I have a favorite contemporary Jazz singer. If I think of the reasons that I like her – voice, phrasing, looks, song selections, and the way she conveys emotions – I realize that each misses the real reason she is at the top of my list. The reason she is the best contemporary female jazz vocalist on my list is that she lets everything that she does do the work. In short, she does not seem to worry about controlling the outcome. She let’s her voice be what it is, the phrasing of the song come naturally, and does not extend or try to dictate the result. The magic is natural! What comes out is effortless music and heartfelt expressions. It is a wonderful way of singing. It is a way of living that I aspire to embrace.
It is often hard to look in the mirror and judge the outcomes. What could have been done better? How could the result be improved? Was there a moment that I could have made a difference?
First, anything can be improved on. In hindsight, something could have been done even better to make a perfect outcome more perfect.
The question when it comes to outcomes is one of when and where. Victoria reminds me that it is never about the outcome, it is always about the process. Will I do the right thing when the opportunity is present? If I do, the consequence is the best that could happen given what was in my control.
It is a hard lesson to embrace. I love to win. Winning is measured by outcomes. The extension is that we need to control the outcomes in order to win.
God suggests something different. A wisdom father captured a truism in a note. “Every God-begotten person conquers the world’s ways. The conquering power that brings the world to its knees is our faith.” (1 John 5.4) It is in our faith that love and compassion trumps all else.
I want to win. My choices are never about results. My choices are actions and motives.