When I was young, I took trumpet lessons from an instructor who told me, “Some people have ‘the chops,’ but you’re not one of them, Bobby.” Given that he was an expert, or that’s what I so naively thought back then, I took his statement quite seriously. I came to believe that I didn’t have it in me to achieve greatness in this field.

However, despite the instructor’s NO, I continued with my trumpet lessons and tried as best I could do to achieve some level of proficiency. In my early 20s, I played with a small band, but that was it for me. I never entirely stopped listening to that insidious NO my teacher had so violently etched in my mind.

Here’s the happy ending you’ve been so patiently waiting for. In my mid-twenties, I had the honor of meeting the acclaimed jazz trumpeter Miles Davis. During our brief interaction, I told Miles I loved the trumpet but just didn’t have the chops to become good at it. He looked at me for a while, laughed, and after a brief moment of silence, said: “If you’ve got lips, you’ve got chops. You’ve got to put in the time to develop them.”

Miles taught me something I’ve always held on to since our conversation. I was absolutely sure that a problem existed that didn’t work in reality. And I wasted a significant amount of time trying to prove that it was real. After my instructor uttered that howling NO, I put my mind to believe that I simply didn’t have it in me to become good at playing the trumpet. However, that wasn’t the case. Had I dedicated more time to it, I might’ve become an expert at playing the trumpet.

So, here’s the thing. When you dwell on your past for too long, you don’t get to experience life in its purest form. You’re too concerned about what others have said about you which is why you fail to realize that you are far more capable than others presume you to be. You get to decide who you are and what you want to be in your life. Your journey to self-acceptance will begin once you learn to let go of others’ opinions of you and view yourself from your own lens.

All In All

If you want to delete your past life and embark on the journey to a more meaningful life, you’ll have to discard others’ half-baked opinions about you. In my book, The Maestro Monologue: Discover Your Genius. Defeat Your Intruder. Design Your Destiny, I discuss in detail as to how you can change your life for the better and learn to let go of unnecessary criticism.

May has been a big month for my book. It has been selected as Book of the Month by Online Book Club, a free online community for book lovers with over a million subscribers. So, could you help me out here? Grab a copy of my book from the nearby physical or online store and change your life for the better.

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