Friday, October 9, 2009

Eric Clapton Makes Good Use of Time

Character/Life Skills Traits: Work Ethic, Time Management

Eric Clapton is heralded by many as one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. In fact, he's the only person to be inducted three times into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. How did he become so successful? Well, one thing was that he spent a lot of time with his guitar. I'll give you an example.

One evening Clapton was getting a bit frustrated. He'd been ready to go out to dinner for some time, but his girlfriend, Patty, was making him late. It wasn't the first time. She typically had a hard time getting ready for outings.

So he played his guitar for awhile to kill time, then checked back to find her still trying to decide what to wear. He told her, "Look, you look wonderful, okay? Please don't change again. We must go or we'll be late."

Now, many men at this point would have proceeded to stomp around - frustrated, hungry and steaming. But Clapton returned to his guitar and within about 10 minutes had composed a song about his predicament entitled "Wonderful Tonight." Good thing he used his time wisely. The song became one of his all-time most famous hits.

The point? Most successful people seem to carve out time for what matters, where the unsuccessful waste it. As Thomas Edison, the prolific inventor, once said, "Good things come to those who hustle while they wait."

(Source: Clapton: The Autobiography, by Eric Clapton, pp. 173, 174.)


1. How did Eric Clapton make good use of his time?

2. How do you think prioritizing his time with the guitar contributed to his success?

3. What are some things you could do to get more out of your time?

4. What's something you could do this week to make more of your time?

Share your ideas below. How do you use your time wisely? How can we get that across to our students?

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