Hey, it's my blog, right? So if I want to tell you how amazing my wife is, I get to do that. And you can skip today's post, but I suggest you don't because there's a lesson in here for you (beyond the fact that Melissa Lema is amazing). Because deep down inside, I think you can be (or already are) amazing too.
The other day my friend Jennifer wrote a post called, “Who You Will Be And Where You Will Be 365 Days From Now Is Up To You“. I couldn't have titled a post better. Trust me, I know. Yesterday's post was similar but without a catchy title.
Her point, and mine yesterday, was that you can completely change how things are going for yourself and your business simply by the decision you make.
What does that have to do with Melissa Lema? Let me tell you.
When she was growing up one of the only things Melissa ever wanted to do was to learn the piano. For a brief moment, her mom was able to rent a piano and get her piano lessons. But it didn't last.
Was she sad? Sure. Did it stop her? No way.
When she got to college, they had practice rooms where she could play the piano and teach herself a bit more. Then she found a piano teacher and took lessons.
When she moved into her own apartment her first major purchase (after she started working as an elementary school teacher) was a piano. She still had that piano when I met her and we started dating.
Then we bought a new piano and she started lessons again, as an adult. And when we moved to Texas 18 months ago, we got her another bigger and better piano and she started taking lessons again – this time with someone who really pushed her to get better.
Does she practice right before her lesson (like my kids used to)? No way. She practices once or twice a day. And this has led to her teacher giving her harder and harder material.
Today she performed a 21 minute song, with her piano teacher, at their recital. It took her 6 months of daily practice. She memorized the whole piece – which is amazing to me. And the complexity of playing a piece written for four hands (on a single piano) is even more mind-boggling to me.
But how does this translate to you?
It's pretty simple, in my head. Like Jennifer said, your future is up to you. And here's where it gets super amazing to me, and why I started by telling you that Melissa is amazing.
Do you know what happens when your mom practices piano daily, or when your dad writes and publishes daily? It gives you no excuse.
My dad graduated with his second masters degree as I was graduating high school. On that weekend, as I was already accepted to Cal Berkeley, he said to me, “I just graduated with straight A's while being a dad, a soccer coach, and a full time employee. I don't want to hear that college is hard. No excuses.”
Yeah, that's my dad. And it turns out, we've become those parents.
I don't care whether my kids get straight A's. What I do care about is effort and persistence. And Melissa models it every single day.
So here are my questions for you.
- Do you know who is watching you?
- Do you know what behavior they're seeing?
- Are you clear about what values you're modeling?
- Are you making it clear that they control their own destiny?
This isn't just for your family or children. It applies to everyone you work with. It's what leadership is all about.
As I wrap up, let me simply show you this incredible piano performance.
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