Amazing Possibilities!

Time For New Perspective


At different times in our lives, we all need a new perspective.

In the late 1960s, there was a young man who had a dream of

becoming a famous musician. He knew exactly what he wanted, so

he left high school and began to play his music wherever people

would listen. But as a high school dropout and with little experience,

he found it difficult to get work as a musician.

Before too long he found himself playing in small, dirty clubs

and bars. Sharing his gift with a handful of drunks night after

night became a discouraging habit. This was not his dream. He

had dreamed of playing to sellout shows across America and

around the world. He had dreamed of seeing his name in lights,

of walking down the street and being stopped for autographs, of

having his albums in every music store. He even dreamed one day

he would play to a packed baseball stadium—an absurd thought

in the late 1960s.


He had stumbled upon difficult times. Financially he was

broke, professionally he was failing, and his only joy in life was the

support of his girlfriend. They had so little money that they would

sleep in Laundromats to save the expense of a hotel. But one day

she got sick of being constantly on the road. This gypsy lifestyle

was not her dream, either. She had dreamed of being married to a

famous musician but was unaware of the hard work it takes to get

to the top. It was not the life she had imagined, so she left him.

With his only joy in life gone, he decided to commit suicide.

That night the young musician made a halfhearted attempt to end

his life by drinking a bottle of furniture polish and a bottle of

vodka. The next day, very sick, he checked himself into a mental

institution.


Less than three weeks later, he checked himself out. He was a

new man. He was refreshed, enthusiastic, and excited about life.

He was cured. They had not given him any medication, nor was it

anything the doctors or nurses had said to him. The other patients

had cured him.


They reminded him of how fortunate and gifted he was, and

they had shown him how much more life could be. He was given a

new perspective on life.


That day, that same young man left the mental institution absolutely

resolved to pursue his dream of becoming a famed musician.

He was determined to travel and work and do whatever was

necessary to achieve his dream.


Three years later, he wrote a song called “Piano Man,” and

today almost every person on the planet has heard of Billy Joel.

And yes, on June 22 and 23 in 1990, Billy Joel played to sellout

crowds of ninety thousand people at Yankee Stadium.

We all need a startling new perspective at least once in our lives.

Billy Joel’s experience in the mental institution gave him that new

perspective.

Matthew Kelly


From The Rhythm of Life

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