A Nifty Mental Hack to Help You Navigate Life’s Challenges More Masterfully

A Nifty Mental Hack to Help You Better Navigate Life’s Challenges

I remember sitting at my desk one day, in spring of my senior year, feeling a little overwhelmed about the idea of deciding where to go for college. I had an intriguing set of schools to choose from, but conspicuously absent from the list were the two schools that I really had my heart set on. And at that point in my life, receiving the telltale thin envelopes in the mail represented my biggest failure and disappointment. It doesn’t seem like such a big thing now, but at the time, it was a…


Two Ways to Repair Our Bruised Ego After Disappointing Setbacks

Two Ways to Repair Our Bruised Ego After Disappointing Setbacks

It can be a real boost to our self-esteem when we get 1st chair in youth orchestra, are accepted into the studio of a highly-regarded teacher, or advance to finals of an orchestral job for the first time. But on the flip side, it can feel like a real kick in the pants when we lose that seat in a seating audition, our new teacher seems less than impressed with our playing, or we can’t seem to get out of prelims. There are two common strategies that we instinctively use to handle such setbacks,…


Can’t Stop Worrying About Your Upcoming Performance? Here Are 4 Reasons Why - and 4 Ways to Stop.

Can’t Stop Worrying About An Upcoming Performance? Here Are 4 Reasons Why - and 4 Ways to Stop.

Will that check clear in time to pay my Verizon bill? Will this plane get me to my destination safely? Was that brie in the fridge with the date I couldn’t make out really ok to eat? We all worry about the “stuff” of our daily lives from time to time. Most of it is innocent enough, but sometimes our worries go beyond the fleeting concerns that pass through our thoughts, and morph into a more debilitating type of worry - called “perseveration” worry. Where we get stuck in a worry loop, and like…


Why mapping out your day and creating specific goals could be counterproductive

Why Planning Out Your Day in Too Much Detail Could Be Counterproductive

I don’t know if any of my teachers ever said this out loud, or if it was just something I intuited, but I always had the impression that I was falling short of their expectations because I couldn’t bring myself to practice in a consistent and effective way. So one day, I decided it was time to make a change. Time to buckle down and get really serious about practicing. I went to the bookstore, bought one of those hourly day planners, and sketched out exactly how I’d spend the next week. I mapped…