Patterns and Principles

Posted on Posted in General, Practicing

On the last Sunday of 2013, my fiancée and I attended Christian Cultural Center to hear A.R. Bernard preach. In usual comprehensive and profound A.R. fashion, he began to talk about the Bible as a book of patterns and principles. While we Christians use the book as a guide to mold a successful life, I thought, “What a perfect message to begin the new year.”

After all, many people want to start the new year off successfully with new goals and lifestyle improvements. While resolutions looks great on paper, the common shortfall lies with the follow-through for completing these tasks. One may ponder the root cause of this problem, but the solution is simple: in order to achieve successful growth, one must adopt fruitful, consistent and non-destructive patterns.

Life comprises of patterns. Successful people have well-designed systems in place to yield fruitful patterns. For instance, a writer constructs a system of writing each day to author a book. A musician practices the fundamentals of music to play through songs. Fit people have a system in place of exercise and eating healthy. Wealthy individuals diversify their portfolios and study the markets to reap a financial harvest. Often times in life, we have to align ourselves with the correct system to achieve our goals.

While successful individuals develop workable systems, many people who struggle repeat the same, often defective, patterns. Tardy individuals lack a system of scheduling. Broke people ignore a system of budgeting. Immature grown-ups don’t accept accountability for their actions, words and thoughts. Repeating the same patterns without growth and realization will result in complacency in careers and life. Likewise, taking on unrealistic goals will plateau growth. I recommend developing a consistent daily system of doing to develop healthy patterns.

Looking back at my time at the Conservatory I made rather lofty goals, especially during the summer months when I had time off. Though I practiced every day it felt that I never completed my goals. Life happened and stuff came up. Moreover, I would spend more time trying to picture how to achieve the goal rather than actually completing the task at hand. Whenever I looked at my schedule and goals I felt overwhelmed. It took some convincing to begin practicing.

Once I began working in New York I shifted my focus on what clients needed. I focused on projects and music for shows. I really didn’t have the time to focus on my own personal goals since gaining work and paying rent took the helm for 2011. Through doing however, I gained a lot of material and improved my skills as a musician. Vocabulary in multiple idioms developed since I tailored music lessons to the people I taught. Aural skills blossomed even more so since I manually transcribed songs. The content of material on this blog grew by writing a little bit each day. My system or pattern developed by me naturally laboring. I didn’t need to spend time writing goals because I put others first by offering them my services, which in turn provided me with personal and balanced growth.

Principles work universally. Individuals can’t change fundamental truths. So wouldn’t it be in one’s best interest to form fertile patterns? New year resolutions often derail after 30 days. While some may critique the specific, measurable, attainability, realistic and timely fashion of someone’s goals, I simply recommend to keep a system as simple as possible that aligns with good principles. Once that system aligns, go through the process of doing something. Now.

About Nick Grinlinton

Nick Grinlinton has written 97 entries on this blog.

Nick Grinlinton is a guitarist, composer and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. He is a two-time ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Award finalist and has composed and played music for Jerry Seinfeld's web series "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee". A speedy runner, Nick currently focuses on racing distances from the mile all the way to the marathon. As he continues to train daily, he is currently examining what effect music has towards running. To learn more and to contact Nick, visit his website.

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