Competency and Passion are Not the Same Thing

You can be passionate about something but not competent at it (such as me on piano) and you can be competent at something but not passionate about it (accountancy was an easy A for me at high school). It’s a mistake to believe that we should prioritize something solely because we’re good at it.

Likewise to insist that something is worth continuing to do only if we get better at it over time.

The joy in the doing is sufficient.

If I encounter a piano and there’s no-one watching I will be unable to resist. I can no longer torment the instrument with all of Für Elise from memory, so usually it’s subjected to scales. Particularly contrary-motion E scale with its “E, two blacks, two whites, two blacks, E” rhythm. The sound may not be joyous to musical ears, but the playing is joyful to me.

There’s a line in the film “Room with a View” I’ve never forgotten. Lucy Honeychurch (the heroine) is playing Beethoven on the piano and Mr Beeb (the minister) says: “If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting, both for us and for her.” (Clip on YouTube.)

Aim to narrow the gap between what we’re passionate about and what we allow others to see.

Worry less about getting our ducks in a row.

Ducks in a row (or rather swans) in Edinburgh

They might just turn out to be swans:

Swans in a row in Edinburgh not ducks

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