I have learnt so much over the past few months from pupils and clients, from the very oldest to the youngest. One of my greatest takeaways is that dedication looks very different for each of us.
Recent global events have meant big changes for everyone and whether you are 6 or 96, we all had to find new ways to cope and perhaps eventually to thrive.
For a lucky few, moving sessions online was simple and they embraced new technology such as Zoom, Facetime, Teams etc., even finding fun ways to be creative within the platforms and make me laugh! For most we went on a longer journey together and I had to find alternative ways to share my expertise. It helped me become clearer in my language, to find ways of expressing myself that are more appropriate not for me but for the person who is listening and also needs to hear.
One of the presuppositions of NLP (neurolinguistic programming) that I learnt during my training is 'The meaning of your communication is the response you get'. While my intention may be clear to me, it is the other person’s interpretation and response that reflects how effectively my message is being delivered. Being flexible with how I convey that message is even more important when teaching or coaching online than face to face where rapport is easier to create.
Another presupposition of NLP is that 'Everyone is doing the best with the resources they have at that moment'. This varies wildly from person to person and from day to day at the best of times and with background anxiety in the general atmosphere we need to be even more kind to ourselves, to each other, and to adapt our expectations. In the middle of a crisis a few years ago, an amazing and wise friend said to me 'some days just to get your pants on the right way round is a victory. Celebrate it!' She was absolutely right.
So what does this have to do with dedication?
I have seen dedication in the actions of a client who struggled out of bed to join a zoom session in PJs with his first mug of tea at 3pm. I have heard dedication in the giggle of delight when a pupil understands a new concept for the first time. I have felt the power of dedication when a client is able to experience the freedom and release of a park run, totally pain-free after treatment.
My greatest revelation was life-changing; like most classically-trained musicians I have a tendency towards perfectionism and find it easy to work TOO hard. I have recently learnt the value of rest, allowing myself regular time to let my thoughts and my day meander without an end goal. This enables MY dedication to thrive and grow instead of drowning in exhaustion.
What does dedication look like to you whether you are a teacher, coach or therapist? I have learnt to notice and to celebrate dedication in myself and others without judgement and without comparisons. I have learnt to celebrate dedication as it looks right now in this moment.
Soclally distanced music theory lesson in the park – dedication in 6 degrees. Spot the chocolate rewards & the hot coffee for me!
Credit: pic, top of post: Dedication at the top of their game