I’m not alone!!!

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I very much enjoyed reading your post and contemplating the ruminations therein. Being able to use words to cognify some of what happens when we make music is difficult; that crossing of space between audio to written passages. Keep going and i will continue to read:) Just coming out of lurking mode here

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Jusa Nutter Eejit, that is very welcome news! I’ll keep a look out for its release! Thank you!

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Robyn Roy, Denise Jenkins, thank you!

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So, I’m going to switch the subject back to concertinas for a minute after one slight digression. Jerome one can be born a writer or one can become a writer, but once bitten, you’ll never be able to turn away from it. I started at 8 when I learned the power of a semi-colon (I know it doesn’t sound like much, but when you’re 8 and discover you can make someone pause in reading with just a dot and a squiggle, well, that’s heady stuff). So, just keep writing. And reading.

With regard to Bob Tedrow’s concertinas — they’re a marvel! And he is one of the nicest human beings on the planet. His shop is like stepping back into the 19th century — he wears a leather apron and arm bands. His cash register is one of the mechanical kind that those of us of a certain age remember from the small country shops when we were kids. He drives his daughter all the way from Birmingham, Alabama, to Atlanta, Georgia (about 3 hours, depending on the traffic) once a week to study Irish dance. And, you’ll laugh, he’s got the best banjo picks in the South. My husband will only play with ones he buys at Bob’s shop, all of which is to say, I don’t know where you are, but if you’re in the U.S. and can get to Birmingham to visit his shop, it’s soooo worth it.

Good luck, and I hope you get your Tedrow. You’ll never want another concertina in your life!

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I think ross faison said it perfectly:

"Maybe the hardest concept for anyone to understand is this…"enough". It’s not easy to put the love of what can be, together with the love of what is, but I truly believe that only when you do (meaning "one does") can you ever be truly happy."

That is the place I’m hoping to reach. Ambition can help you achieve goals, but it can also make you miserable.

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Reelsweet, and see, those are the things that I wouldn’t know. Because passiveness has been my demon. I guess it’s one of those "the grass is always greener on the other side" kind of things? It’s like, with the curse of passiveness, you could end up going through life without living because you don’t care enough about anything to want to do/achieve anything. So seeing someone with ambition is like, "Wow… they look so happy with all that motivation. All that energy. They have the power. I bet they accomplish everything they set out to do. And I haven’t accomplished anything.". And even though all of those things may be fantastical or unrealistic, that’s how it feels. Being naturally passive is like… depression without the sadness. It’s… numb. "Oh, I didn’t practice today? It’s ok, I can practice again tomorrow.". Then a week goes by and no new tunes have been learned.

My first taste of ambition is intense. Like I said up top, it feels like anxiety or lust, but more like a life giving energy than a debilitating one. And it is a little intimidating sometimes because it is so intense. But I think it’ll even out and die down a bit after I get a few more things in order. I need it to be heavy in the moment because I’m trying to accomplish so much. I have so much music homework to do. Too much. Piled up over the years of passiveness. And now work calls for me to get it done. And I should get it done. Hell, the faster it gets done the faster I can move on to new and more music.

But don’t get me wrong, I am taking what you and Ross have said to heart because even though I’ve been out of touch with ambition myself, I have still seen some of the negative consequences it causes. It’s dangerous stuff, and it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t discover it until adulthood. I learned a lot in my passiveness. Not to be jealous of others, and learn from them instead. Not to worry and stress about things that do not matter. And just how nice resting and a clear head can be. But I allowed passiveness to keep me sleeping, and if it weren’t for inspiration it likely would’ve ruined me.

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Jerone, I totally get where you are coming from. I was very passive too, until my mid to late twenties (now in my early forties.) Congratulations! It is really awesome to make progress, and to feel motivated and passionate. I remember when it was just a teenage dream I had of being able to just sit in a session one day, and then years later I finally made my dream come true (in spite of a full-time day job, and being a single mother of two). So, there is something to be said in favor of ambition, or drive, or call it what you will (insanity?). I am really happy I got to where I am. Now, I think a bit of balance may be in order. I sometimes I wonder if I should have focused all that energy on something lucrative… But how I do love to play tunes!

