I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post today. But the more I thought about the fact that it’s Thanksgiving and the more I reflected on the important role gratitude has played in my own life, the more inspired I felt to write this post.
I tend to focus on more tangible concepts for blog and newsletter topics. Things like publishing, licensing contracts, music supervision, music libraries and so on. My goal has always been to deliver the most relevant and useful information for musicians looking to license their music. I want to give you information that you can apply right away that will give you tangible and definite results.
It’s easy to dismiss advice like “you need to be grateful” or “think positive” as fluffy, new age mumbo jumbo. It’s difficult to quantify the power of gratitude or the power having a positive attitude plays in our lives. This is probably why I don’t delve into topics like this more frequently. There’s a lot of fluff on the internet. There’s a lot of bloggers and writers that say a lot without really saying anything at all and the last thing I want to do is contribute to that noise.
But with that said, I’m going to do my best to articulate why I think having “an attitude of gratitude” is anything but fluff. It’s actually really great advice that has served my very, very well in my own life and is applicable to both the music business and really any other area of life you can label.
A concept that I used to write about with some frequency is the idea that “success breeds success”. This is a pattern that I’ve noticed has played out over and over in my life. When things are going well, things tend to keep going well and get even better. When I licensed my first song I was so ecstatic that I immediately started working even harder and soon had licensed my second and third song and so on. I hadn’t really improved as a songwriter that much (maybe a little) but more than anything I was just inspired by my own success to reach for even more success and that gave me the strength to move forward.
I like to think of these periods of forward movement as “positive feedback loops”. We get so excited when things are going well that we take action to make things go even better. I’m sure you’ve experienced periods like this in your own life. Of course the converse is also true, sometimes we can get caught in “negative feedback loops” where things go badly and we can get stuck in a downward spiral. Without going off on too much of a tangent, I theorize that many cases of depression are probably linked to this sort of “negative feedback loop” where focus is shifted towards things undesired and unwanted. The mind has an amazing ability to find evidence to support whatever it is you focus it on.
Gratitude is closely connected to this phenomenon of success breeding success. When things are going well most people are naturally grateful. When things are going the way we want them to, we’re happy, excited, inspired and more confident. In other words, we’re grateful. The trick is knowing that you don’t have to wait until some external thing happens to start being grateful. You can jump start this whole process by CHOOSING to be grateful right now. You don’t have to wait until you license your first or 100th song to be grateful. Be grateful that you wrote a song. Be grateful you can afford a guitar. Be grateful that you have internet access. Be grateful that you have the courage to even try to do something meaningful and inspired with your life! You’re already ahead of most.
Chances are if you’re
reading this blog post you have far more reasons to be grateful than the
majority of people in the world. Now
before I start sounding like Sally Struthers begging for money from those
commercials back in the 80s and 90s (remember those) let me just leave you with
a few statistics to reflect on. This is
in no way meant to be “preachy” or self righteous. I simply think it’s important to keep things
Here are a couple statistics that you can find easily from numerous sources online:
TOTAL PERCENTAGE OF THE WORLD POPULATION THAT LIVES ON LESS THAN $2.50 A Day – 50%
TOTAL PERCENTAGE OF THE WORLD POPULATION THAT LIVES ON LESS THAN $10.00 A Day – 80%
Chances are that if you’re reading this you are a part of the wealthiest 20% of the entire world’s population. Does that mean you shouldn’t strive to reach your goals? Of course not. But keep them in perspective. Are you sad because you’re not a wealthy rock star? Oh I’m so sorry for you (sarcastic voice) you poor soul. Are you depressed because your music career isn’t thriving the way you think it should be? Poor you (sarcastic voice).
The point? As you’re stuffing yourself today on turkey and stuffing with your family and loved ones, know this: You’re already blessed.
In : November 2013
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