Do you receive a bigger ovation from a perfect performance or one that you struggle just to get through?
That may seem like an easy question to answer but let me first tell you a story.
This past weekend I attended a Christmas event that featured a performance from a high school glee club.
(Despite what you may see on tv’s Glee, the rest of this story is not filled with the drama of a teen pregnancy, fights or a love triangle).
This glee club very merrily sang all your favorite classics from Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer to Frosty the Snowman to Silent Night.
They were very good, but nothing to write home about (or write in a blog about).
That is, until they sang The 12 Days of Christmas.
The song was going fine until they got to the 10th day. They forgot the words not once, but twice. They didn’t remember what the true love got on the 10th or 11th day.
I am sure they were embarrassed. After all, they were now struggling to do the one and only thing they were brought on stage to do. Sing
But to their credit they didn’t panic. They didn’t stop or run off stage. They kept right on going and recovered enough to finish the song.
After they finished the very last verse something remarkable happened.
They received their loudest applause of the entire night.
After each of the many songs they performed perfectly they received little more than a golf clap from the few hundred people in the audience.
But when they messed up and struggled to complete a very common song, they earned an ovation that you might find at an NFL game.
We appreciate others struggles because we can relate to them.
We all remember a time where we forgot the words to a song, colored outside the lines, or struck out with the bases loaded.
You aren’t going to be perfect on every song (or painting, or sales call, or test). It’s okay to struggle. Just keep going and once you get through it you may just receive your loudest ovation ever.