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Having suffered severe clinical depression for near half my life I fear both ends of the bipolar condition. I have for a few years found and held my balance. If I have any ‘ambition’ as such it’s merely to be a better person and a better fiddle player. Being a recent social recluse, this site and the good people on it, have actually helped me with both these things over the years since I became a member. But ‘ambition’ and ‘passion’? Well No;- for me it’s a only about love and contentment. That’s where I keep my balance.

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Gobby, that was beautiful.

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Speaking of love and contentment I was working today at my friend who has the donkey (Gobby’s heard about my friend’s donkey). It is beautiful where they live and I was contented being there. Their name happens to be The Love’s, which I think is appropriate. She loves all her animals & 3 week old (granddaughter) Claire too.

Sorry for going off topic…

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Most of my discussions are pretty slow, there’s no worry for ever going off topic lol. Thanks for sharing Ben :)

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I don’t even see it as being too far off the topic. Inspirations. emotions and feelings is really what music is all about. Certain earlier posters seemed to have failed to see this, and I feel sorry for such people.

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Jerone, thanks for your enthusiastic and heart-felt comments; very refreshing and inspiring.
You started this discussion with a reference to meditation. I have been practicing mindfulness meditation to help deal with anxiety for a number of years now. An unexpected and delightful benefit was the clarity and focus it brought to my music practice. It is almost as if I have more time between the notes.
I wonder if you would share some of your meditation practices and experiences.

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I have for the most part enjoyed reading this thread. We should have more like this. It reminds me of a complaint I always had at university when I did archaeology:- i.e,- they train you to write in a s0-called objective, scientific report style where your person dissapears. Although I had to comply, this frustrated me greatly and I always used to ask. "but where is the human being in this writing?" Empathy and openness is is essential and beneficial to the transition of knowledge. Jerone, I believe that your true calling is in teaching. You are so gifted in it.

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Pauloz…

"It is almost as if I have more time between the notes."

Wow, talk about good writing *:D That’s powerful. You know, I think I’m due for an essay on the topic of music and meditation. But I’m looking at a very busy weekend that starts tomorrow and ends Monday, so I won’t have anything prepared until Tuesday. Is that cool?

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Cool? It would be wonderful!
I’m sure the wait will be worth it.

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Jerone. I am saving this thread for when I have time to read it properly, but I want to second Gobby’s suggestion that ‘your true calling is in teaching’. Right from the start on the forum you have reflected back what you have learnt in a very clear and coherent way - just what a student needs from a teacher.

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Okay, a word of caution: being able to ‘teach’ in writing and being able to, for example, deal with hordes of kids, and parents, and administrators, day in and day out, can be very different matters. Of course, school teaching isn’t the only kind, but think it over first … !

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Meself, your words of caution are well put, though I think any challenging, worthwhile occupation has it’s own character building aspects. I always say, "What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger." Jerone, you are a good mentor, you listen, you share, you grow through experience. I think you understand the teachable moments. That’s not just an aspect of the education profession. Teachable moments are very important in my own projects. I keep open to those moments when my work faces me with it’s greatest difficulties. I imagine if I were a teacher
I would find teachable moments, not by thinking of hordes of kids coming at me day in and day out,
rather by having empathy to understand the path they are taking; realising how beautiful they are.
Instead of thinking all their questions are dumb I would ask myself how things can become better for them through my understanding of their needs.

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I wasn’t ignoring your post meself, and thanks for sharing! It’s been a busy weekend and there are two more days to go.

I actually had a pretty "bad" teaching experience recently that humbled me quite a bit.

My baby cousin is spoiled rotten, so I’ve been trying to teach her how to have manners and use polite language. She’s a sweet child, she’s just very aggressive and confrontational in her speech. So naturally, I’ve been trying to teach her how to use the word "please". Well… She got in trouble at school the other day. Apparently, the children were misbehaving standing up in their seats on the bus. The bus driver would tell them to sit down. My baby cousin didn’t want to sit down, not only because the other kids weren’t listening, but because the bus driver didn’t say please. Her words, "I only answer to please". I couldn’t even argue with the kid, I was so taken aback because I knew it was my fault and she got in trouble over something I didn’t thoroughly explain to her.

