Doing It Yanni’s Way

Posted on November 1, 2006 by Robert Ringer


I recently saw an interview with the legendary Yanni (Yiannis Chrysomallis), a giant in the entertainment industry.  It was another reminder of the efficacy of going against conventional wisdom.

Yanni had no formal training and, as a result, could not even read music.  Nevertheless, he became a world-famous composer by developing a sort of musical shorthand that enabled him to write original pieces.

Yanni’s masterpieces are so unlike anything else in the musical field that they can’t really be categorized.  In other words, he doesn’t fit into a conventional mold.

In the interview, Yanni said something that every entrepreneur and businessperson would do well to type up and tack on their office wall.  He told the interviewer he felt certain that if he had had formal musical training, he would not have achieved the lofty level of success he now enjoys.

In other words, because he wasn’t knowledgeable enough to know how it was done in conventional music circles, Yanni invented his own way of doing things.  I can’t imagine a more inspiring story for anyone who feels intimidated by a lack of knowledge in today’s hi-tech world.

Remember, technology changes, but the basics that lead to success stay the same. Don’t waste time worrying about what you don’t know.  Concentrate on what you do know, and spend your time doing things your way — better and faster than others.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

2 responses to “Doing It Yanni’s Way”

  1. Linda says:

    I appreciate my piano lessons and music training, because it did teach me to be able to write my music down and preserve it. About an hour ago I was paging through a music book and found a song that, from the direction
    and placement of notes, I knew would be a song I liked.

    However, having said that, I understand where Yanni is coming from. I like to compose music, and a lot of what I compose follows the rules, but I do my own thinking. I play both piano and organ by ear fairly well, but playing by ear, like all other skills have some aspects ore difficult than others, and I can't always wait to look it up in a book. I have to trust my ear.

    As a teacher myself, sometimes I have to do "traditional" teaching techniques, but I always tell the students, "Look. These are principles you need to know. But you need to wrap them around your own style of doing things, and sometimes you will come up with a new outlook or view that I, as a teacher may not have thought of." My students constantly amaze me with the things they can do.

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