One day, a train was approaching the small town of Cheekyville. On the train was a strange guy with a big suitcase. He was called William Warbler – and he looked very common indeed. What made him most unusual, though, was the fact that whenever he needed to communicate he did it by singing opera. It didn’t matter to William whether it was simply a matter of answering a brief greeting, like ‘good day’. He would clear his voice and respond, “Gooood dayyy to youuuuuuuu….. tooOOOO!”
It wouldn’t be unfair to say that almost everyone considered William Warbler a massive pain in the neck. No one could get a normal, spoken, word out of him. And, as no one knew how he made his living – and he lived quite simply, always wearing his same old second-hand suit – they often treated him with disdain.
They made fun of his singing, calling him ‘Don No One’, ‘Poor-Rotti’, and ‘Lazy Miserables’. William had been in Cheekyville for some years, when, one day, a rumor spread around town like wildfire: William had secured a role in a very important opera in the nation’s capital, and there were posters everywhere advertising the event. Everyone in the capital went to see it, and it was a great success. At the end of its run – to everyone in Cheekyville’s surprise – when William was being interviewed by reporters, he answered their questions by speaking rather than singing. And he did it with great courtesy, and with a clear and pleasant voice.
From that day, William gave up singing at all hours. Now he did it only during his stage appearances and world tours. Some people suspected why he had changed, but others still had no idea and continued believing him to be somewhat mad. They wouldn’t have thought so if they had seen what William kept in his big suitcase. It was a large stone, with a hand-carved message on it. The message said: “Practice, my boy. Practice every second, for you never know when your chance will come.”
Little did people realize that he only got the role in the opera because the director had heard William singing while out buying a newspaper.
Moral: Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired. It means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire.
The key to success is deliberate practice. A LOT of it !!