#35: What I Learned about Navigating Uncertainty from Marching Band

Let’s look at what I learned about navigating uncertainty from marching band. You might not know this, but I was a music educator for 20 years, and I directed marching bands during 13 of those years. Marching band is a complex activity that serves as an excellent metaphor for navigating uncertainty.

Times we’re living in now are more uncertain than ever. Yet the future is always uncertain, no matter how predictable it might seem.

Challenges we face can either help us grow or become our stumbling blocks.

When marching bands perform, each individual must play a musical instrument. The music is memorized. It must be expressive, dynamic, and artistic. And each performer must move around while playing. While adjusting the music and physical position to everyone else.

Imagine that.

Then, add rain and a slippery football field as the “stage.”

How might you navigate this complex, uncertain circumstance?

Whatever your situation, I hope you will consider these tips from this podcast episode:

  1. Focus on what you can control.
  2. Keep learning.
  3. Know & apply your strengths.

While we cannot know the future, navigating uncertainty is possible when we know ourselves and focus on what is within our power to control. Whether the field is what we expect or a slick one covered with rain.

Just like performing in a marching band on a wet football field during the final competition of the season, we can gain strength every step of the way during uncertain times.