Sunday, March 21, 2010

Time as An Asset

What is the one thing all people claim to not have enough of? Would you say time? Some would say money, but that's a whole other discussion for another time and place.

I often wonder why it sometimes takes us most of or 75% of our lifetime to figure out what we love to do and have the time to do that. Why not choose to do that now and make the time to do the thing (s) you love? Why do we Americans wait until retirement to pursue our passions?

My life pursuit is to make the time to do the things that I'm passionate about. My job is a day job, and nothing more. That doesn't mean that I don't give it my all for that time being, but it also means that's not where my passion lies. I play music, I write, and I create. Those are my passions. I have ways of tying those obsessions in to my job as well. Remember, I'm creative and get creative where need be. :-)

I made a commitment to myself early on that I would never look back on my life and say I wish I had done this or that. I am traveling the world, I'm playing music almost full time, I'm writing and getting paid for it, and have a great group of friends and family. All big goals in my life that I'm attaining or exceeding in my wildest dreams. Life is good.

That doesn't mean that there isn't room for improvement. I would love to play music full time and make a living completely from doing it and it alone, but we'll see what the future has in store for me. I am working very hard to attain that goal. I love the challenge of continually creating, challenging my norm, learning, growing, and progressing as a human being. I'm continually inspired by some incredible people and one lately that got my creative juices going and got me off my duff was the book, "The War of Art." It asks the reader the question, "Why are you not doing what you love?" To paraphrase one of the most powerful lines in the whole book, "If you're not doing what your most passionate about and were born to do, you're not being fair to yourself or anyone else." Imagine if we all created and were doing what we were born to do...Powerful stuff. How many artists are out there that have never fully developed their craft? How many composers exist that work 60 hours at a factory and can't perform? How many wonderful cooks spend time in their family kitchen and wow everyone that comes in contact with their creations? I ask this stuff of myself constantly and like to challenge the status quo with regard to standards, norms, and societal barriers.

What inspires you and why aren't you doing it (unless you are, in which case, keep on keepin' on brother or sister!)?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Art and It's Place in Our Culture

I'm going to wax philosophical today; simply because I feel like life is making me really contemplate this stuff. I just finished reading the wonderful book entitled "The War of Art," written by Steven Pressfield. It's a great way to self reflect and begin to understand the creative individual, whether that be yourself or someone else. Essentially, it's a great book to get you off your butt and in to action. To stop procrastinating and do what you were meant to do.

I have to admit that I inherently like books like this because I, for some reason, I occasionally need self validation with my endeavors in the arts. Anymore, it's so uncommon to meet other individuals that are completely consumed with their artistic work. To find a full time musician/artist/writer that isn't living in New York, Nashville, or LA is uncommon, if not challenging to find. Most musicians and artists that I know have to supplement their artistic side with a day job or side gigs that help pay the bills. I'm this way as well. It doesn't mean that I lose focus or put music/writing/art on the back burner, it just means that I have health benefits and a pay check that affords food on the table and a roof over my head.

Getting back to the topic at hand: finding our true calling is what I'm encouraging all of us humans to do. What if everyone that we encountered in our life was doing what they were meant to do? Would people be happier? Would we all get along? Would the world be a better place? Would we have wars? Tough questions to answer, but I think overall, people would be happier and more fulfilled. I don't think we would have a culture that values monetary things, material wants, and plastic surgery. We would value things like: how great our meal was, or how wonderful an art show happened to be, or how we can't wait to play music with our friends, etc. Not saying that we can't value that stuff now and really make them priorities, but somehow it's easy to lose sight of that stuff when we have other distractions.

Looking within ourselves and being completely honest with ourselves about what our strengths are and our true God-given talents can be an awakening. You may already know what yours is, but if not, I highly recommend and encourage you to do so. It's not always easy to take this path, but it's extremely rewarding. Finding a way to make a living doing what you love will bring you so much fullfilment in the long run, and life is all about the long run. Who wants to be happy when they are 62 and can finally enjoy life after putting the good years behind them? Do it now!

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Being Inspired With Creativity

I hope you're having as great a week as I am. I am traveling this week and am with my parents in Mesa, Arizona. I happen to love the weather in Arizona for obvious reasons, one: it's such a contrast from what we're used to in Indiana. It makes it much easier to be optimistic when the sun is shining every day.

Something occurred to me as well. I'm a creative person and while at home I am creative, however, my creative well is overflowing out here. Being in a different environment, especially one that is condusive to better moods really helps your creativity. I find myself wanting to play more music, writing, etc. It's great! As a result, I'm going to try to take advantage of as much of this spring of creative juice as I can.

I realize that it's not practical for everyone to be in another climate or environment to just be creative, but maybe consider just changing your surroundings in a small way to open up the creative floodgates, that is if you're feeling stifled. If not, keep doing what you're doing. I find myself getting in ruts occasionally and traveling/changing things up really gives me a different perspective from which to draw from.

Part of the excitement and inpiration is also the fact that I'm seeing people that I don't get to visit with all the time as well. My parents live in Mesa, AZ, so I don't see them as often as I'd like. They are great about living life to the fullest and experiencing everything they can. That has guided me throughout and life, and now is no exception.

I wish you the best in your week and your journeys in general. Mix it up this week and try something/somewhere new. Get inspired!