What’s killing your dreams: The Violin Player Parable

Reading Time: 7 minutes

I heard a story earlier this week about a violin player who loved playing the violin. Any free time he had he had his violin in his hand, he practiced. His dream was one day to be a great violin player. He played for everyone who would listen. Because of all the practice, he was good. 

One day as he was walking down the street he saw one of the greatest violin teachers. This teacher was this man’s idol. With great anxiety, he walked up to the teacher and introduced himself, and asked if he could play for him. The teacher smiled and said he would be delighted.

So the gentleman opened his violin case and proceeded to play. As he played, people gathered around him and listened to the great music he produced. Once the song was done and the young man packed his instrument away. 

Beaming, he asked the great teacher, “ So will I be a great violin player?” 

The teacher simply said, “I’m sorry but you don’t have what it takes.”

Crushed the young man returned home and put up his violin and went to school. He studied business and become one of the highest-paid salesmen in the country. He was wildly successful. 

About 15 years later as he was walking down the street the young man saw the old Violin Teacher and excited to see him again. He ran up to him and reintroduced himself.

“Great teacher, You probably don’t remember me but many years ago I played for you and you told me that I didn’t have what it takes to be a great violin player. So I gave up my dream and went into business and I am a huge success. I have a beautiful wife and wonderful children. I couldn’t be happier. I wanted to thank you for telling me the hard news.” The young man spoke.

The teacher just smiled and said he was glad it worked out.

They talked for a short bit more and as the young man was about to leave he asked one other question he had for the teacher. He asked,” So how did you know I didn’t have what it takes to be the best?”

The wise teacher looked sad for a moment and said, “That is what I tell everyone who asks if they are good. Those who have what it takes,  simply don’t listen.”

Following Your Dream

Here at Relaxed Male, I try to help men find that dream they had when they were young and didn’t have the limiting beliefs they developed in the later teen and early 20s. Have you ever talked to an 8-year-old and asked them what they want to be when they grow up? That is a dream. Now that is a dream. 

Yes, our dreams do change as we grow up. We decide that being an astronaut isn’t what we want to do, though we still find going to space fascinating. Our dreams also change because of what people tell us. We may get a teacher who mutters a passing phrase about how our grammar is atrocious. We pack that away as a story we tell ourselves. Many times then we will decide according to what we hear about others as well little Johnny is told he is weak in math. We believe that he is better than what we can do so that makes us weak at math too. 

We often in our method of finding out what we are good at often throw the baby out with the bathwater. We drop our dream because we were told we were not good at something that is completely not related.

Many times our dreams are those very things we did as a child. Maybe we were always helping those hurt. Maybe you were sitting in front of the radio with a tape recorder and making your own radio shows. Maybe you found your dad’s video recorder and you started making your own movies. 

Has a teacher ever said you cant do something?


Sit down and grab a piece of paper and write out all the things you use to do as a kid. Talk to your parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles, If you are still in contact with your childhood friends draw them into your search for what you loved to do as a child. 

Don’t throw away those parts you think are you just being a dumb kid. I used to play with my Star Wars action figures in the backyard. That could be equated to just a dumb kid activity, yet What were these action figures doing? Many times they were helping other people with their problems. While also defeating the Empire. 

Write everything you can think of as a kid. Each of those memories you and your family and friends come up with are keys to your dream. As your list grows you will start to see a pattern. Maybe you loved to paint. Or you would sculpt stuff out of the mud. Maybe you always had a knife in your hands and you were carving something. Those tips are there, look at them, use some curiosity and think about what patterns you find. You may be surprised.

Who are you listening to?

You have probably heard many times to guard your dream. There are people all around you who will accept your dreams. Some people won’t accept your dreams. They will call you names. They will try to make you feel foolish for wanting to pursue your dream. So why do people who claim that they love you and want the best for you shoot your dreams down so much?

They don’t understand

Most people simply don’t understand your dream. They don’t see your why. THerefore they cant fully appreciate the burning desire for you to go out and do something they see as foolish. You can try to explain and you may ever be able to help some of them to understand your why. You won’t be able to help them feel as if you are doing something dangerous. They may not even understand why they don’t want you to go down that path other than they feel uncomfortable with you going on that journey. Yet they know that it will be uncomfortable and in their mind discomfort isn’t safe.

