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LTR PODCAST

LME | Last Mile Excellence for Drumming & Life (with Josh Waitzkin)

By October 29, 2019May 31st, 2022No Comments4 min read

 

*This is an excerpt from ‘LTR METHOD: Unleashing Your Best Self Through The Power Of Drumming’. Get it now to elevate your drumming and life at chrislesso.com

It’s easy to be your best in the beginning. You’re fired up, motivated, ready to go! But what do you do when you’re on that last mile, depleted and hurting? This is actually the MOST important time to give your best. The end of the race during the very last mile is when you will most feel like surrendering, cutting corners, and settling for less. When you have nothing left to give, this is exactly the time to give 100% and END STRONG. How you perform when it’s hardest is a true reflection of where you’re REALLY at. You’re also giving yourself signals of how badly you really want to achieve what you’re building. This is where most people give up! How you END is the most important step, because it always carries forward into your next BEGINNING.

‘Give the highest quality to your last actions.’

The end is when you will least feel like giving your best, but make it a PSS (pre-set standard) to keep kicking ass until your very last moments. When you least feel like giving your best is exactly the time to do it! End the day with quality. The last action you complete of the day will be the clearest in your mind as you start the next day. The way you end one cycle will determine how you start the next. You don’t want your mind to internalize lowering your standards going into a fresh new day. This carries over to the little things as well, where the end of one action determines the next in a chain. LME is an attitude put forth in all you do. It is easy to THINK about, and harder to actually DO and put into ACTION. This is about setting yourself up for the WIN!

The end of the race is when your brain and body are screaming at you to stop. You think ‘why am I putting myself through this anyway?’ When it’s hardest, in the moments when you will WANT to quit, your WHY is what will get you through. Have you taken time to reflect on why you are putting yourself through this challenge? Giving to a cause larger than yourself can add great fuel to your overall why, carrying you through the daily battles of life. I know in my heart drums and music are so much larger than me, so ‘the instrument always wins’. Drumming to me is about the heartbeat of expression and creativity to always serve the music. A lesser reason like playing drums to impress others or competing to serve your ego will not get you through the rough times ahead. What does this all mean to you, and what is your larger WHY and over arcing MISSION?

LME is not only in your grand endings, but also in the littlest of actions as well. One of my favorite groups is the KODO drummers from Japan. The way they approach their craft with dedication, respect, tenacity, grit, perseverance, and fearless creativity has made a massive impact on me over the years that continues to this day. KODO approaches their drumming and art with QUALITY in the SMALLEST OF ACTIONS. It’s in how they carry themselves, how they do the little things. One thing I noticed early on that struck me, was how they put DOWN their drumsticks after they played. Most drummers pay this no mind, and the worst example of a scattered ending is when drummers just throw their sticks on the floor mindlessly as they walk away from the kit. In a martial arts Dojo this would simply be ‘UNSAT’ (unsatisfactory), in the same way students are taught to be mindful not to leave their shoes in disarray before stepping on the mat. After seeing KODO many times in performance, I noticed they END with an uncommon pristine quality, much like the great care and mindfulness given to the smallest of details used in the Japanese tea ceremony.

For you, look at how you end ALL of your actions, both big and small. How you put your shoes away, put a pen down, close a door; it all matters. Every action is EVIDENCE to your high self on the standards you choose to live by. Keep them high! The iconic drummers we all love and look up to all demanded the highest of standards from themselves. You will e tested not from the recognized applause in an audience seeing how great you’re doing, but in the quiet moments of a room when you’re all by yourself. You are giving your brain and powerful subconscious mind signals on how you see yourself, and the level of quality you will demand from yourself to give when it counts. The little things are the big things. Sweat the small stuff!

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