Tag Archives: success

A Work in Progress (with Guest Artwork)

ballet3invertedballet2inverted

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ― Confucius

It has been a very busy week preparing for our annual showcase. Long days leave us with hanging limbs, aching muscles, cracking ankles, and lots of homework waiting in our school bags. And I love it. Even when it means the rest of Canada is celebrating a long weekend while we have rehearsals in two out of the three days.

Don’t  get me wrong, I enjoy being lazy. There truly is nothing like lounging around on a couch reading a book, watching nostalgic television shows, and blogging away here on WP, but being busy is satisfying. Having work and goals leads to personal growth that makes us feel like a contributing part of society. Vacation is great, but I think, as human beings, if we had all the time in the world we would still find some project to work on, because we are naturally curious that way.

In ballet, it is much the same way except we can’t decide when we dance from when we want to, but also when we need to – it’s about discipline as much as desire. Maintaining strength and stamina is especially important the days leading up to a performance because often, muscle memory isn’t enough. After getting into the routine, our bodies crave the exercise, and sometimes even the soreness, strangely enough.

Ballet is a never-ending process of discovery. Each day, we get into class practising the same movements we’ve been doing for years. But then again, it’s never the same because bodies change and we are constantly finding new ways to engage our muscles and refine our artistry. Perfectionism is a raging epidemic in dancers because everyone is in pursuit of pure, classical, virtuosity. There is an internal hunger in all of us to reach the ideal, ballerina whose picture only becomes more perfect the closer we get. It’s what keeps us on our toes.

The older I get, the more I realize you cannot have a successful career unless you are head-over-heels-flat-on-your-face in love with ballet. Work is paired with passion, and learning about the art form and yourself is just as important as the performance onstage. With the words from my teacher, I’ve realized that there is never a finished product and that we are not “finished dancers”, especially as students still in a school. There is always more to learn and more to improve on to fulfill the potential that sometimes we don’t see in ourselves. And this does not only apply to ballet.

——————————————————————————————————–

http://greenembers.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/ballet1inverted.png?w=179&h=319
I would like to acknowledge Bradley for his beautiful sketches (that he drew for me a LONG time ago) and that inspired me to write this post. Please check out the original art and his blog here!

As you’ve read, I have incorporated an excuse for my inactivity in this post and am itching to complete all the ideas that I had a few weeks ago in my What Now? list. There is a lot of school work to be done this weekend, and as I’ve mentioned, rehearsals, but I am determined to write at least one little something each day.

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

10 Comments

Filed under Dance

Hello (NapoWriMo #17)

The only person you should try to be better than… is the person you were yesterday.

I am ecstatic you have returned again
My inspiration, my friend.
Maybe you can dispel this cloud of fear,
Would you like a cup of tea, my dear?

There is a person in each person’s life
Strong in joy, and grief, and strife
Determined and free-spirited in every respect
How can anyone be that close to perfect?

A person that everyone can look up to
I want to grow and become more like you
Work will let this dream be
Then I finally see
That I am you. And that person is me.

As Whitney says, “Learning to love yourself, that is the greatest love of all.”

And in one of my favourite quotes from the movie Wreck-it-Ralph, Bad-Anon’s motto: “I’m bad, and that’s good. I will never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be than me.”

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

16 Comments

Filed under NaPoWriMo Challenge

Dance Competition (NaPoWriMo #7)

Image of dance trophy from Aford Awards

My baby sister made me proud today.
She swept medals and trophies, was a star.
I was never a competition dancer, I say.
But, would I have gotten that far?

——————————————————–

Our family was at a dance competition all day, explaining this short, late post. My sister won three special awards, three overall prizes for her ballet, tap and jazz solos, judges’ choice, and highest overall for the top mark of the competition. It was a very long and tiring day, but it was worth it to see the joy on her face onstage, and to support her in a surprisingly extraordinary outcome. I am completely unmotivated to go back to school tomorrow after spring break, but time waits for no one, so good night all!

Thanks for reading,
thebookybunhead

Leave a comment

Filed under NaPoWriMo Challenge, The happenings

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck: A ‘key to success’ book that actually serves its purpose well

Let’s face it. There are so many self help books out there, it is a difficult task to decide on picking one that is actually helpful despite reading the cover, judging the authenticity of “it will change your life” quotes,skimming through the content. So I have saved that trouble for you, tadah!

Possibly the only book you ever need to become successful:

Mindset

I do not hesitate in saying that this book will change your life. It sounds so cliche, but it is so true! I cannot articulately explain just how (that’s what the book is for) but basically, it enlightens us to the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.

There are so many things outside of our control; we can’t change the world around us, our situations, or how others act and think. And it’s hard to change ourselves, our habits and our personality. So this book doesn’t tell us how. What we can change is how we look at ourselves and the world. And that is what this book is about. It is amazing how a change in perspective not only affects the way you think, but also how you act and react. It is an idea that is so wide-spread it can relate to everyone – students, teachers, parents – and be applied to all aspects of life, whether you’re an athlete, a musician, or an accountant.

Here’s an excerpt from her website with a helpful example:

“In the academic arena, mindset plays an important role. Students with a growth mindset are more likely to continue to persist when they struggle, while those who believe their intelligence is fixed are more likely to give up. Dweck has shown, too, that cues from parents and educators about performance can impact students’ beliefs and future actions.

Consider this example: a student completes a challenging mathematics problem successfully and her teacher offers praise by saying, “Great job! Clearly, you are very good at math.” What effect might this feedback have on the student’s beliefs? Dweck’s research indicates that this type of feedback—praising innate ability—reinforces the fixed mindset and the belief that people are born either with mathematics skills or without them. Further, she has shown that praise that reinforces this belief undermines students’ motivation and future learning, leading them to avoid more challenging tasks to protect themselves from failure.

Now consider an alternative: when the student completes the challenging mathematics problem, the teacher responds by saying, “Great job! You must have worked hard at that problem! Nice effort!” How might this feedback have a different effect on the student’s beliefs? Dweck has demonstrated that this response—praising effort instead of intelligence—reinforces the belief that success is developed through persistent effort. Dweck’s research also shows that even when a student fails at a task, this type of feedback indicates that struggle and failure are normal, and that effort is a crucial part of eventual success.”

And the best part about this book is the simplicity of its message. Some of you may have heard of the famous “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey, and while I learned from that book too, this one’s better. There aren’t many rules to follow or steps to take that are difficult to remember, instead only one, clear message:

I'm going to succeed cause I am crazy...

Ok, so this is a very crude portrayal of the concept but it gives you the idea.

I have seen a great difference in the way I approach my work in both ballet and school since reading this. Because I am less concerned about what I can do now but rather what I will be able to do in the future, perfectionism has diminished allowing me to take more risks. It also taught me that talent is not enough. Through hard work and perseverance anything is possible, and the book has many examples of that. I don’t procrastinate as much, scared to start a paper, worried that it will not turn out perfect – because it is my effort and how much I learn during the process that counts. This idea persuaded me to work harder by doing extra exercises to supplement the training of my daily dance classes. After reading it, I just felt so enlightened and motivated that I truly can reach, or at least, should try to reach, my full potential.

I hope I have interested you in this book if you haven’t read it already (in which case I’d be interested to hear what you think) because sincerely I’d feel like I’ve contributed to a better mankind with each person that reads this. I guarantee it is a worthwhile read, if not mind-bogglingly life-changing at least moderately interesting.

Read on,
thebookybunhead

7 Comments

Filed under Books