A Great Pianist Performs On Short Notice

There was once a great pianist. Everybody appreciated and admired his soul-stirring performances. One day, the leaders of a well-known cultural society met to plan their fiftieth anniversary celebration. They decided to invite the pianist to give a concert for the occasion. Unfortunately, they decided too late. As it was just one day before the anniversary, they were afraid of asking him. He was such a great pianist. How could he possibly accept their invitation on such short notice? They felt miserable at the idea of inviting him at the eleventh hour. A friend of theirs, who was also a friend of the pianist, took up the challenge. He said, "Although it is so late, I will be able to arrange for him to perform for us. He is my dear friend."

The leaders of the society said, "We will be so grateful if you can bring your pianist-friend. We are all afraid of inviting him at the eleventh hour."

The friend said, "Do not worry. I will be able to bring the pianist."

This friend went to the great pianist and asked, "Will you do me a great favour?"

The pianist said, "You are my true friend, and you need a favour. Is there anything I will not do for you? If it is within my capacity, I will definitely do it."

The friend said, "I do not know if it is within your capacity or not, but I am a little embarrassed and quite hesitant to ask you for this special favour."

The pianist replied, "Please ask me. I will definitely grant you this favour."

He said, "My friends and I at our society would be extremely grateful if you could give a performance tomorrow. I took up the challenge to bring you to our event, at extremely short notice, and now I do not know whether I will be successful or not."

The pianist started laughing and laughing. "You are my dear friend. Will I not do you this favour? When it comes to friends, there is no 'short notice.' I will play any time. For others, I am not going to perform on such short notice. In your case, my friend, you can ask me to go anywhere, anytime. I have been practising for nine hours a day every day for the past 35 years, so I am always ready."

The friend said, "How I wish I had your determination!"

The pianist laughed and laughed. He said, "Determination is not my monopoly. God has given everyone the same determination. Only, in my case, I practise my determination. You do not practise your determination. If you practise every day, determination becomes natural. Because I have used my determination for so many years, it has become second nature to me. By using our determination regularly, we make it totally natural and spontaneous.

"Kindly tell your society that I am definitely accepting their invitation to perform tomorrow. I value my friends more than anything else in my life."