To Deadline or Not To Deadline?

***First things first. The results from the What is the One Thing You Can Do To Feel Better About Yourself poll are in and it was a 50/50 split between 1) Spend more time with those you care about and 2) Develop a product or service. I think it is no surprise that connection and contribution are the top two ways to make us feel good about ourselves. On to today’s topic.

Yesterday, I was at the music store in Fruit Cove, FL where I received a full fifteen minute lecture on the intricacies and importance of drum stick holding procedures, before I was allowed to even hit something. It’s true. There is an art to drum stick holding!! Who knew?!

At first, I was like, “Really?” I just want to hit’em. But no. Timothy had other plans for me. He had a whole “introductory lecture” on the topic, but for the sake of time, he was giving me the reader’s digest version. It was 15 MINUTES long! I was transfixed and intrigued that he was taking so much time on something that I considered unimportant. Who would do that? AND Do you know how long 15 minutes is when all you want to do is hit something?

First, he showed me the end goal of how you sit and play on the coolest ever drum set that I’ve laid eyes on. Then we went over weight, the how’s and why’s of thumb and finger placement and pressure, the angles at which the integrity of your wrist alignment was paramount, and finally, how it feels when you do it exactly right! What? I signed up for drum lessons, not for a PhD in drumming! Argh!


When I let go of my ‘getting to the drum pad as quickly as possible’ deadline, I was able to enjoy his love and passion for drumming and learn something important about him:  his desire to give his students the best instruction possible. He told me one of the reasons that he learned to go into so much detail in the beginning was the enjoyment factor.

If his students held the drum sticks right, they hit the drum pad better and more consistently. When they hit better they enjoy it more, sound better, and learn how to play faster. Triple Score! So he was actually saving me time, money, and increasing my enjoyment by NOT letting me hit right away! Who knew?!

I went into this much detail not to torture you with the arcana of drum stick holding procedures, but rather, to illustrate the topic of this blog post. A lot of the enjoyment of having goals lies in the process of your attaining them, and not just in the attainment, itself. Does that make sense?

In martial arts, we often hear that it is the journey that matters most and not the destination. Well, watching Drum Guru Man do his thing reminded me first-hand of what that principle looks like in action.

I am wondering what are your thoughts about deadlines? Do you love’em, hate’em or are they a necessary evil to help you accomplish your goals? Vote and I will post the results next week! Thanks!!


*** Speaking of deadlines. Quarter 1 of 2017 has gone. How are things going? If you think you might need a little help. I host  a free webinar that teaches you the three key tools the Pros use to make this year something special. The keys are:

1) Clarity and why it is important.

2) Vision. Have a vision for your life that inspires you.

3) Goals. Have a goal map that takes you from where you are to where you want to be.

If you are struggling in one or more areas of your life and you feel like you may just need a little help to get this year rolling again, this free webinar may help. You can sign up for it here.


Back to the story. My drum master guru is all of around 25, and is on fire. Do you know what I mean? He LOVES all things music. You know people like that right? They can’t help but download all they know on a subject, because it just feels so good. I ended up enjoying the heck out of the lesson, in part, because of how he communicated his knowledge to me. His love of drumming fueled my interest, and thus, by the end of the lesson, I was hitting all the right notes, and having a blast doing it;

Which got me to thinking about deadlines. If I hadn’t let go of my deadline of when I should be hitting the drum pad, I would have been seriously annoyed. I would have been impatient,and not learned how to hold the drum sticks, because I would have been focused on my internal dialogue that may have sounded like this: “How long is this going to take?” “I signed up for drumming not lectures.” “How hard can it be to hold a drum stick?” “Why is he wasting so much time on this?”

What my teacher knew, and I didn’t, was that how I held my drum sticks was THE driver of my enjoyment and progress in drumming. If I hadn’t have let go of my deadline, I would never have learned that, nor would I have enjoyed  his desire and approach to do the best job ever.

But here’s the deal. I don’t want you to get the wrong idea about deadlines. They are important in the completion of any goal, and they are good motivators for action. What I am saying is that adhering to a deadline is not always necessary or desirable. Some times, letting go of a deadline not only increases your enjoyment, but may just help you learn faster, too.

That’s it for me. Keep on, drumming on!

Until next time, thanks for reading!

Remember, you are so much more than who you think yourself to be

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