This piece was originally the introductory bit to the 40th edition of my monthly newsletter ‘Adventures‘
There’s been a piano in my family home for as long as I can remember.
While I never got past ‘chopsticks’, my mum still plays almost every day.
Back in my (fairly) innocent youth, one tune I remember hearing her play often was ‘The Entertainer’.
However, she didn’t play ‘The Entertainer’ because she wanted to entertain. It was about practice; learning; quiet enjoyment (and a good way to tune out a pair of 6ft+ teenage sons crashing around the house).
But what of the entertainers?
The best ones create magic. They bring us together, and leave us wanting more. Life would be less colourful without them.
Today many of the entertainers are in flux. They’re recalibrating, retooling, or being forced to sit at the sidelines. It’s harder for their colours to shine as brightly.
However, the forcing function we’re all experiencing right now is enabling other entertainers to appear.
We can create our own online group trivia night, happy hour, or canasta party.
And online, educators are becoming more like entertainers. Some savvy entertainers are pivoting into being educators.
This twisting and turning throws up a lot of questions.
How do we show up in this different paradigm?
What could – should – we do differently?
How do we spend our time in this new now?
There are many choices we can make, but here are three to consider:
– Now is a time to learn. Not that online course you thought about six months ago and never committed to (yes, guilty): but learning how to learn; learning about yourself; learning about the others; learning about what matters most.
– Now is a time to entertain. Because that seemingly never-ending stream of big-name, high-gloss content is going to run dry soon. Their productions are suspended. But yours aren’t. And under a deluge of bad, sad news we need elsewhere to go – if only for a minute or an hour.
– Now is a time to find our people. Because, well, you know why.
Here’s the best bit: we can do all three of these simultaneously.
Our incredibly networked world combined with our world’s new constraints enables us to learn, laugh, gasp, smile, connect, and collaborate in ways we never could – or would – have done before.
New ideas and ways of doing things are showing up every day.
This doesn’t necessarily mean my mum should live stream her piano practice with me on guest vocals(!). We can choose. But the options are there. Now more than ever.
Learning through entertainment.
Entertainment while learning.
Connecting with all the others.
Creating something for just one, two, or three other people.
Doing that thing for ourselves.
We can choose.
Perhaps one upside of constraints is they show us how many choices we can still make.