Business Magazine

Can You Stand Firm? People Skills

By Shawnaschuh
Naiara Castillejo Garcia. Concertista de violín.

Image by clara belen via Flickr

This is a story about someone I hadn’t heard of – a nineteenth-century violinist. The fact there is this story about him – his name is Nicolo Paganini, means he was well known and well respected.

His most memorable concert the story goes was one marked by a difficult test rather than easy success.

The concert was performed with a full orchestra before a packed house in Italy.

Those who heard him play say that Paganini’s technique was incredible and his tone fantastic. Toward the end of the concert, Paganini was astounding his rapt audience with an intricate composition when one string on his violin suddenly snapped and hung limply from his instrument.

Paganini frowned only briefly, shook his head, and continued to play, improvising beautifully.

Then to everyone’s surprise, including Paganini’s, a second string broke. Shortly thereafter, a third string snapped. It seemed like a slapstick comedy routine as Paganini stood before the awed crowd with strings dangling from his Stradivarius violin.

Instead of leaving the stage to repair his instrument, he stood firm.

He calmly completed the difficult number on the one remaining string – a performance that won him applause, admiration, and enduring fame. Or we wouldn’t be hearing about him today –

Many of us have things happen that make us freak out, lose focus or stop all together – and yet here is a man, doing his job in front of hundreds of people and because he knew his instrument and himself he used each challenge as truly a challenge instead of an excuse.

Also, he stood firm. I love that phrase and that visual – he stood firm.

This is a good lesson for me. Since I do presentations in front of audiences – how can I be so skilled, so prepared that regardless of what happens, and things do, after all it is live, I can continue on. I can stand firm.

My challenge to you today is to encourage you to be as skilled and practiced on what you do for your work that you turn in a stellar performance every day.

Remember – you create your day by the way you think!

Make it magnificent!

Blessings, Shawna

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