Do you ever feel like
you’re so focused on trying to get to the “next level” or trying to accomplish
specific goals that you forget to enjoy living your life day to day? Do you ever feel like your happiness is
dependent on accomplishing specific goals, whether related to the music business
or other areas of your life? Have you
ever had the experience of wanting and desiring something to happen intensely
only to realize shortly after achieving whatever it is you set out to achieve that your
life isn’t really that much different after all?
I’m sure we can all relate to the above scenarios. Life is short and it happens in the moment, day by day. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans”. When I was younger, I was intensely focused on “making it” in the music business. I would practice for hours and hours each day,I would spend hours making phone calls and booking gigs for the band I was in at the time. For awhile it was immense fun and there was a sense of passion that fueled me. Passion and motivation can be very healthy. But eventually that sense of passion and determination turned to disappointment and bitterness, for awhile. I can remember vividly being at gigs where not as many people showed up as I had hoped for and I would get visibly depressed and down because things weren’t going the way I thought they should. I was forgetting to just enjoy the experience, even if the experience wasn’t unfolding exactly the way I thought it should. As a result, something that started as a lot of fun turned into something that for awhile wasn’t enjoyable.
When you’re passionate about something and you care deeply about something, it’s hard to not experience moments of disappointment. I sometimes wish that I was content just working in wal-mart, renting a trailer and marrying the first girl that would put up with me. I’m not joking. I think there are people that are blissfully content living very simple, mundane lives. I’ve met many of them and in a way I envy them. But…. I’m not one of them. I’m not like that. I need to feel like I’m moving forward in life and in general , when I keep myself in check, I’m much happier when I have goals and things I’m working towards. I love having things I’m passionate about to work on when I get up every day. I F$/king love music. I love writing it, playing it , listening to it, talking about. I love it.
The challenge for me, and something I’ve become much better at over the last few years, is just staying focused on what I love about music. The feelings I’m able to express when I write it, the way it makes me feel when I listen to it, the thrill of hearing my music on television, the boost I get when I know that I’ve been able to help someone move forward with their own goals and yes, the thrill of getting paid for it.
I’ll never forget something my 10th grade music teacher said to me in high school. We were sitting down one day at the piano and I’ll never forget it, he said, “Music gives you a reason to live”. What I didn’t know was at the time my music teacher said that he was dying of aids. This was probably about 1990 when aids and hiv treatments weren’t nearly as effective as they are now. My teacher passed away the following year. But think about that statement, “Music gives you a reason to live”. Wow. And from someone who knew he was dying, but he still had something that motivated him and helped him face each day, even though he knew his days were nearing an end.
Music has given me a reason to live and continues to be something that fuels me every day. Music is a gift. Don’t let your pursuit of making money from music get in the way of the sheer thrill and enjoyment of making and appreciating music. It’s hard sometimes when you’re focused on making it in the music business. It’s a challenge we all have to deal with and reconcile in our own ways, but try and stay connected with why you started making music in the first place. It’s easy to lose sight of that when you’re trying to pay your bills and just get by. But try to find some time each day, to just bask in the wonder that is music. Turn on one of your favorite songs and just listen. Forget about money and forget about deals for awhile and just focus on the music.
In : March 2013
blog comments powered by Disqus