• A little weekend motivation…

    in Self-Improvement

    I think I’ve unintentionally stumbled into a pretty good habit.

    At first, I wasn’t going to write on weekends. But then I naturally started posting motivational things and figured this could be my way of not focusing on music and related topics (like I do during the week), and give you a glimpse of another side of me… someone who thrives off inspirational and motivational readings, quotes, and axioms.

    So that’s what I’m going to do. On weekends, I’ll post some of the things that have inspired me throughout the years. After all, they can very well apply to your musical growth as well as other areas in your life.

    So here’s something that’s on my wall right now. It’s simple too.

    (Courtesy of my wife’s iphone)

    “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”
    Benjamin Franklin

    Instead of expounding on what it means to me, I’d like to hear what this quote means to you?


    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.



    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Alex Douglas

    Hey Jermaine,

    Very interesting post! Well, I’ll bite…as someone who is as interested in words as he is in music, I was certainly tickled by that Ben Franklin quote. The two things he suggests are not quite synonymous; to ‘write something worth reading’ could well become an example of ‘doing something worth writing,’ but the reverse cannot hold, as there are many activities that could constitute ‘something worth writing’ that do not involve writing itself!

    Not all people are blessed with literary gifts – but everyone has it in their power to be someone worth knowing. One is more than just one’s actions – but one’s actions become who one is as well. So becoming someone worth knowing requires that one do things that are ‘worth writing.’ I don’t think this has to be massively profound. ‘Doing something worth writing’ could be anything from telling the truth when a lie would be easier, putting another’s interests before one’s self, giving your time for a worthy cause (these days, time is worth more than cash in certain situations), achieving a goal despite incredible obstacles – and more.

    But this is a real subtle catch – if you are going to write words – best write something worth reading. Otherwise you have wasted your time and other people’s.

    Yeah, you have done a good thing by reaching out with that one! Good work amd thanks.


    2 Jermaine

    Hey Alex,

    I really appreciate your comments here! And I agree with you when you say “something worth writing” could be anything. Doesn’t have to be some huge work.

    I think everyone can fall into one of the categories though. Franklin was encouraging people to just do something good. And maybe the word “writing” in his quote doesn’t necessarily have to be just writing. Maybe that was one of the main forms of communication then but now there are many ways to pass around something “worth reading” or even “hearing” about.

    There was a book written by a guy named Napoleon Hill. He interviewed some of the most successful people who were alive around the early 1900s. People like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford. He wasn’t the one with the information. He wasn’t known. He wasn’t “the man.” But he found a way to connect with these people and pass on something worth hearing about. It led to being one of the most successful books to date… millions and million of copies sold.

    But it even not be that big… in your own faith, can you pass something on worth hearing or reading? When someone needs your help and is discouraged, can you pass something on worth reading or hearing about?

    But then again, I wouldn’t take it too far because maybe Franklin meant “writing” with an underscore. Maybe that was a big belief of his that everyone should be writers, if they can. I remember someone telling me, if you can write, you can write yourself to any accomplishment on earth. I’ve always loved writing and it has led to many opportunities. Everyone has a voice. Everyone has something to say. Maybe he was imploring us to develop that skill at any cost??? And if you just can’t, well, you better be on the other side doing noteworthy things for others to write about. He didn’t seem to leave any room for middle ground.

    All the best,


    3 ella

    uhm…first of all, can i just call you Mr. Griggs? hehehe. ok, i’ll call you Mr. griggs. hehehe.

    well, what do i think about the line by Franklin? simple. do anything senseful.when you do something, it should be worth remembering. when you write something, it should be worth to be thought over by those who read it. it should be something that initiates action.

    doing something might range from doing almost anything to doing something (there is a difference among the two) as long as it makes you whole, complete, happy by the very sense of happiness. (this could be hard to explain, hehehe). It could be pursuing a passion for passion begets passion. what is worth writing could not only mean that we should all be writers in the end. it might mean that what you do is worth spreading to be known the world over. as i have said passion begets passion. pursuing a passion might inspire others to do the same. what better way to obtain happiness than to help people trod their own paths towards their own meaning of genuine happiness! now that is worth doing. that is worth telling, worth writing, worth spreading…. then, waht was written, what was told, spread is now inspiring to become worthy of initiating actions from other people.

    you see, it’s a cycle! hehehe. it is connected. actually, everything is, for all we know.


    4 Jermaine

    @ella: Thanks for your awesome comment! This is what i need… more feedback like this and Alex above. (Others welcomed! :) )

    I totally agree with you… passion begets passion!

    Since most believe something worth writing could be almost anything worthwhile (heck, doing something worth writing could very well be bad when you see how much negativity is covered in the local newspaper and/or on the news, but I meant it in a positive light, of course!)

    But what are things NOT worth reading and actions not worth WRITING?


    5 Alex Douglas

    Well now!

    What are things NOT worth reading and actions NOT worth writing?

    Here’s the short version of my answer: anything that constitutes the failure on the part of any given individual to live right – and especially in the sight of God.

    One of my favourite quotes is this: ‘Being is the goal of all knowning.’ A person could do things that on the surface seem to be positive and holistic, but the only reason they did it was to make people think ‘wow, how cool is so-and-so’ – then it really doesn’t mean anything.

    I was arguing about this recently with the father of my god-daughters. His argument was that even if somebody did something good for selfish reasons or whatever, they have still done something good, and no-one should judge them any which way.

    Now, I totally agree that judgement belongs to God and God alone. But while it is not for us humans to judge the motives of others past a certain point, it is essential that we know what principles we want to live by. My friend is saying that the reasons why someone does something are not important. I can only disagree. Here’s why: I speak as someone who has at times in the past done certain things because I knew that I’d look good as a result. It sure worked well sometimes! But the Bible I read tells me that God ain’t impressed with any o’dat! 1 Samuel 16:7, where God says to the prophet Samuel: ‘Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature, because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart’ (KJV).

    We may not know why someone does what they do, but while we can’t control other people or read their minds, we can try to use whatever discernment God has given us so that (for example) we don’t make ourselves vulnerable to people who look like saints but have hearts colder than ice. But more than that, I’m trying to say that our best recourse is to keep it real and live right. The praise of men can really make us feel good – but in the end God alone decides whose actions really were worth writing and who did things that were truly worth reading.

    So, your question: what are things NOT worth reading and actions NOT worth writing? Anything that does not match up to God’s standard – and sometimes, only that person and God knows anything about it.

    Did that make sense?


    6 Charmaine Barber

    Hello Jermaine,
    I enjoy reading items on your website which inspire me to try harder – not just in music, but in my life generally.

    To answer the above, a very simple comment – “Actions speak louder than words”.
    For me, action is always better than non-action. Just make sure that it is constructive and not destructive and it will lead to something worthy of being written about!

    All the best



    Leave a Comment

    Previous post:

    Next post: