Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Looking Ahead (Part I)

Lately, I have been noticing a new concept that I have been living by though it has only just come to a conscious level in the past year or so. It's the concept of focusing ahead, keeping your eyes up and anticipating the future.

I kind of explored this idea through different outlets over the past few years, most recently with a trip to Colorado in which I learned, albeit poorly, to snowboard. Expecting a fairly steep learning curve, I decided to do all I could in preparation before actually arriving at the base of the mountain. One thing I read, which came to be very important to me, was the discipline of keeping your eyes up and on where you were going, not, as many beginners do, at your feet.

The more I did this, the more I progressed, and the more I thought about the general applications of this concept. And as I pondered it, I began to realize that I had been putting this concept into effect in many aspects of my life without necessarily making conscious note of it. When I worked at the local Borders Bookstore, closing the Cafe in the evenings, I would have to set my focus on what was to be completed by closing time. At a restaurant where I served, I would have to think ahead, anticipating guests needs and what I could get done along the way instead of meeting each immediate need, one at a time. In music, when sight-reading, I learned to force myself to look several measures ahead, taking in as much information as possible and giving my brain time to decode it by the time it came for me to play the notes in tempo. And in my performances on the piano, I was always endeavoring to keep a broader scope of the piece as I made my way through it, interpreting it and expressing an overall, polished effect.

So if this concept had been applied to these other areas, increasing my efficiency and productivity, could I apply this to my life and to my schedule? I had plenty of things in which I could be more disciplined and efficient. When I sit down to do homework, many times I become distracted and meander without accomplishing much. Or the days where I walk in and out of the gym, accomplishing very little in the span of an hour and a half. What about the times when, unmotivated, I sit in the practice room simply attempting to fill my practice time instead of actually making use of it. Or when I got home between classes to eat something quickly, only to find that all my options where either unhealthy or too time-intensive to prepare.

My problem in all these areas was that I was waiting until the time in which I was to complete my task before I even began to think about how to go about completing it.

So, I came up with a plan...

(To be continued.)


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