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Oh No, You Wouldn't! - Nightingale

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Hi ,

Here's another short essay for your use:


Another essay by Earl Nightingale from the How to Completely Change Your Life Series


Oh No, You Wouldn't!

An accomplished woman musician gave a great piano performance for a woman's club. Afterward, over coffee, a woman gushed to the virtuoso, “I’d give anything to play as you do.”

Whereupon the woman who had given the concert took a sip of her cofiee and fixed the red-faced, slightly perspiring matron with a cold gaze. And she said, “Oh no you wouldn’t!”

A hush fell over the group, coffee cups stopped on their ways to and from their saucer, and the perspiring matron squirmed in sudden embarrassment. Looking about her she repeated, but in a softer voice, her original statement, “I would, too, give anything to play the piano as you do.”

The female virtuoso continued to sip her coffee and shake her head. “No, you wouldn’t,” she repeated. “If you would, you could play as well - possibly better, possibly a little worse than I do. You’d give anything to play as I do except time - except the one thing it takes to accomplish the fact. You wouldn’t sit and practice, hour after hour, day after day, year after year.” Then she flashed a warm smile, “Understand,” she said, “I’m not criticizing you. I’m just telling you that when you say you’d give anything to play as I do, you really don’t mean it. You really don’t mean it at all.”

In the pause that followed, a napkin falling to the thick rug would have rattled the windows. The women looked at each other and then back at their coffee cups. They realized that this woman had spoken the truth. They would like to have her talent now, fully matured and developed; but as for putting in the twenty years of work that went into the fashioning of it - no, that was a different matter. Soon, the light conversation was resumed and the incident was glossed over, but not forgotten.

People are forever saying, “Oh, I’d give anything..." - but the fact remains that they don't. They give very little, often nothing, to do the things they say they would give anything to do.

The actor who envies the pinnacles reached by the stars – the small business person, the homemaker, the student, the golfer, the professional person, the aspiring writer, the painter - across the entire spectrum of achievement - the stars are those who have simply given their dedication, their singleness of purpose, their days and nights, weeks and months and years, And when the harvest they have so painstakingly sown and nurtured for so long begins to be reaped – there are others, who had the same time, the same opportunity, the same freedom, who come up to them and say, “I’d give anything to be able to do what you’re doing, to have the things you have.” But as the pianist said: “I’m just telling you that when you say you’d give anything to play as I do, you really don’t mean it. You really don’t mean it at all.”

Each of us has the time and the opportunity. If we say we haven't, we are trying to kid ourselves. Everybody ought to become great at something.

What is it that you'd give anything to become? Well, then give it – and you'll become it.

Sometimes it seems as though there are far too many spectators and not enough players. Maybe we are so busy watching the world and everyone else that we forget we've got one of our own to win.


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