Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hello to all my followers!  This is my first time blogging, so please bear with me as the posts come in sporadically.  I am looking forward to starting this blog, specifically for my conducting class.  The first couple of posts will be related to a book I am currently reading: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey.

I have to admit, when I first picked up this book, I was not looking forward to reading it.  At a glance it seemed like a typical motivational book that I would probably find dull and uninspiring.  As I read through the chapters though, it started to come to life to me.  Certain ideas Mr. Covey presented made great sense, and actually stuck with me.

One of these first ideas is the concept of P/PC.  "P" stands for "Product," and "PC" for "Production Capability."  Mr. Covey uses the story of the goose that laid golden eggs to explain the concept.  In essence, P is what most people go after in life.  Everyone wants the product; more money, a clean house, or even simply the front lawn to be cut clean.  However, what most people do not consider is the PC.  In the story of the goose that laid golden eggs, the farmer wants more golden eggs from the goose so badly that he chops off the goose's head in order to look inside and get golden eggs.  Sadly, after killing the goose the farmer discovers there are no golden eggs inside the goose.  This is what everyone does so often.  We want to have a good P, but we neglect our PC.  As we do this, we inadvertently kill the PC, and with it the P.

I see this happen in my own life.  For example, I consistently want to play harder piano pieces.  However, in order to do this, I must practice consistently and with a purpose.  The practice would be the PC in this situation.  I find myself all too often falling into the trap of simply choosing to do something else rather than practice.  In this way, I am killing my PC.  Along with that, I am killing my P: a harder piano piece.

So what is the overall lesson we should learn from this concept?  Take care of your PC.  Whatever that may be, if you want a better Product, you must care for and nurture your production capability.  Not only will you achieve your product, but you will go above and beyond that which you seek.

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