I believe in Achievement: trying your best at everything. And if you don’t succeed, try harder. This is my driving force.
Having an end in sight and ‘busting your tail’ to reach that end is important to me: From pushing through high school, to maximizing my college experience, to eventually working my way up in a career. This mentality was intensified by my experience in high school band.
It was my first day on the marching field. Intensity radiated from the asphalt like the heat waves that vibrated the air. Bend…Flex…Touch…Roll… I learned fundamentals. I learned to march with precision, to carry my instrument at exactly 180 degrees to the ground, to snap my step and flash the bottom of my foot in an instant.
There was the same attention to detail indoors as well: Breathing exercises where we coordinated our hands as well as our collective breath; Intricate discussions about levels of listening and how exactly a forte was different from a mezzo forte; Demonstrations of a tone to strive for. Excellence was expected, given, and reached.
There was a silent pride which permeated through us all. Perfection was key. Working as one body, letting your fingers fly as one, feeling the same inner pulse, all movements unified.
I owe my band directors so much for showing me how to exceed all expectations, and then some. They worked as we did: as a team. One the perfectionist, logistical, and incredibly detailed; one always telling us we could do more, we could achieve; one—the leader and creative director—who united us all. They were amazing, and showed us we could be too.
Band showed me a place for never-ending achievement. After perfect tone was reached, perfect tuning could be striven for; then smooth transitions, then other progressively more specific goals. There was always room for moving up. I have come to realize this can be applied to anything in life, which will allow me to go infinitely far. The only limitation I (and the rest of humanity) have is our lifespans. The sky is the limit. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.