To say that my son Marc has a keen interest in music is an understatement. He listens to, and experiences music, in a way I never will – with focus, feeling and wisdom. He also loves to talk about music in a way I am challenged to contribute, even when we dig the same beats.
It was in one of those conversations where I am usually trying to fake knowledge or interest that I steered the conversation to my strength and passion – visual art, making a connection we both understood. Eureka!
It was probably because artists were suddenly popping up all around me I was thinking about art. Consequently, I was also thinking more about practicing it.
As I lay sleepless one night I had an idea to challenge Marc in what I called, "The Daily Art Accountability Project." Though he owns instruments, he rarely plays them. And I hadn’t picked up a pencil in many years.
With a fist pump of agreement the following day, the challenge was on. We agreed to support each other to spend 10 minutes a day, practicing our chosen art form. That’s it.
And guess what happened? Marc started playing and I started drawing. It didn’t matter what we did or how good it was, as the intention was not to perform, but merely to practice, to make a habit, to do what we wanted to do, but hadn’t yet managed. Have we missed days? Sure. It matters not.
What does Marc like about the project? "I always intended to play but never did. I always thought I’d do it tomorrow. This makes me do it."
Personally, I enjoy the escape. It feels like play. And to my surprise, I can still draw as well as I remember I could years ago. (Or maybe it’s the memory that has faded!)
It’s February. If your New Year’s intentions have faded, or you’ve given up on them, perhaps the 10-minute wonder might help. I’ve had many clients have profound experience and success by setting small, ridiculously easy goals with support and accountability built in.
Spending ten minutes (or one time) a day doing something you really want to do is a sure-fire way to success. The big hairy goals are well and good, but once you set the intention, just let them go. You can forget about them. Work in the present on the small steps. That’s the best way to get you to the big goal.
While I will never live my life "plugged in," I appreciate the music I have been exposed to on account of Marc. I love hearing him play – anything! This comes, in part, from being a parent. The other part is wonder. I don’t see myself as a musical being.
He hasn’t told me, but I think Marc likes to watch me draw. For Marc, drawing is unthinkable. However, there is one art form in which we both share some comfort – the written word. While I enjoy putting words to wellness, I expect Marc will one day write about music. Now we’ve got something to talk about.