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How to Not Be Bored

May 29, 2018

My first official job ever was as a grocery clerk at Vons (a subsidiary of Safeway).   Every work day, I put on my black pants, white shirt, sensible shoes, and my red apron (with my nametag firmly affixed) and walked the five minutes it took to get from my neighborhood to the store.  I think I remember earning roughly $6 an hour, which, to an eighteen year old back then was a fortune!

 

For eight hours, I would bag groceries.  Person after person, I would bag groceries.  Making sure I didn't put the bananas at the bottom of the bag, I worked hard to make sure I did my job well.  Occasionally, the job would get a little burst of distraction, like when I caught someone shoplifting, or when that weird guy was stalking me in the parking lot as I collected carts, but overall, it was a hum drum job that I did day in and day out.  

 

And, gradually, over time, I became bored.  Because it was the same thing over and over again.

 

And, dear Piano Teacher Friend, let's be honest:  sometimes piano teaching (or any job for that matter) can be the same way.  It can be boring doing the same thing over and over again.  

 

But, let me tell you how to overcome that by sharing how bagging groceries moved from boring to exciting for me.

 

About seven months into my job, the Safeway corporation decided to do a little incentive for its Central Coast stores.  Each store would send its best bagger to the mother ship for a bagging competition.  The winning store would get something --  but, I honestly can't remember what it was.

 

Well, that's right folks, you guessed it -- I was chosen to go from my store.  They sent me thirty minutes up the freeway to represent my local store and boy-howdy, was I excited!  I met with the manager there (ironically, years later, I would work for his wife at a music academy) and began the training process to get ready for the competition.

 

All of a sudden, bagging groceries moved from being a job to becoming an art.  How I put together each bag became very important.  The order in which I loaded the groceries became crucial.  The final product -- a beautiful, perfectly loaded bag of groceries, became the goal.

 

Now I did actually compete eventually in the big competition, and, you know what, I didn't win.  But here's the deal, I did win something even better:  an uplifted vision for bagging groceries.

 

Some of you might be scoffing at my story (which I promise is all true!) but I don't want you to miss this important point:  the boredom vanished when I had a higher vision.  

 

When I trained.  When I learned a better way.  When I decided to be the best that I could.

 

How could your boredom vanish in teaching the piano?  When you train.  When you learn a better way.  When you decide to be the best piano teacher you can be.  

 

So, read those blogs.  Attend that workshop.  Tweak something you are doing.  

 

Put some effort into YOU -- growing in your skills, in your understanding, in your insights about teaching.  I promise the boredom will begin to fade.

 

So, whether its bagging groceries or teaching piano, train, learn, decide -- and you'll be glad you did.  

 

 

 

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