There is nothing worse in the work of work than knowing you have a ton of stuff to do and not knowing where to start, where to end, when to move forward, and when to move on.

One could call it a coincidence that I am dealing with this RIGHT NOW in my own journey ~ there is a TON of stuff that I *know* I am supposed to be doing/creating/offering, yet the tsunami like waves of “what do I do?!” come fast and furious.

So how about you pull up a chair, and just eavesdrop on the following conversation I am having with myself?
Listen in on as I define struggle, failure, and persistence to, uh, Me.

Struggle

Struggle is the doing anyway even when the exhaustion and confusion are in full force.
~ Struggle is sitting down to the piano to go over Green Finch and Linnet Bird for the 100th time, and you still can’t play your melody line to tempo, but you do it anyway, even though as you are trying to do it you feel stupid and full of it. Because at least you can *sing* it to tempo.
~ Struggle is rushing to do final edits on your PERFECT 2 minute monologue because you misread the audition notice and you really need a 90 second monologue. In the waiting room.
~ Struggle is watching your kiddo go for the belt at the end, instead of the mix, and then watching them miss it. And then buying tickets for tomorrow night too.
~ Struggle is performing the French at NATS Auditions, even though you know your Italian diction is better. Because how else are you going to get better at it?

Struggle is also the practical stupids that get in the way when you are trying to win.
~ Struggle is spending 90 minutes trying to figure out why your printer won’t print the dang lead sheet you need for the jazz jam that started 30 minutes ago.
~ Struggle is discovering the dead car battery on the way to Final Dress.
~ Struggle is the kids refusing to nap when you need to write a newsletter.

Failure

Failure is the stuff that hurts. No one can *truly* define it but you.
~ Failure is being looked over for the role you wanted, even though you got offered that other one.
~ Failure is saying the most hurtful thing ever to a colleague because you didn’t take time to think about how it would come across. (Yes, me. Getting better, though. Hey! You too, and you know it!)
~ Failure is missing the deadline for that college app.
~ Failure is when your mom doesn’t like the song you are singing, or your sibling thought the show was “okay”.

The tricky thing about failure: We all have our OWN. It is the pain and heartache that may be no biggie to someone else, but it a HUGE deal to you. It’s the things other people call silly, the things you’re supposed to “get over”, but can’t, because they trigger something deep and yucky and ouchy and blech.

It is your responsibility, even your duty, to feel these things, fully and freely. You must never avoid them, because without them you will not be able to embrace “un-them”. Can’t know light without darkness, yeah?

Persistence

Persistence is being painfully obnoxious about achieving your goal when it gets impractical or difficult to do so.
~ Persistence is rewriting the monologue when you got a B, because it is the right thing to do for your career, not the grade.
~ Persistence is going home to sleep when everyone else is begging you to go out. (Difficult for the extroverts!)
~ Persistence is S-L-O-W-L-Y going over that same passage until it is never wrong. Even when you have to rebook the practice room for every *other* half hour.
~ Persistence is making more phone calls to more agents, even though the first 30 you made never got returned, and you have to do it on a landline because your cell died.
~ Persistence is auditioning. Again. When you called in sick once already this week. (This time you have to find someone to cover your shift… don’t be lame.)

YOUR TURN AGAIN: email me or comment: what are YOUR examples of Struggle, Failure, and Persistence?

See you next week!

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