Why and How to Organize Your Life:
- The Conductor

The conductor had been warned to expect the worst from his new orchestra but the sight before him was unbelievable. Never before had he seen such a motley group of musicians. Members of the string section were using their instruments to fire bows at each other. A drunken fellow was using a drum as a trampoline. A cloud of bubbles emerged from a clarinet. Some musicians slept. Others had abandoned their instruments altogether and were juggling, smoking, playing cards or simply staring into space.

Surveying the scene, the conductor caught the eye of the tuba player, who greeted him with a friendly bumpa, bumpa. Melodies sprang forth occasionally but quickly drowned in the noise. Without some form of organization, it was obvious the chaos would continue.

As the conductor walked toward the front of the orchestra, some musicians attempted to trip him while others cursed. Ignoring his fear he boldly stepped up to the podium and lightly tapped it with his wand. Since few noticed, he struck the podium with all his might and yelled, “Hey!” The orchestra stilled as even the most menacing musicians went quiet and listened to what he had to say.

The conductor spoke with conviction:

“I’m not precisely sure how you got yourselves into this mess. However, I believe you all have talents to contribute to the orchestra. You also have musical instruments, music and a place to play."

“If we practice enough, we will attract an audience that will pay us to play for them. Our lives will improve if we are successful and we will earn money doing something we like to do."

“We need to cooperate with each other to succeed in creating music. Each musician is important and welcome to stay. However, I invite those of you who believe organized music impedes artistic freedom to either leave or remain silent."

“Each of you is expected to practice playing your instrument at home between rehearsals. We will begin by playing simple musical selections and work our way up to more complex ones."

“I am the conductor and I intend to lead us to success. I cannot succeed without your help. You cannot succeed without someone to lead you. We need each other. Are there any questions?”

At first the conductor was very systematic. Each musician was asked to play his or her instrument slowly, then quickly, softly, then loudly. Musical scores were matched to the strengths and weaknesses of the players.

As months of practice passed the musicians improved as individuals and as a group, until their efforts harmonized. With the conductor’s help they polished their sound until it felt right and was pleasing to the ear. As they prepared for their first public performance the conductor spoke to them:

“Remember the procedure we followed. We accepted the need to be more organized and sized up our strengths and weaknesses. We practiced playing music that tested but did not exceed our limits. We polished our skills until the music felt good. By focusing on the music together we have guaranteed our success.”

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