It’s not their vision

Many times people in your circle simply can’t see your future. The only person who can see that is you. Again you can often try to explain it. They may be even able to start to see your why. However they won’t have your drive, that fire in the belly to get stuff done. People can try to keep up with you in cheering you on but eventually, you will get too far and they will fall to the side.

Now with that understand that you will pick up new friends who understand your dreams better. They will be more aligned with your purpose. They have skills that can help you achieve your dream. Yet then their path will also diverge as new ones will take their place.

You have a vision for your dreams. Your vision isn't your families vision.

They are coming from a place of fear

Your friends and family are also showing concern simply because they are afraid. We know people fear things they don’t understand. Then if you add those people who are used to staying at home and watching Netflix going out of their comfort zone it sounds daunting and very scary. 

So understand that your friends and family who are discouraging you from following your dream are only afraid of being hurt and or receiving public embarrassment. Your family also fears this embarrassment and how it will reflect on them.

They have tried and failed

Many people may have tried what you are aiming for, Maybe you had an uncle who tried to be a comedian. He tried it and eventually gave it up. Maybe you had a grandfather who wound up ruining his family after trying to start his own business. Many of these fears that your friends and family have are simply pieces of legend.

They are afraid and their fears though well-intended are coming from a place of fear. Therefore you have to show them some compassion and understand that they mean well though they are uninformed. 

They could also be telling you not to try to achieve your dream simply because they see their failures in your actions. The fact that you are trying to do the very thing they tried their failures is becoming evident to them. This also makes people uncomfortable and so they can get harsh with their language. If that happens you have to exercise the needed thought work.

How do you protect your Dream?

Now how do you keep your dreams alive after you refound them? There are many ways you can make sure you are staying on the right path. You are making the needed steps to your dream and your vision can be realized.

Keep looking to the future.

Using visualizations can help a lot. Especially with making sure you keep the needed drive and passion going for your dream. Think of what it would be like to achieve your dream. Get specific, What does it look like? How would you feel? How would you talk? What does it smell like? How does it physically feel to your touch? Get as specific as possible. 

Make your dream and obsession and pursue it as such. LIve as though your dreams have come true your mindset will adjust to the new way of being which will make the transition easier.

Have a vision for your dreams. Look forward and live as if you have already made it.

Find a group of people who will help

Following your dream can be a lonely feeling and this will often cause you to give up. One of the best ways is to find a group of men who can help hold you accountable. From starting your own accountability groups or joining a group that is dedicated to making sure you follow your dream. If you are looking from a group I do have the Brotherhood of Men Group.

As mentioned before when you have people who can better understand your why and the drive that you have they can help lift you up, support you, and your desire to accomplish your dream. So if you are looking, sign up.

Get help from those who can push you.

You might also seek out help from people who have gone before you. You might want to talk to either a mentor or even pay for a coach who specializes in the field you are pursuing. 

Often a coach can help you understand what is keeping you from reaching your goal. They can see what mindsets are holding you back. Coaches are also able to call you out when you are telling yourself lies in what may be keeping you from living your life large. A coach can help you stop playing small so you can get to your goals faster. Nothing better than seeing your dream become a reality and a coach can help you do that.

Make a plan

Layout how you are going to achieve your goal. Make a plan and then do the hardest part, execute that plan. Many people dream and that is all they do. They may look at their plan and decide that their family and friends are right and give up. But if you chop your dreams plan up into smaller bites it can become easy to see a path.

You don’t have to let your dream die simply because someone says you don’t have what it takes. Yeah, you may not have what it takes and if you don’t you will be easily swayed from your dream. Yet if you are willing to set your jaw and dig in your heals, you can power past those who want to hold you back. If you need help and you don’t know where to go please hit me up I would love to talk and see how you can get to your dreams.

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About Bryan Goodwin

I like being able to help people find their "why" and achieve the personal freedom they desire. Besides writing for Relaxed Male I also am a life coach. By helping men find the leader that is found in each and every one of us. I do this by encouraging men to get outdoors and find the balance they are missing. Realize that they need to be in contact with the outside as often as they can. It is not only good for them but for their families and relationships.

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