Thursday, 26 April 2012

Excellence for All

The Words of Wisdom this week are Never say you're no good at anything.  How often do you hear people say 'I'm no good at spelling,' 'I'm rubbish at Maths,' 'I can't learn lines,' 'I'm no good at catching a ball' or 'I can't give up smoking.'  Such negative statements don't help you to get anywhere in life and they can be very damaging, so whenever you find yourself uttering such a negative script, even to yourself, replace it with a positive one.  With persistence and practice you can improve at all these things.  Sometimes you can do this by yourself, for other things it helps to draw on the knowledge of a teacher, in one form or another.  In particularly difficult matters, such as addiction, you will almost certainly need help, but help can usually be found, if you look for it with enough determination.

Always remember that you are equipped with a brain that is the most wonderful and complex organ in the known universe.  You have a body which is capable of extraordinary feats of speed, strength, stamina and skill.  You have access to the whole range of human behaviour, some of it instinctive, some of it learned.  You are surrounded by other human beings, many of whom may be willing to help you in manifold ways and today, with the development of the internet, all the knowledge in the world is, quite literally, at your fingertips.

The first step towards improving at the things you feel you are not good at is to understand and believe that you can improve.  Then find out what you need to do and then practice ... and practice ... and practice.  The only limitation you have is the time you have available because, in the end, time beats us all.

But meanwhile, avoid people  who put you down, because there will always be people who don't want to see you succeed and that's a sad fact that you have to accept.

A long time ago, Anna Scher and I started a theatre for young people.  The idea behind it was 'Excellence for All' in other words to provide the very best drama training at a price that anyone could afford.  We worked and worked and worked and, gradually the theatre became more and more successful.  Most people were enthusiastic and positive about what we were doing, but there were some who were not.  Some of them saw our aim of excellence as being against their political belief in enforced equality, others saw our work with people who didn't have much money as somehow threatening to their power and privilege.  Such people aim for power and get gratification from hurting people and destroying things.  And so, Anna's illness providing the opportunity, the theatre was brought down.

Pity them, for they will never be happy.  But remember the belief in excellence for all and Never say you're no good at anything.