Last weekend my wife Jackie scored us tickets to the James Taylor/Mormon Tabernacle Choir/Utah Symphony concert. It was a magical evening.
James Taylor is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and a five-time Grammy winner. He’s been performing for more than four decades, he’s sold close to 100 million albums. No wonder Time magazine heralded him as the harbinger of the singer-songwriter era. Bottom line: the man has skills.
It was amazing to hear him perform with the choir and symphony. After his final song, I got on my feet with the other 20,000 plus people in attendance and gave him an ovation as he exited the theater. We couldn’t sit down. The air was electric. We just kept cheering and applauding.
Then, all of a sudden, James Taylor returned to the stage. He picked up his guitar, leaned into the microphone, and modestly said, “I hope that looked spontaneous.” Everyone laughed. His performance was flawless. He knew he’d nailed it like so many other nights.
It was a priceless lesson to witness how years and years of practice can truly pay off. And then he began singing one of my all-time favorites, Shower the People. I wanted to lean over to Jackie and ask, “Is this heaven?” and then she would say, “No; it’s just Salt Lake.”
What was a remarkable evening for me and thousands of others was a result of one man doing a little each day for most of his life. I once heard someone say, “To do the impossible, you must do the possible in incremental steps over a sustained period of time.”
That’s you. That’s me. We can do that. Doing the possible, one day at time. If you do, you will one day witness yourself doing what once seemed impossible. And like James Taylor, when you’re finished showering those around you with the gifts you’ve developed, you can also be humble and make it seem like no big deal.
Some things in life are yours. You bought them. You own them. You learned them. Honed a skill. Someone gave you something. But sometimes those things really aren’t for you. They’re given to you so that you can be in a position to help someone else. Here’s how I found that clue.
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