A few years ago, I wanted to learn how to play the piano and keyboard instruments, and express the ideas in my head, as well as play music composed by others. My breakthrough came when I recognised that all the music I needed to play lay within a boundary of 12 notes per octave. In other words, what I sought was right there – somewhere on the keyboard.
The confidence that what I sought, could be found somewhere, could be attained, was approachable, was awesome. I knew where to look, right there on the keyboard, no where else. In my own self taught imprrovisational style, I then began to make a lot more progress. Fear and confusion were eliminated. The only thing which I needed to overcome was getting the fingers, brain and related muscles connected to the specific keys that produced the note I wanted to hear. It was not effortless, but the effort was directed, and the search was almost over.
Whenever I play a keyboard instrument, this profound knowledge that what I want to hear is somewhere on the keyboard is comforting, as it significantly reduces my angst, and I am no longer perplexed. I know where the answer is. Oh yes there are the touchy subjects of practice, feel, music theory, mastery, scales and improvisation, inspiration, and ensuring that my humiliation from mistakes in the process of learning is done in private, to be overcome. These further domains in themselves boundaries, which, with focus, I can see, that given enough time, opportunity, effort and discipline, could also become resolved.
Focus is closely related to boundaries, the narrowing of a search or effort, within a bounded domain. If we can find the right context, the appropriate vocabulary, the contact person, the idea, the next step is achievable.
If we can break the big problems down into smaller, more manageable, well bounded domains, with further actions and concepts, our major challenges can be achieved.
The account of Jesus the Christ, as recorded in the King James version of the Bible, in the book of Matthew, Chapter 6, verse 34 indicates:
“Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day [is] the evil thereof.”
Could this be an example of the application of the boundary principle, where we are encouraged to take this complex journey of life, and become better able to manage it by partitioning into with boundaries, such as each day?