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Sorry Jerone but that’s quite funny.

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… "character building aspects" - I like that … ! I always say, "What doesn’t kill you can leave you maimed and crippled" …….

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When I said ‘teaching’ and ‘teacher’ ‘school teaching’ and ‘school teacher’ had not entered my head.

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I know about that, meself. I’ve a few old scars. And one fairly recent. I’m working on a good teachable moment between my friend’s territorial dog and myself. He’s a very nice, energetic rescue dog. She found him chained up at a meth house and brought him home to live in a truly beautiful place. I work on her property and I do know that his ocassional aggression is territorial. I did a bit of research after he got a nip on me (not maimed or crippled, thank you very much). I still like him though and hopefully we can work it out. Definitely will say, "Please." I’m pretty sure reprimanding him will not completely stop his territorial aggression, just curb it momentarily and ultimately he will still consider me a threat.

Yesterday I went up to talk to her husband about their spring and the plumbing. When I’m with either of the owners it is better for getting to know him in a non aggressive situation. He is very territorial and because he is a rescue dog he sometimes sees me as a friend but other times senses me as an intruder when I am working on the property walking around. It’s baby steps, but yesterday we took several baby steps together.

Looks like I went off topic again. So to bring it full circle I want to thank you for reminding me about saying please, Jerone. Baby cousins will do that. Hang in there though. Learning goes both ways.

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Sorry for winding off-topic, Jerone, but speaking about teaching youngsters imperfectly … Some time ago (2.5 years now, which IS sometime ago for someone who has only lived so long!) I was skating in the community park. Although it is permitted now, in the park’s early days, skating was forbidden, and the large sign with a picture of a rollerblade with a red cross over it still stands there.

Well, just as I skated by that sign I was accosted by a toddler who pointed to the sign and tried to speak to me in his inexperienced, warbling tongue. His granny apologized to me and scolded him for interrupting my skating. Nevertheless he continued to point to that sign and try to speak. I tried to explain it him that is was allowed now, but he really was too young to understand, so in the end I just laughed, because I thought him cute, and skated on.

Ever since that day I’ve been feeling bad, because I know I just unwittingly taught a two-year-old that it’s okay to break the rules just because you’re older.

Next time I see him (I’ve never seen him since), I’m going to take off my skates right underneath that sign and walk back home in my bare stockings if I have to!

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I’m with Gobby. I swore off ambition quite a while back; I figure it’s just one more thing keeping me tethered to the wheel of samsara. A little grit, on the other hand, is handy enough to have while passing the time. I always enjoy your posts, my d00d.

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You too Cheeky!

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Or should I have said, ‘thank you Mr. Elf! ?

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Mr. makes me feel like I’m either my dad, in trouble, or responsible for something. ;-)

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Cheeky Elf, how would you differentiate Ambition from Grit?

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Damned proud of ya Jerone :) crack the fuck on man XD super good to see ya living the dream.

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For *me* ambition would be wanting to make a career of something that is a hobby for most or even wanting to make a name for yourself as the top dog. Grit, on the other hand, would be expending sustained heroic effort, even if only to please yourself and your cats, or perhaps your donkey.

Ambition without grit will get you nowhere; grit with out ambition will also get you nowhere, but you’ve got a really good chance of being happy when you get there.

I think you’ve got both grit and ambition, and best of all, you have a good head on your shoulders.

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More than differentiating between drive, grit and ambition it is significant to understand how any one term is used in context; what is the intention of saying one word instead of the nother. The "contemporary" use of ambition tends to be relatively innocuous. When I think of grit it is probably synonymous with Jerone’s use of ambition. Yet etymologically the words are easily differentiated.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=ambition&allowed_in_frame=0

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=grit&allowed_in_frame=0

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Hence the *to me* bit.

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Cheeky, I totally get that.

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