The Baritone

With my son Louis in the 6th grade, and my little girl Ferne in the 3rd grade, the start of a new school year brings new school subjects our way including those with interesting new musical instruments. Louis was tasked with playing the baritone. I wasn’t actually convinced that a baritone was a musical instrument until he proved it to me by Googling it online.

He spent two days spitting into his mouthpiece in an attempt to ‘practice’ playing Yankee Doodle (even Canadians know that one) when he announced that he required a protective pouch intended for his mouthpiece and that we had to go to the dollar store to buy one. In the spirit of encouraging his passion for music, off we went to the dollar store, just the two of us. We headed immediately for the protective mouthpiece aisle and retrieved the pouch we came for when Louis suggested, “Mom, let’s go down the aisles one by one just for fun.” I knew it was his way of negotiating the purchase of a few additional treats and gizmos and in order to prolong our cherished one-on-one time together, I willingly obliged. We picked out some things that we really did not require like extra plastic containers for leftovers, double A batteries for our milk frother, a photo frame which says “family” and some bobby socks for Ferne, his sister, with small cat pompoms on the ankles.

As we were exiting the store, Louis said, “Shopping is good sometimes.  It cleans you out.” Considering the $35 I just paid on one dollar items, I had to agree, but knew he was talking about a different sort of cleaning.

“What are you talking about, Louis?”

“It cleans you out. If you are mad or pissed off or frustrated and you go shopping, you leave just feeling better and it’s all ‘hakuna matata.’ (A term he picked up from the movie The Lion King that means “no difficulties": no troubles, problems, worries or cares.)

What amazed me was his wisdom. This was not a talk about shopping. It was a talk about Frame of Mind. It was about how when you change your focus away from the things that irritate you to stuff that calms or inspires you, your entire disposition can change. Therein lays a secret: what you focus on is what becomes your life. But the bigger secret is this - you can intentionally change your mind if you want to by constantly focusing on the things that you want in your life. It is called building the mind muscle.  Making it the single biggest goal in your life and understanding this is crucial to your thinking, to the quality of your life, and to your overall success.

Of course shopping is not for all - although it definitely works for some as a short term way to redirect one’s focus. Other things can work too… tuning in to music, exercising, watching a show, chatting with a good friend, pretty much anything that makes you feel good. Here is what I do… I write in a journal daily and focus my thoughts on the things I want to see, do, and experience throughout my life. The moment I write it down, it’s real and it’s permanent and I start to create all the things I desire. My Frame of Mind is the base of that creation and I work on it every day.

How about you? What do you do to focus your thoughts and shift your way of thinking?

Kim Ades, MBA, President of Frame of Mind Coaching and JournalEngine™ Software, is one of North America’s foremost experts on performance through thought management. By using her unique process of coaching through journaling, she works with clients to unveil and switch their thought patterns to ignite significant change and life transformation. Visit to sign up for your own free, secure, online journal.





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