The spark.

There was a boy who grew up in England. He had a quite normal life. The only child to two hard-working parents. He didn’t do very well in school, and wasn’t overly excited about a career path.

Then, at the age of 14, within the span of 10 minutes during a school performance, everything changed. A fellow student performed on stage on a grand piano. He knew immediately that he would be a concert pianist. Not just for hobby, that’s how he would make his living. And he did, and he does, despite no prior indication that this was a path ahead for him.

(I heard him, Nicholas McCarthy, tell his story here.)

Initially I thought: How great is it that some people find this one thing they are drawn to do with such passion? Too bad that most of us don’t have something similar…

Then I thought: What if we all have have a moment equivalent to Nicholas watching the stage performance? What if we have that moment but most of us don’t let it sink in. We don’t follow it. Whether we tell ourselves it’s unrealistic or listen to the others who tell us how unrealistic we are?

What would happen if we lived our lives in awareness of those moments – whether in our past or current or future?

Nicholas McCarthy was 14, far older than most people who start on the path of becoming concert pianists. He lived with parents who were not musical, and who were not wealthy. And he had only one hand, a left hand. He didn’t let those barriers get in his way. What barriers are you letting get in your way?

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