So you've hit it big! You're a big deal and a self-made success story. You've played for the President and graced the stage of Carnegie Hall. You're a regular on the MEA speaking circuit and are in high demand as a clinician and expert in the field of music education. Yep, that's right. Good ole Freddie Fennell ain't got nothing on you! Clearly, you're the result of uncanny skill and a ridiculous work ethic.
Or maybe not. Maybe it's luck.
Recent studies are showing that's the most likely reality, that luck played a larger role in our success than we give it credit for. Think about all of the things that have affected your professional standing that were either out of your control or happenstance. Imagine yourself being born in a different country, or having gone to an elementary school where music was not offered. Imagine working for a principal who is unsupportive (I know, it's hard to imagine, but just try) or teaching in a school in New Orleans decimated by Hurricane Katrina.
Yes, hard work and talent are paramount, but are not the only elements to success.
Luck is a factor that's often hard for people to attribute as a part of their success. Call it cognitive dissonance or inner ego, the result is the same. We tend to fall victim to our self adulation and congratulations, when in reality, it's not just what we did, but when it happened and who helped us.
We all want to feel successful. We all want to feel special in a singular way. I am certainly no different. Lately, however, I am becoming more at peace with the idea that I am not special, remarkable, or singular in any way. Let's be honest, I am surfing in the wake created three decades ago by Dr. Tim, and doing a job that many of you could do just as well, if given the opportunity. I am happy and at peace with where I and am comfortably grounded in what I believe.
Yes I am very much "all in" in my pursuit of all things music education, but "all in" doesn't mean all alone. After all, I have YOU.
How lucky am I?