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Enthusiasm, what is motivating you?

You often say, “I would give, but only to the deserving.”
The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.
They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

I stumbled across the above quote from Kahlil Gibran this morning and it reminded me of an incident a few years back…

One day while counting up the shop takings at the end of a rather slow sales week I couldn’t help but feel a little dejected. What was going wrong? The shop was looking awesome; stocked with all the latest products and our staff were great – always friendly, knowledgeable and keen to help. But at this time sales were only just enough to keep ticking along. It’s not that I wanted to be filthy rich from Planet Max, it’s just I thought that things might be a little bit more comfortable after working 60 hour weeks for the past few years.

That night I dreamt I was chatting with the American comedian Lesley Neilson, he was dressed in white robes and had this long flowing beard (possibly my sub-conscious comedic take on a godlike figure). In the dream I was complaining to Lesley/God about my first world problems when he suggested “maybe you could take some tips from our good friend Johnny Bach”.

When I awoke I was keen to google “Johnny Bach” because the only thing I knew about Johann Sebastian Bach was that he is considered one of the world’s greatest composers. After a bit of reading I found that for most of his life Bach worked for the church for a meager salary and most of the time they didn’t even pay him the agreed amount. In the town he lived in he had several critics, including the church congregation. He did earn some praise during his life time but for the most part he was underpaid and underappreciated.

So what did “Johnny “do? He wrote music, a lot of music. He wrote so much beautiful music during his lifetime that many people now refer to him as the world’s greatest composer. His music has touched the lives of millions of people around the world, even a musical retard such as myself can’t help being moved when you hear it.

Imagine what a disaster it would have been if Bach decided all the work wasn’t worth his effort. Thankfully he poured his whole heart and all his enthusiasm into his music and left behind his gift to the world. I’ll try not to get too preachy here but Bach’s life has been a valuable lesson to me to search for the purist motives in everything you do. The bills and daily ordeals do end up taking care of themselves, all I have to focus on is putting all my knowledge, enthusiasm and care into everything I do. I’ll leave you with a quote from my new friend Johnny…

“I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well.”

– Johann Sebastian Bach

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