Do What You Do Well

Here is another moment I had while on vacation at Dewey Beach that I thought would make a good post.

The whole family was back at the villa taking a breather after coming off a day at the beach and before once again heading to the boardwalk to look at the exact same things we had seen the previous three evenings.   We ended up watching some TV.

Somehow we landed and stayed on the OWN Network.  I don’t know how we got there.  I guess it was late in the afternoon and everyone was too tired to even channel surf.

The show we were watching was a documentary on Billy Bob Thornton.

No I am somewhat ambivalent towards Billy Bob Thornton.   As far as I am concerned he peaked at  Sling Blade.  But to be fair I really haven’t seen too much of his work besides Sling Blade and Bad Santa.

I found it interesting that he had a chance to be a professional baseball pitcher at least in the minor leagues.  Unfortunately or fortunately for him he had his collar bone broken at tryouts.  He was hit by an errant throw and was done before he had a chance to throw one pitch.

He did make one statement through the course of this show that really stuck in my head.

He said “Do what you do well, you can’t do it all.”

Now he made this comment in the context of him knowing what roles he can play and not going after those that he can’t do well.

Its a bit of a cliché and obvious but it’s a tired and true statement.

It hit me when I thought about it in the context of my drumming.

There are certain styles and feels that I do very well and I need to go after these.

I wish I could play funk like a Dave Garibaldi or jazz fusion like Vinnie Colaiuta or have the same incredible feel of a Steve Gadd or Carlos Vega.

I can work on that and practice and learn from their styles.

But at the end of the day I have to find situations where my style fits.  Where I can maximize my strengths and minimize my weaknesses. (Thanks Stephen Covey.)

That’s really challenging for me right now.

I know what I do well and I have to continue to improve and push my boundaries.

But when it comes down to it I have to do what I do well.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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