Follow Your Bliss

Posted by Aaron Davison on Saturday, October 13, 2012 Under: October 2012
Today's post is the first in a new series of weekly posts I'll be writing that relate to the mindset you need to cultivate, in my opinion, to be successful in the music business, or any business for that matter.  I tend to get the most positive feedback and the most responses when I write these types of posts, so I've decided to start doing these on a weekly basis.

I consider myself a glass half full kind of guy.  I like to think I have a pretty positive attitude towards life that has served me well.  It's not that I don't get down or get frustrated sometimes, of course I do.  But I tend to always come back to the idea that to be successful in any endeavor, it doesn't pay to be negative.  There are some things outside of our control and there are some things that we can control, focus on the latter and don't waste your energy on the former.

 When it comes to making music and ┬┤pursuing a music career, there tends to be this mindset that to be "successful" you have to become famous along the lines of Bon Jovi or Lady Gaga.  I'm sure not all of you think this way, but It's safe to say a lot of musicians do.  I'm not quite sure where this mind set comes from.  If you set out to create a restaurant as your business do you consider yourself a failure if you don't become as huge as McDonalds? Do doctors consider themselves as not quite having made it if they don't become as huge as Dr. Oz or Dr. Drew?  I don't think so.  

So why should it be any different with musicians?  I think this obsession with wanting to "make it" can have a really negative effect on your pursuit to "make it", ironically.  Why not just focus on doing what you love and getting better at what you love to do and then figure out a way to monetize it? Of course we all have bills to pay and it's normal and healthy to want to progress.  But we have to have a healthy balance between wanting to "succeed" and simply wanting to keep following our passion, or as the late Joseph Campbell said, "following our bliss".  

I came across this great video the other day of the late philosopher Alan Watts discussing this concept in the video "What If Money Were No Object".  Watts makes the point astutely that it's stupid to work at a job you hate just so you can keep on going to work at a job you hate and then go on to teach your kids to do the same.  What a miserable cycle!

There's an expression that says "Do what you love and the money will follow".  I think this is a little simplistic but I like the idea.  I would say "Do what you love and get really, really good at it and then figure out a way to monetize it and the money will follow".  Or something like that....

Check out this video and let me know what you think in the comments section.  How do you go about striking a balance betweening simply following your passion and at the same time paying your bills? 

In : October 2012 

Tags: alan watts  joseph campbell 
blog comments powered by Disqus