Whatever our profession, calling or career, to reach the uppermost strata of our capability, discipline has to sit comfortably in our daily practice. The kind of discipline that keeps us focused, driven and regular in our learning or training. Not the punitive kind. Ideally such discipline comes from our inner aspiration to improve or excel, achieve something extraordinary, brilliant or plain good. In tandem if supported by a body of encouraging and skilled mentors, role models or teachers, it becomes the bedrock on the route to likelier success.

Discipline is both a state of mind, and a set of actions we adhere to. It runs in the same pack as ‘hard work’. If we start by accepting discipline and hard work are inseparable friends, we are more prepared for the effort we need to furnish on our way to accomplishment. The effort is key, however to over-extend or attempt to push discipline beyond unreasonable limits, can be as damaging as trying to wing it. There has to be a harmonious balance between the aim and the means.

1. State the ambition 2. Create a system for realistic discipline 3. Put in the hard work and stay healthy 4. Recognise the world is elastic 5. Be prepared to adapt to changing forces that may affect the ambition

On Monday 29 June, the London Youth Choir scholars performed at philanthropist Sir Vernon Ellis’ private residence. Conducted by Suzi Digby OBE, the vocalists aged 16-21 gave stirring interpretations from a repertoire of both classical and contemporary works. The room was magnified by the swell of young voices rising to their potential. I watched in admiration, as the discipline and hard work that had gone into the concert shone through. As with any young group of artist scholars, there’s typically more to learn through more practising, funding willing. Tiny perceptible kinks in the tuning (to my lay person’s ear) in one or two of the pieces, reminded me ambition to be fully realised takes (ongoing) hard work, practice and discipline. These young people clearly have what it takes to stay the course, and reach the uppermost strata of their talent, with the support of patrons, sponsors and their conductors. Let’s encourage them.


(Photo of surprise soloist performance from a LYC scholar)

 © Amanda Yensa Manor 2015


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