It can be tempting in life to dedicate all your time and energy into pursuing development in one very specific area of life. By making a commitment to one single thought process we believe we can become all knowing, all powerful in one subject.
Seemingly unrelated interests can feed into one another though and if you have a passion or a love for something then stick with it, you never know when you may need it.
Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist (a great short read, find it here) likens stopping one of your passions to removing a limb. You get phantom limb pains.
I stoped playing piano for a while during college and in my early days at University, but I knew something was missing. An outlet that I loved and needed had been removed and it left a void. Eventually of course I came back to playing again and my life is so much richer for its presence.
Music, particularly playing piano is a huge part of my life, even if I only get about an hour a week to play. The creativity, the expression, the performance gives me something that I don’t have anywhere else on my life, regardless of ability or lack thereof. A spark that lights up the dark. A release from the ties that bind.
My ability to play the piano helped me develop my manual dexterity, which in turn allowed me to demonstrate to the University interviewers in Liverpool in 2005 that I had hands capable of undertaking intricate dental work.
The lessons I learned in how to get better at playing piano, the practice, the dedication, the need for a depth of understanding beyond what your hands can do and most importantly, knowing when to rest, allows me to apply the same principles to my education.
Any passion does not exist in isolation. In addition to this, music and singing has helped my breathing, my stress management and my charisma. I have an awful voice, but building the strength to share a video of me singing and playing piano is not a boy showing the world how amazing I am, is about saying this is me, this is what I do and it means a lot to me.
Never give up on something you’re passionate about, no matter how trivial you think it may be, you never know when you might need it.