“Le véritable voyage de découverte
ne consiste pas à chercher de nouveaux paysages
mais à avoir de nouveaux yeux.”
(The real voyage of discovery
consists not in seeking new landscapes,
but in having new eyes.)

Marcel Proust

One of the true bonuses of getting off the merry-go-round for a few minutes a day is that our perspective begins to shift. Reframing is the best way of clarifying what’s important and identifying the noise in our lives – personal and professional. For with every passing day (especially in this amazingly wonderful connected world we now live in), there is more and more noise threatening to derail us.

Proust, as incomprehensible as he is to me on many other occasions, is crystal clear on this one. I spend far too much time seeking new landscapes, as if accumulating experiences, opinions and information will solve my problems. But really, what I need to do is find those new eyes. And the true surprise is that those eyes are already here, inside our souls. Our task is to open them up and be sure that their view isn’t obstructed.

Much of our study and development is spent in acquisition. That’s where our heads are in conservatory, in university, and often beyond: acquiring skills. Musical, vocal, linguistic, stylistic. The important phase of cramming more and more data into our heads. The trap lies in thinking that that’s where it ends; that acquisition is enough.

The attainment of skills is only the beginning. These tools need to incubate, take root, and grow within us so that they become something entirely new, ready to share with the world. I love seeing artists make this transition in a global way, for when they turn this corner and are ready to truly discover, learn, and make music, my job is done.

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
T.S. Eliot

Tomorrow: Uncertainty

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