How Ordinary Routine Leads to the Extraordinary

Laura Basha

Photo By: Priscilla Du Preez

“Discipline is remembering what you want.”


– the Reverend Kathryn Jarvis


I rose at 5:30am this morning, getting up early enough to take a breathtaking picture of the view from our deck, as well as to do my morning practices. Without those morning practices my day simply does not go as well.

While in Vienna this past summer, we visited one of the apartments in which Mozart and his family lived, a charming three floor residence in a beautiful old Viennese building in the heart of the city. There were several letters available to read, and one in particular that caught my attention was a letter he had written to his sister Nannerl about his schedule while living in Paris.

He rose at 6am and attended to his morning routine. He then wrote music from 7am until 9am, at which time he saw students until 1pm. At 1pm he took his lunch, either with friends or clients, and spent the afternoon visiting or doing one thing and another as he found he couldn’t write again until 5pm. He wrote from 5pm until 9pm, unless he was conducting or performing or traveling to do either. That, he said, was his routine every day.

As we all know, Mozart’s music is still transcendently moving. What struck me was this ordinary routine which he carried out with exceptional discipline, the result of which was a life artistically fulfilled that left a legacy of music which continues to uplift humanity centuries later.

What if I could cultivate an affinity to that kind of discipline? It seems to me that I often feel as though I am missing out on things if I don’t attend to this or that or the other. Yet, I experience fulfillment when I practice the discipline of what is important to me.

“Discipline is remembering what you want.”


So, what do I want?

And what disciplined practices are needed for me to manifest it?

Good thoughts to ponder …

No comments