Byron's Babbles

Keep Getting Better By Always Striving To Go Somewhere New

Yesterday marked the 18th week of reading Mindset Mondays With DTK by David Taylor-Klaus (DTK). Chapter 18 entitled “Work On Yourself” did not disappoint. Interestingly, I am reading Peter Frampton‘s incredible book Do You Feel Like I Do? A Memoir right now, too, and there are some parallel’s. DTK told us that “When we look at where others are in their life and compare that with where we are, it’s not apples to apples” (DTK, p. 146). One of the things that really stuck out in Frampton’s (I really want to become friends so I can call him Peter) book was how much he valued getting to play, collaborate, and learn from other superstars in the business. Never once do you ever get the hint of him comparing himself to Ringo Starr, George Harrison, David Bowie, Bill Wyman, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Preston, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, B.B. King, Rick Derringer, Robert Cray, Roger McGuinn, David Hidalgo, or Dean DeLeo, just to name a few. Now, regardless of what kind of music you like you better have recognized a couple of names on that list.

Frampton is so humble that he always believed the collaborations were chances for him to learn and get better. This is a huge takeaway for me from the book. Others would have just seen these opportunities through vanity’s eye. He used the metaphor (and you know how I love metaphors) of being in a fishbowl at a very young age of English rockers. Frampton went on to say, “I’m asking about touring and what they do and everything, so I’m learning how a successful band works. But just seeing this person [Bill Wyman] who’s a Rolling Stone, who’s now my friend, and he’s friends with my parents and was this regular guy – so okay, I don’t have to be something other than who I am. It was kind of like an apprenticeship. I was learning as I went, and getting these amazing opportunities along the way” (Frampton, p. 33). We need to make use of our “apprenticeships” to become the best we can become. That best needs to be authentic. We have to find our own sound, pun intended. Frampton described it like this: “I just wanted my own style. I wanted to be one of those guys who,they play one note, and you know who they are” (Frampton, p. 59). Frampton was, and still is, working to get better each day.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” ~ Peter Frampton

p. 261 in Do You Feel Like I Do? A Memoir

Finally, I love how DTK tied it all together at the end of Chapter 18 by saying, “Comparing how you are being, what you are doing, and what you are accomplishing in any given moment to your best in that moment is the ONLY valid comparison. It’s the only comparison that serves. It’s the only comparison consistently worth making” (DTK, p. 147). Frampton says he is one lucky guy, but I do not think that luck has anything to do with it. What I learned from Peter Frampton was humility, perseverance, passion, purpose before ambition, collaborative learning, working hard, and always reinventing yourself.

The Books That Opened My Eyes In The Fourth Quarter of 2020

Well here they are; the collection of blog posts inspired by great authors and great books in the last quarter of 2020. There has been so much great learning from books this year. So many times it might be just a sentence or paragraph that makes me pause and reflect, make me want to study something a little (or a lot deeper), or make me want to read another book. That’s why I always seem to have three to four books started at the same time. I know, that would drive many of you crazy, but it is how my mind works. Everything we read fills our mind with new information. We never know when those new bits of information might come in handy. The more knowledge we have, the better-equipped we are to tackle challenge we may face. You might want to consider allowing yourself some time to read each day. Because of all the distractions available to us now we don’t spend much time on any one thing. When you read a book, if you’re like me, all of your attention is focused on the story, I get lost in the content and the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing.

I’m sure I am going to need to update this post as it is just the 28th and I know of two or three posts I am formulated that are inspired by great books I am reading right now, but I wanted to go ahead and get this out there and will update before the end of the year. I’ve already posted about the posts inspired by books from the first three quarters of the year in these three posts:

The First Quarter Of An Incredible Year Of Reading

Second Quarter 2020 Book Inspired Posts

2020 Third Quarter Book Inspired Posts

Here are the posts inspired by great books for the fourth quarter of 2020:

October, 2020

Do Not Look Outside Yourself

Shine Brighter

Take Off The Mask & Cut Out Those Frustrations

Safety Nets Instead of Safety Barriers

Approaching The World With A Sense Of Childlike Wonder

November, 2020

Becoming The First Me

Getting Wound Around The Axle

What Are Your Filters

Catch Me And Prop Me Up!

Leading With Artisanship

Building A Community

Beyond COVID-19

The Education Catapult

Do Ideas Cause Change Or Does Change Cause Ideas?

Spreading The Wealth

December, 2020

Do You Feel Like I Do On Christmas 2020?

Building The Cocoon

The Language To Open Our World

Adding Fiction To The Reading Diet

Going Platinum

If Only We Would Just Ask

A Great Unknown

A Penguin Inspired Quest


Do You Feel Like I Do On Christmas 2020?

Heath & His Milking Machine!

Here it is, Christmas morning on Day 288 of the Global Pandemic in 2020. It’s easy to get caught up in all that is chaotic in the world right now, but I also want to pause and reflect on this day of the celebration of birth. This is the day that many of us celebrate the birth of Jesus. This day has, and will continue to serve as a day of birth to many new interests for kids. Think about that Lego set or rocket model that spurs an interest in engineering or being an astronaut for a little girl. Or, the electric keyboard that encourages the musical aspirations of a little boy.

