If I’m not great, I’m good

Frank Sinatra speaking about a lesson he got from Benny Goodman:

“He was away off in the corner, everybody was kind of sitting around, having a snip of booze or something like that; and I walked over to him and he was just kind of quietly noodling, and I said… every time I see you Benny you are practicing… why do you do that so often? He said purely because.. Frank (he said) so that if I’m not great, I’m good, and I never forgot it… because it’s true. If you work hard at it all the time and you have a slow period… whether it’s your own emotional problem at the moment or you are lazy, something happens one day and you say… well I don’t feel like working as hard as the last night… you work, and it’s still good. It’s better than the other guy in other words. It’s never below the standard; and I try to live up to that.. when he told me that I thought… what a marvelous way to put it.”

Frank Sinatra