Commitment to Practice

Igniting our Sleeping Brains


I went to lunch with some friends and one said, .

“I haven’t gotten one of your newsletters for a while”


An email arrived reminding me

how much they enjoy reading the newsletters.


I have been in Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket,

eating lobster (the kids started to count how many)

and finally felt compelled to come home before I grew a claw.


I only hope that I can make it as

profound an insight for you

as I have found it to be.


I’ve chosen the psychology of choice


Is choice a personal preference

we simply shrug our shoulders

and act on,

or does it actually

create changes in our brain?


No one wants to hear

that they’ve been making themselves unhappy

by their choices.


I acknowledge that without control of our choices,

we can actually become sick…


But that control,

whether actual or perceived,

should lead to a point

of finalizing the choice

and then committing to that decision.


Closing our eyes,

Holding our breath

and hoping that we chose the right path

isn’t enough


We need to commit to it.


Then actual physical changes in our brain take place


Commitment is the tough part


It requires self-discipline,

turning from the world of options

that are so tantalizing.

and moving forward through the

difficult valleys of learning a lesson.


From choice,

we develop focus

and eventually feel happier.


Who would have thought –


because we excluded the world of options

and took

a singular path toward a goal.


66% of Americans seem to misunderstand

the psychology of choice

and unfortunately

choose to make themselves unhappy


If I offered two options for lessons.

Option 1:

A month of violin lessons.

At the end of the month,

you can choose to move to harp, piano or cello.

or stay on violin


Option 2:

Violin lessons committed to for a year.

The cello, harp and piano are shipped out

to needy kids somewhere in some far off country…

so there isn’t a chance for you to change your mind.


Most of us like choice and freedom

so 2/3 of us would probably want

the wiggle room

and choose Option 1



wrong answer if you want to be happy.


It appears that if you have two open-ended options,

floating elusively before you –

requiring no commitment

you won’t put yourself into either one,

you won’t develop a mental or emotional bond.

with either choice


Then, when you move onto

the harp or whatever instrument you choose next

it will just be another uncommitted decision.


There is no closure to your choice.


You stay poised,

teetering in the uneasy world

of not being on some path toward a goal.

You walk away from the experience

no happier

and no more fulfilled.


Argue the point

in your mind

for a while

See if there doesn’t seem

to be a glimmer of truth in the concept.

(grass is always greener scenario I guess)

Those who say…..

“I’m in”

start to believe their choice

was actually the best choice.


There is a physical change in the brain

that makes the choice the best.


Do you remember …. when you were dating

and your date blew their nose in front of you……

you took it as a sign that they weren’t the one for you.


But when your husband or wife does something on the

‘not so cool’ chart

“they’ve got a heart of gold,

don’t ruffle the feathers”


I won’t go into it,

but they can prove

through scans of the brain

that there is a change.


I think it’s a powerful stamp on the value of commitment.


How will this change the way you take or offer music lessons?

I hope with the understanding that being

‘limited to your commitment’

there is actual freedom,

to move on


toward a goal…

opening a world of opportunities


When you become accomplished

goals are in your path

you’d never have a hope of reaching

if you were still

peeking through the door,

sticking your toes in the water

with your ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’s

and your ‘if only’s’.


Think about that and

ignite your mind!



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