I realize there are more significant influences on a child’s career choice than toys or the things they play with on Christmas morning as kids. But, children need access to a healthy play diet. It’s why I believe programs that make sure children get a toy at Christmas are so important. Playing boosts a child’s belief. No child plays with Legos and learns how to build houses, but she might learn how to overlap bricks to create a stable structure. Or, her brother and her might decide how to change the design of the picture on the box as they build. It’s more about confidence and familiarity than an actual skill set.

Toys and playing can compliment attributes in our children such as having their own mind, standing up for their own beliefs, showing initiative, having goals, and finding passion and purpose. I was reminded of all this while reading Peter Frampton’s incredible book, Do You Feel Like I Do? A Memoir, this week. Early in the book he told the story of his dad playing Father Christmas. Their tradition must have been to put the presents at the foot of the bed and his dad was making noise with the wrapping paper. Peter woke up and busted his dad. Of course, no kid’s going back to sleep, so he began to play with acoustic guitar Father Christmas had brought him. I loved the last part of the story in the book when Peter Frampton said, “But I didn’t know how to tune the bottom two strings. Dad said, ‘It’s three in the morning; can’t you go back to bed?’ ‘No, no, come on!’ So he came in and tuned the two bottom strings for me. And from 3:30 in the morning on Christmas when I was eight years old, I haven’t stopped playing since” (p. 11). Was that where the career of an awesome and very talented rock star was created? Probably not completely, but it certainly played a part in his development, or Peter would not have told the story. For one thing, think of the morale boost for a kid to get a musical instrument from his parents. Wow, my mom and dad believe I have talent!

Of course, all of this from the father of the boy who got a milking machine from Santa. In my defense, that was what he asked Santa for. But, that little boy grew up, and is now studying Animal Science at Murray State University and has a respectable herd of Jersey dairy show cattle. Did it all happen because of the milking machine that we assembled on the living room floor and then carried to the barn that Christmas morning? No, but Heath has never forgotten that Santa invested in his interest of dairy cows. Thus, the intersection of purpose and passion were beginning to be defined for Heath.

Now, let’s not overthink this. The most important thing is to make sure our kids have the chance to play. If they have specific interests, great, but it doesn’t have to be a guitar or milking machine. Let’s let kids play with a wide variety of toys and give them the opportunity to discover their interests, passion, and purpose.

Building The Cocoon

Being the rock and roll band groupie that I am, it will come as no surprise that I am reading Peter Frampton’s book Do You Feel Like I Do? A Memoir. I’m only on page 59, but I can already tell there will be multiple blog posts prompted by this book. For one thing, Peter has written this book with a very conversational voice. As I’m reading it is like he is with me telling the story. Such a talented person. Another thing that has already jumped out at me is the fact that his dad was a teacher – and a great one. I already tweeted this quote from from the book where Peter was telling about his dad teaching David Bowie and him knowing Dave (as he called him) as a schoolmate: “My father’s passion was teaching art. He could see those students who had the eye and the excitement to learn when they walked into his classroom” (p. 24). As an educator I appreciate this compliment of his father and wish for every student to encounter teachers like Peter Frampton’s dad.

Then came this statement in the book: “Wherever I looked, I was in this cocoon of famous people, people who I admired” (p. 31). As I always say, “Language matters.” The word “cocoon” jumped out at me. Here, Frampton was using a powerful metaphor for describing being with and learning from members of The Rolling Stones, great producers, great engineers, and other music industry influencers. I loved the metaphor because I can actually see them insulating and protecting just as a cocoon does for the larvae.

As a student of rock bands, and wannabe with zero talent, I’m always amazed at how those in the music business can spot talent and then, to use Peter’s metaphor, build a cocoon around them and help them. It’s like group mentoring or a team apprenticeship. This is really the way we should be doing this. Because there were so many great and talented people providing multiple parts of Peter Frampton’s mentorship, blind spots were minimized and the biases of any single mentor were eliminated. A genius model we should be using for our students and ourselves.

Peter Frampton truly had systemic use of diverse mentors and session formats provided for him without there being a formal plan. His mentors saw the talent and then set out to build the cocoon that allowed the development to happen.

I can’t leave this post without one more quote that drives home Frampton’s point about how good the stars of the moment were to him: “I’m asking about touring and what they do and everything, so I’m learning how a successful band works. But just seeing this person who’s a Rolling Stone, who’s now my friend, and he’s friends with my parents and was this regular guy—so okay, I don’t have to be something other than who I am. It was kind of like an apprenticeship. I was learning as I went, and I’m getting these amazing opportunities along the way” (p. 33). You might want to read that quote again; there’s a lot there. I can just imagine him, wide eyed, asking relevant questions, and taking it all in as he forged his path to stardom. Who has been a part of your cocoon? Thank them! Who are you mentoring and building a cocoon around?