Why Is It So Hard to Find Happiness?
There is a short story that is often used for motivation that you can easily find on the Internet. I had not heard this story until recently and it is such a simple way to make us think about how we all tend to look at our lives and why we “think” we are unhappy, stressed and spend so much effort to find happiness. The story goes as follows:
****************************************** One day a professor entered the classroom and asked his students to prepare for a surprise test. They waited anxiously at their desks for the test to begin. The professor handed out the question paper, with the text facing down as usual. Once he handed them all out, he asked his students to turn the page and begin. To everyone’s surprise, there were no questions….just a black dot in the center of the page. The professor seeing the expression on everyone’s face, told them the following:
“I want you to write what you see there.”
The students confused, got started on the inexplicable task.
At the end of the class, the professor took all the answer papers and started reading each one of them aloud in front of all the students. All of them with no exceptions, described the black dot, trying to explain its position in the middle of the sheet, etc. etc. etc. After all had been read, the classroom silent, the professor began to explain:
“I am not going to grade on you this, I just wanted to give you something to think about. No one wrote about the white part of the paper. Everyone focused on the black dot – and the same happens in our lives. We have a white paper to observe and enjoy, but we always focus on the dark spots. Our life is a gift given to us by God, with love and care, and we always have reasons to celebrate – nature renewing itself everyday, our friends around us, the job that provides our livelihood, the miracles we see everyday…….
However we insist on focusing only on the dark spots – the health issues that bother us, the lack of money, the complicated relationship with a family member, the disappointment with a friend etc. The dark spots are very small compared to everything we have in our lives, but they are the ones that pollute our minds.
Take your eyes away from the black spots in your life. Enjoy each one of your blessings, each moment that life gives you. ****************************************************************************
When I first heard this story, it amazed me at how my mind works and how much of a struggle it seems to be to force the mind to not look at the black dot on the page…or all the negative things we see all around us. When you focus on the spot, it actually becomes all there is on the page. It becomes everything in our life. This is not to say that the negative issues in our world don’t exist…we well know that they do, but our minds have been looking at the fact that the only object on the page is the spot, so therefore, the spot is everything…and so we instantly see the stopped traffic ahead, the car that just pulled out in front of us, the slight pain we feel that makes us wonder what become of it, we are or are not eating the correct foods to present us the healthiest life so we must be doomed…and the list goes on and on.
In our current times, with all of our media being the center of most of our occupied time, whether by habit or design, the focus is almost always based on what will get our attention – the black dot. In fact, when the dot is on the white page, there is no way to not see it. We literally have to block it or remove it to only see the rest of the page. I think this makes the most significant point of the story. We can not remove the spot or negative issues we face. We don’t have control of that, but what we CAN control is moving our eyes or focus on the countless good stuff that has and is happening in our lives.
This brings me back to the Mission of David’s Music House – We teach and promote kindness and support of one another by teaching and mentoring by example, using the most effective method of communication known to humans – The Power of Music, which connects us all through our emotions.
COMING FOR 2018 – “PERFORMANCE TRAINING”
Every year, since 2010, we have continued bringing new methods of music education and we have some exciting things coming for 2018.
We will be bringing more focus to preparing students to “Performance Training” by more use of our Coffee House Stage.
DMH Teachers will be bringing students out of the lesson room, during their lessons and on the stage to train them how to perform, including addressing the audience, speaking more, eye contact and thanking audiences following performances.
Next, we are introducing “Student Open Stage Performances”. These will be informal but geared more toward actually performing as if they were at an Open Stage. Teachers will be scheduling these impromptu student performances anytime during open hours and as often as desired and these will also be more opportunities for student families to see them perform. The only prerequisites will be that the student has already been taught how to Perform on Stage during their lessons and that no more than 5 students can perform on any single day, during normal business open hours.
We will then be continuing our Student Showcases but students will have previously performed at Open Stage events and will be more prepared for the more formal Student Showcases, thus making Showcases a more “REAL” performance.
I built the stage and Coffee House atmosphere for the main purpose of teaching Performance, as I strongly feel that this has always been a sadly neglected part of music education and nevermore so in our current YouTube times, when our youth look to making the Internet their pathway for success. Music is never more effective and powerful than when a LIVE audience is part of the performance and both the artist and listener are interacting or communicating for whatever purpose the artist creates. This is why David’s Music House was created and why we live by – “The Lesson Room is only the FIRST STEP”.
As always, everyone at David’s Music House is forever grateful to all of our student families and the community for all the love and support and for spreading the word of what we do.
Peace and Love,