In high school, I was one of those kids.

Tests were easy for me. I had decent recall (which was what most tests were) and was a Grade-A BS artist. I could talk my way out of (or into) almost anything – including decent grades. That meant I could slack on homework and didn’t really have to study.

I was that kid you hated. And now it haunts me.

See, the huge disservice of my earlier years of education was that I never learned the discipline of preparing. I didn’t study. I didn’t do homework. I didn’t practice music. Yet I maintained acceptable (perhaps even enviable) grades.

So here I am, a thirty-something that has to re-learn, every day, the discipline of practice. Of preparedness. It’s a concept made more clear in Duhigg’s The Power of Habit. When you train your body and mind properly, you free yourself to do the difficult, important work.

Clearly Maria Joao Pires has done the work to prepare.

Here, she shows incredible grace under pressure as she realizes the orchestra behind her has left from the wrong station, playing a different Mozart concerto than she was expecting. Different from the one she had likely been brushing up on in preparation for this concert.

Watch how she handles it.

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