Author Topic: Ask  (Read 2550 times)

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gogreen

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Ask
« on: January 29, 2013, 07:57:25 PM »
Something I learned a while ago, but remind myself to apply all the time: Ask, ask, ask, ask, ask.

This tenet is especially valuable to us composers, who often must spill our guts so routinely. This means to ask for help and feedback in this forum and in other forums. To ask people for help. To ask directors to play my music. To ask publishers if I may submit works. Ask, ask, ask, ask ask.

I prove myself right with this all the time--in every area, not just as a composer. Most people are delighted to help. I savor the things I learn simply because I asked. I've published pieces that I thought would never be published, simply because I had taken a chance and asked.

Sure, people say no all the time--but they say yes a lot, too.

As I age, I know that rejection is nothing compared to the regret of not knowing what would have happened if I had just asked.

amdg

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Re: Ask
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2013, 03:32:40 PM »
Hey, Everyone:

My father was a corporate executive most of his professional life.  In fact he was president of a few companies over the years.  He had the ability to go into poorly run companies and turn them into successful enterprises -- most often by motivating the people in the company to work together for the good of the place.

The one thing he said once to me was that of all the difficult things he encountered, the one that puzzled him most was the inability of people to be able to ask for help.  He never understood that, because it was usually the one thing he could give them.  But I suppose people don't want to entertain the thought that somehow not going it alone is an admission of failure. 

So I, too, have to remind myself over again that I can just ask a little help from someone -- and then try to return the favor sometime as best I can.  Sounds simple, don't it?!  But it isn't; and more's the pity.

Brian

mjf1947

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Re: Ask
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2013, 05:24:29 PM »
As a psychotherapist I see the inability to ask for help as a lack of confidence in one's ability.  There is a fear of being exposed as incompetent/damaged.  The irony in this scenario is that a truly competent person can handle areas of incompetency with little threat to his/her self esteem ;while an incompetent person must always show himself as competent for fear of being seen as inadequate.

Or no risk no gain ..... one must be able to accept ignorance as a normal state of being as one learns and progresses in life.

Mark

winknotes

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Re: Ask
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2013, 07:50:55 PM »
As a psychotherapist I see the inability to ask for help as a lack of confidence in one's ability.  There is a fear of being exposed as incompetent/damaged.  The irony in this scenario is that a truly competent person can handle areas of incompetency with little threat to his/her self esteem ;while an incompetent person must always show himself as competent for fear of being seen as inadequate.

Or no risk no gain ..... one must be able to accept ignorance as a normal state of being as one learns and progresses in life.

Mark

Wow some really good insights here.  I see this in myself in some areas of my life.  Man I need to relax!!
Steve Winkler
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Jamie Kowalski

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Re: Ask
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2013, 06:34:42 AM »
When I talk with someone and they use a word I am unfamiliar with, I like to say "I don't know what that word means." I think people don't generally do this because they are afraid of looking stupid. But that's not true at all. I find that people appreciate the admission because it shows that you care about what they are saying, and it gives them confidence that you understand everything else.

It also had the added benefit of helping to build your vocabulary.

gogreen

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Re: Ask
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 11:22:45 AM »
Quote
The irony in this scenario is that a truly competent person can handle areas of incompetency with little threat to his/her self esteem ;while an incompetent person must always show himself as competent for fear of being seen as inadequate.

That's an interesting insight! I hope I meant that I was basing my suggestion on the former idea, not the latter one. Or, at least, one should strive to be in the former camp, instead of the latter one. It just seems to me that I, and others who post music in the forum, have so much more to gain from taking these kinds of small chances than not taking them. I, for one, can't pass up such good opportunities to learn and grow.

tbmartin

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Re: Ask
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 12:40:48 PM »
When my kids are reluctent to ask for help, the following conversation is common:
Me: Go ahead and ask. What's the worst thing that could happen?
Kid: They could say "no."
Me: And if they do, you're no worse off than you are right now. And if they say "yes"?
Kid: Then I get the help I need.
Me: So, what have you got to lose? Nothing! Go ask!
Terence Martin

Tools: Finale 2003 on Windows XP
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http://bit.ly/TerenceMartinSaxArranger
Goal: Improve quantity and quality of concert band compositions.
Play: Saxophones (all, but tenor primary), Bass Clarinet, Piano (poorly)

gogreen

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Re: Ask
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2013, 09:01:27 AM »
Quote
Me: Go ahead and ask. What's the worst thing that could happen?
Kid: They could say "no."
Me: And if they do, you're no worse off than you are right now. And if they say "yes"?
Kid: Then I get the help I need.
Me: So, what have you got to lose? Nothing! Go ask!

Sounds like an adult conversation, too.