June 13, 2023

Drive Enables Breakthrough

Much of creative life is experienced in normal, recurring events that line up in sequence and create a timeline of sameness and repetition and “the ordinary.” We go to school or work in a pattern and interact with people linearly, daily, and similarly. These weekly or daily patterns are easy to see as we look forward to “the weekend” or vacation or holidays to break up the cycle. But a lot of detailed work and drive is required to keep the daily tasks and maintenance of life moving along and even more so with creative life and musical growth.

Larger patterns sometimes emerge where creative changes occur every year or every season or with some noticeable regularity.

Musical skill and creative growth reveals plateaus and breakthroughs at somewhat predictable intervals. This is where the internal engine of drive kicks in for those who can recognize their energy cycles, health and relational cues, and opportunities. Maybe everyone will be out of the house one day and you get to play more loudly. Maybe a final exam (or juried concert) is stressing you out and you need to push through some difficult skills early enough to let the skill become natural. Maybe the season change has caused some sickness and you need to plan more creative time next week.

We all respond to life circumstances both in the ordinary and the special with drive of some kind. While it is important to rest and be aware of stress levels and take time to recuperate, it is also important to take advantage of times for driving forward, whether to maximize growth in good times, or maintain confidence in tougher times. Your drive can often enable breakthrough and maybe that next level is just around the corner with a little well-timed drive.