As I was going to work today, my daughter was going to an audition. I watch her, and I think about what it would be like going on job interviews (because that's kind of what auditions are) over and over again. "Performing" in whatever way you're asked, only to find out most of the time that they are looking for someone with more experience or less, someone shorter or taller or blonder or darker. So I told her that, as far as I could see, it was all just practice. Each time, just a mini class in how to do whatever part of the auditioning process that audition entailed.
I'm not sure if my sage statement helped her at all, but as I thought
about it, it began to help me. You see, we (or at least I) go through
life wanting to be on top, wanting to know what we're supposed to do and
to be able to move from task to task or position or position. When this
isn't possible, or when what we are doing doesn't work out quite as
we'd like, we think that we've failed, or chosen badly, or just need to
be somewhere else. If, however, we were to view each of our experiences
as "just practice" for whatever might come next, might we be able to see
the frustrations as learning experiences (either about tasks or about
people)? Might we be able to see failures as simply education in what
direction we really should go? Might we be able to use our "aargh"
experiences to help us next time we're in that, or another, challenging
How would our outlook change if, instead of viewing life and work as
wins and losses, we viewed them more as a series of practices? Would we
take bigger risks, or listen a little more to "team members" or
"coaches"? Would our "game" be better because we used our "practice"
time more wisely?
I suspect that my daughter will be putting in a lot of "practice" on the
way to getting the roles she wants--that's just how auditions are. And
if, along the way, I can take a little of my own advice, I'll be
appreciating my "practice time" a little more too.