Core values that can help one to become a truly great saxophone player, and much more importantly, a truly great human being

Our society (Western society) often focuses on beating other people: outworking them so that you can take a "permanent" place on a fictitious throne above them. Out training programs focus on telling a person everything that is wrong with them: we create insecurities in people so that they PERPETUALLY feel that they have to fix themselves. So they seek out other people and they say "what can I do to be like him?" or "what can I do to be like her?"  We train people to want to be like Michael Jordan or Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey or Jeff Bezos. What is the problem with that mode of thinking? It presumes that the Creator of that person made a series of mistakes when they created the person. Let us assume that the Creator is much more intelligent than we are. We, as human beings, are very good at creating complex things, and we do so making a surprisingly few number of mistakes. We may manufacture billions of automobiles, and once in awhile we may have to recall a few thousand of them. If we assume that the Creator is much smarter and wiser than we are, then it stands to reason that God makes far fewer mistakes than we do. In fact, it is most probable that the Creator knows and sees all (God never sleeps), and NEVER makes a mistake.

What if we trained every person to look inward, and ask themselves "What was God's intention in creating me? What was I put on this planet to achieve?" I could practice to sound like Charlie Parker, Phil Woods, Sharel Cassity, or John Coltrane. What if God did not intend for me to sound like any of those people? Is it possible that the ultra-confident instructor at your conservatory is actually destroying what you were intended to become by telling you all the things that you are doing wrong? I'm not saying don't listen to criticism from other people. What I am proposing is that in a protected place in your mind, you should be saying "I was created by an Infinitely Compassionate and Infinitely Wise Intellect far greater than any man or woman, and I need to put God first in EVERYTHING: listen to what God tells you about yourself BEFORE you listen to anyone else.

I propose 10 core values that can help anyone to become what God truly intended them to become:

  1. In everything that you do, put God first.
  2. Dream big, and write your dreams down. Pray on them, and work hard every day to achieve them.
  3. Treat people with kindness, humility, and respect, as you would want to be treated.
  4. If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, keep your thoughts to yourself.
  5. In everything that you do, strive to get a little bit better every day.
  6. Be positive: read the Bible every day, and other books that will help you to be a consistently positive person.
  7. Reach out and help people who are less fortunate than you are.
  8. Reach out and help other people to achieve their dreams.
  9. No matter how difficult, try to be a good person, and always try to do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
  10. Have faith that even when other people do not recognize your good works, God recognizes everything good that you do.


This article was updated on October 29, 2020

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