In life we all are bound to encounter stressful situations. They can range from “small” to “huge.” I have noticed that some people will allow their stressful moments to alter their moods significantly. They frown, they worry, they complain, and then in most cases they fail. I am probably a little different, but my own definition of stress is “What we allow others to put on us.” You see, if you have any type of productive life then chances are you will encounter stress. The magnitude of it might be large, but how you handle it should be even larger. I had a gig the other day with a keyboard player who was stressing out. I had not played with this guy in years but I was asked to perform for this event with him. He kept worrying about whether or not I would know any of the songs he wanted to play. He had a chart book to help me play the songs, but I had to tell him that I “didn’t read music.” He get all hyped up and said,”Then how are you going to play these songs?” I simply told him to start playing and stop asking so many questions. He called out the titles and asked “Do you know these tunes?” I simply told him “No, but I am going to play them anyway.” He did not like that answer, but it was time to start so he began playing. I, in turn, began playing with him. You see, when you have something called “perfect pitch” it helps you to hear things much better than most other people. I simply “followed every piano chord he played” and then played the “entire show.” After the first set, he told me that I was “lucky.” I simply told him that I was “blessed.” The rest of the gig went pretty much the same way, and after it was over he was practically speechless. So was I, because I “already know I’m bad.” I am not trying to say that in the cocky sense, but when you feel secure about what you do, then in most situations there is no such a thing as “stress.” In fact, I actually “smiled a LOT while he was bugging out.” In just about any stage of life, we have the choices of being “worriers” or “doers.” If I know ahead of time what is expected of me then I can “calmly” execute my “plan of action.” I don’t look for excuses, because when you do you often “find” ways to fail. For example, if I am running late for an engagement I don’t bother looking at my watch. That’s because looking at my watch “won’t get me there any faster.” The only thing it does is “add more stress to what you are trying to accomplish.” Once I get to my destination, I feel more relaxed from “not” having watched the clock and my demeanor feels more productive to me. Everyone has their own formula for dealing with stress. I only hope that yours works for you as well as mine works for me. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought, and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Dionne Warwick and Brett Jolly in concert