Motivation for Perfection

I guess this is kind of late, not on the same day the prompt was given, but this was the first thing that came to mind as I read the prompt “Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped.”

When I was in middle school, I played the trumpet.  I waited for the day I would be able to play for a medal.  In middle school, you go to this event, that if you play an instrument and try to play a song of your choice perfectly, with no mistakes, you will get a gold medal.  Isn’t that always the goal, no mistakes?  But at this event, you go in a room and are judged by one person.  You can get a bronze, silver, or gold depending on how many mistakes you made, hitting the perfect notes, etc.  I really wanted a gold, but I was so nervous.  At that point in my life, I got anxious very easily and I would crack under pressure (luckily I eventually overcame that).

As I walked into the room where I would be judged, I saw a donut on the table.  I thought to myself, if I get that gold medal, I get to eat her donut.  That donut will be mine.

Now, I loved food.  I had dreams where I ate an entire box of ice cream cones in my refrigerator, and sure enough, I would wake up in the morning and really had slept walked and ate them while I dreamt it.  Strange, I know.  I was a fat kid at heart.  I once had another experience when I was half awake and half asleep one morning and as I slowly woke up, I saw a candy bar floating next to my bed, just out of reach.  I reached out to grab it and I fell out of bed.  Literally, fell out of bed reaching for this imaginary candy bar.  That woke me up.  Luckily, I don’t have those dreams anymore, they’re kind of embarrassing, even if you’re the only one who knows about them.

So anyways, this donut.  Here it is on the table, and I keep saying to myself you want this donut, you have to earn it!  I was no longer stressed, I was motivated.  I played my heart out, hit every note, no mistakes.  I got the gold! But of course, I didn’t get the donut.  I wasn’t really going to take this judge’s donut, nor was I going to ask and tell her I deserved her donut for getting a gold medal that many other kids get.

I was lucky enough, however, to have told my parents how I got myself to win the gold – they bought me my very own donut on the way home.  And there I had it, the gold medal AND a donut.  Perfect.

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2 thoughts on “Motivation for Perfection

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt – All It’s Cracked Up To Be | Joe's Musings

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