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One step at a time   by David Gordon

after many years of singing and helping other people to sing


One step at a time.

Every journey begins with one step. And every long journey takes place one step at a time.

As singers, our troubles sometimes begin when we forget this principle, and instead try to do everything at once. Or we choose to look only ahead into the future and become fixated on the "success/failure" of some specific goal.

Even the largest projects can be best accomplished by doing things one simple step at a time. In singing, as in life, small tasks done with great attention outlast great things done frantically or meaninglessly.

The wise singer brings full attention to each simple action - the breath, the onset of a note, the shape of a phrase. Nothing should escape your notice. And in that one-pointed focus, things become easier, and more fun.

The wise singer does not attempt to accomplish everything at once. Maintain your focus on your overall intention, on the shape of your life, but release your fear of failure and your attachment to success. Because life is much more complex than some overly simplified "either/or" choice. Focus on your journey, but always be open to new ideas, new choices, and new outcomes.

Don't hurry your progress as a singer, and don't jump ahead of things. Realize that you have only the moment you are in right now: the breath, the note, the phrase, the song. If you draw all your attention to the present, you will experience fewer obstacles and less fear. You will not be distracted, your attention will be total.

You have all the means within you to fulfill your potential. Everything that is available to you is available right now. You just need to learn how to utilize your own resources.

When you are not distracted, you become alert, creative, resilient, and focused. And when you are focused in the present moment, you will experience greater clarity. Through clarity comes self-awareness. Through self-awareness comes greater control, and deeper artistry.

One step at a time.

Copyright 2003-2007 David Gordon

Inspired by the Tao te ching, verse #63


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