Struck a Chord, Pt. II

In my first “Struck a Chord” article (read it here!), I explained five life lessons I learned from my ukulele. In this second establishment, read about what another instrument—my piano—has taught me about life.

 

1.   Sometimes the world really is in black and white.

It’s easy for us to get caught up in the details and over-analyze something that’s, in fact, way less complicated than we make it out to be. Sometimes the answer really is just yes or no; it isn’t a complicated, multi-step equation that’s bound to be filled with errors. Embrace the simple moments because, trust me, they’re rare. Embrace the black and white!

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2.   Actions speak louder than words.

Clearly, when someone is playing the piano, it’s the music they’re creating that speaks for them. It’s important to remember that our actions really do speak louder than our words—hold the door open for the person behind you, give your friend a tight hug when they’re sad or stressed out, take the time to make a handwritten letter for someone you love. The possibilities are endless and there’s truly no limit to what you can do for someone else without saying a single word.

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3.   The key to happiness is resiliency.

People will claim that there are tons of different “keys to happiness”—in my opinion, though, being resilient is number one. The reason: when we find the strength within ourselves to push through conflicts in our lives and end up conquering those challenges, we become filled with the utmost pride and happiness. This is because the final result, whatever we were chasing after, made all the issues and difficulties beforehand worthwhile. When I begin learning how to play a new song on the piano, for example, the resiliency that carries me through the challenges of frequently messing up or needing to practice a certain part over and over again makes the song sound SO much better in the end!

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4.   A minor step may lead to a major accomplishment.

I won’t be the first person to say that baby steps are just as important as the big ones. It may be hard for us at times to focus on the little victories we achieve every day (like pushing through a tough workout or joining a club we thought sounded interesting) because our minds are set on the end goal (like losing 20 pounds or being club president). Celebrate the little things because without them, the big things wouldn't exist.

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5.   Refrain from repeating the past.

I’ve been guilty of doing this more than once—giving an ex another chance, trying to forgive an untrustworthy friend—and it usually comes back to bite me in the ass. Repeating the past via second chances, while they’re a really nice thought, is not only a poor usage of your current time (in the present!), but it’s also almost never the way we hoped it would turn out. Maybe in a song it makes sense to repeat a particular sequence of notes because they sound really good together; in life, though, always trust your gut instincts and always move forward—never get yourself stuck in the past!

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Give it a try and take a deeper look into the instruments that surround you now—you never know what they might teach you about life!