The reading this week, once again, was a big reinforcement for me on some quality issues. As a teacher, I love the idea of students teaching other students, as was explained during the anecdote about the student symphony orchestra that visited Cuba. It’s not only “teachers” who can teach, and sometimes the message gets lost when the connection is not there. Lessons can be more valuable from peers who are viewed to be in the same situation.
I must say, though ,that Rule #6 – Don’t take yourself so goddamn seriously, is so simple it’s brilliant. On a daily basis, I need to remind myself of this. I need to hang this sign on my front door, my office door, and my classroom door. There’s so many ways to go with this, but I’ll use my personal life. I have two sons, and 8 year old and a 5 year old. After dealing with the stresses of work all day, I come home to my family, and forget that it’s not always about the structure of a daily routine, that sometimes we just need to laugh and have fun. After the homework is done, the dinner is over, and dishes are cleaned, there is little time left to have fun. Some of the most amazing nights are when we, as a family, just say “forget it”, and figure out how to let go and have fun. Eat a simple meal, leave the dishes go, and have some fun.
In the seventh chapter entitled “The Way”, the authors tell us to “Include mistakes in our definition of performance.” As a lighting designer for live productions, I can only think back on a few memorable productions over my years that have been A+. In my mind, for a production to be flawless, it has to include everyone and everything- The artist performance, the sound, lights, even the audience enthusiasm plays a role. Many times I’ve finished a show, and out of the thousands of lighting cues that I triggered that night, I walk away thinking “I was late on cue 5 in the verse of the third song”. It amazes me that one bad cue can ruin my night, and the view of the production that night in my mind, but it does. While I strive for perfection on a nightly basis, I must also realize that one missed cue did not destroy the show for the thousands of people in attendance that night. It’s tough, because we want to be perfect, but it is such an unattainable goal, that we must not make that the only criteria for success.