Lessons from the Olympics and American Idol!

Have you ever noticed that those who act on their dreams with discipline and training are the ones who reach their goals?  And, those who are dreamers-only, without discipline and training usually don’t accomplish their goals?

In the Olympics we see only the best of the best.  Those who for years have paid the price to physically and mentally prepare for the toughest competitions in the world. The ones who know that 2/100ths of a second can make the difference between winning and loosing.

They have to train well
, eat well, rest well and do everything in their power to stay healthy.  Even a small cold or upset stomach can compromise their performance, and they know it. Performing at the Olympic level is very inconvenient and costly, but that’s what it takes, and they are willing to pay the price.

In contrast, American Idol shows it all.  We see everything from the very gifted and talented to those who have no idea what they are doing.  Many have been encouraged to audition based on their talents and dedication.  Others have been encouraged to audition by well-meaning family and friends when what they really needed was more training.  It’s no different than sports.  It takes more than just wanting it.

What really shows the value of intense, professional training and coaching is what happens in the performances of even the best singers.  They continue to improve.  Many become truly great vocal communicators.  They learn to own it all: The high notes, movement and expression.  They deliver complete message to the audience, and that takes work, and the right kind of training.

One big lesson for us all is to know when to just encourage someone with positive comments and when to point them towards excellent training. As I have said many of times, Inspiration Without Preparation leaves you incomplete, lacking necessary skills and consistency. And, Preparation Without Inspiration often leaves you mechanical, and boring.

Does that mean we should only dream about things we are sure to accomplish?  No. I regularly dream about doing all kinds of things that I couldn’t possibly accomplish in one lifetime, and I’m fine with that.  But, I also realize that if I am honestly interested in accomplishing a certain goal, I have to be willing to pay the price of training and discipline.  Sometimes I am willing; sometimes I’m not, but at least I know it.

How do these thoughts challenge you? Hopefully, you will look at where you are now as a singer, where you would like to be and make the big decision: Am I willing to pay the price to get to the next level?  Will I sacrifice to make the time and resources available for my training?

If the answer is yes, do the necessary research to see what training is available in your area, or what resources you should purchase.  If the answer is no, that’s fine, too. You can still enjoy singing at your current level and stop being anxious about not being more accomplished at this time. In either case, it’s good to identify what should, or should not be happening right now and act accordingly.

Review the underlined phrases above and sing on!