Luck is when preparation meets opportunity

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When June rolls around I smile when I see this year’s crop of graduates posing around town for photos of their proud achievements. Seneca was right when he said, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.” Those who have graduated know that to graduate is not about luck, it definitely involves huge amounts of preparation along with the right opportunities. I look back at how my year has gone so far and see if I have any graduations to celebrate in my own world. Well, May’s ten year anniversary of performing at the Villa d’Este with the Supper Club Six is a graduation of sorts isn’t it? I’ve taken a lot of private and group voice classes over the years but nothing takes the place of performing in front of a live audience on a monthly basis. I so appreciate all the support I’ve received from the audience and my fellow singers. I know I’m becoming a more confident singer and my repertoire continues to grow steadily.

In June or July, I also like to take a look at how I would like the rest of the year to go.  I have been using Habitica, a free gamified productivity app I came across in my research on productivity boosts.  I am also reading a book called Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear.  Someone mentioned in the Habitica community suggested it.

As I’m reading this book, I’m understanding why I’ve been so happy with my habitica results.  Mr. Clear suggests that rather than setting goals, one instead creates strong habits that would lead to an identity you would like to become or become more of and curb or change strong habits that don’t lead there or lead to identities you’d prefer not to be, for example, Achiever verses Couch Potato, “Dreaming about it” verses “Really going for it”.  The idea is to make incremental changes and reward yourself when you do.  Incremental changes may be things like:  flossing every day to create healthier gums, writing three things in a gratitude journal each night to focus on the bright side of life, walking 10,000 steps in a day, to improve your mental and physical strength, etc., meditating for five minutes each day to create a spiritual practice that is enriching and proven to decrease stress to name a few.  Here’s   a link to a helpful article  Mr. Clear wrote in his blog about figuring out which habits aren’t serving you.

What’s been most powerful for me over the first half of the year is seeing that I have actually succeeded in creating some habits that I no longer need to track because they have become bonafide habits.   Hoorah!  I feel confident that if I am motivated enough to take on another new habit, I have the technology and discipline to create it.  I’ve learned though that I can’t take on too many new habits at once. That can be  overwhelming and lead to backsliding which is the opposite of productive!  One of the new habits is to take a moment appreciate something or someone each day.  Today that’s an easy one; I certainly appreciate you for taking the time to read these musings!

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