Fearless Performance by Jeff Nelsen

The Journey of a Thousand Miles

It can be daunting to begin down the path of authentic and permanent change, but let's let go of that emotional assessment.  It is what it is.  Do you want to do this, and are you willing to do the work?  If yes, then we have a potentially simple path ahead of ourselves!  Congrats!  Not easy...so get bored with easy, and bored with negative emotional assessments.  Just start walking down your exciting path!



Helpful, but you're still not totally there yet?  Ok, here's your first step:

Years ago I was in Japan with Canadian Brass and we were coaching the Japan National Honor Band.  The group performed their piece and then looked to us for guidance.  We delivered wonderful critique and creative solutions to our English/Japanese interpreter.  "Timpani could be louder there, with harder mallets.  Clarinets can play this passage a bit faster and move the melody along and pass it to the trumpets a bit more smoothly.  This moment is recalling a Gregorian chant style, so think you are in your favorite church for these bars."

We gave a ton of wonderful ideas to the translator, but when he spoke to the ensemble in Japanese, he said three words.  We all laughed at the brief summation of our nuanced commentary.  The ensemble played again, and we were amazed at how everything we mentioned leaped off the stage and into our ears.  We of course had to ask the man what he had said.  He smiled, and said, "I say, "Play it better."


When we're heading down the path of change, we tend to make it more complicated than in needs to be.  Peel back the layers, and keep it simple.  One simple step turns into the next and the next.  Pretty soon you will have walked a thousand miles!

As you keep making things simple, keep in mind where you want to go on YOUR exciting path.  Do this, and your thousand miles will take you where you want to go. 

Jeff Nelsen
Jeff Nelsen


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