We might not think enough about this, but the lion’s share of upbringing consists of examples. Examples of parents, siblings, family and later on friends. Character determines a lot: intelligence, open vision, sociability, humor and stress resistance. But examples form the way we deal with situations. If your mother panics every time you fall, you’ll learn that falling is something that requires panic. When she picks you up and gives you a kiss to let you play again, you’ll learn that falling and getting up is also part of life. The way your parents treat each other becomes your example for your own behavior in a relationship, all of this happens unconsciously. Friends and their parents are a mirror for a lot of children, in order to learn that there are many different ways to grow up.
Examples are terribly important, also in our professional life. We learn from colleagues, widen our horizon by evaluating, by integrating all kinds of surprising examples in our own way of thinking. Sometimes the good examples slip by – we miss the important educational parts by a lack of attention or time. But we are never too old to learn, to pick up good examples. These examples are everywhere around us, at work, in relationships or other essential parts of your life.
I have discovered recently that I have missed a lot of valuable examples – reason being: business, comfortability or maybe fear. I was a professional piano-player in my “past life”: educated classically and played hundreds of concerts through many years, always classical music. Later on, working in the audioworld, I discovered an enormous amount of different music genres – in listening tests, events and shows. Also at home – with five kids growing up – we heard our fair share of different music styles. I was discovering different music, slowly but surely, to play as well. As a trained classical musician, I still find it unusual to improvise – something completely normal in jazz or pop. When you are playing Chopin, Mozart or Debussy, you follow the music of the great maestros – that was my belief.