If you were look at your life as a piece of music, you would likely find spots of repetition, shifts in movement and rhythm, as well as recurring themes. And, you’d find places for rest. So it’s natural to think that music in many ways becomes a reflection of your heart, mind, spirit, and physical movement.
In fact, your body of work, including all song sets, original pieces, as well as favorite songs, will to some extent serve to mirror the light of what moves, inspires, encourages, shifts, and dances you from day to week and beyond.
So it’s important to recognize the potential power that music has to make you feel better, think more clearly, move faster or more fluidly. Music can even serve to strengthen, celebrate, or lift up your faith. It can help you laugh, cry, get fired up, or chill out. It can help you stay connected, centered, and grounded.
Plunders + Plateaus + Plunges
It’s important to bear in mind that along the journey to your success you’ll face degrees of disappointment. These degrees may heat up for seasons that threaten to burn you out or may turn so bitter cold that you fear your muse has been chucked into the deep freeze for good. You may experience stretches of time where you feel like a failure. You’ll endure plateaus where you sense that you’re stagnating.
You’ll also face times where choices are made by others concerning your career where you have little or no voice. Sometimes these choices will not go your way, and may in fact seem unfair or absurd.
There’s Power In Prevention
In order to help you weather these seasons of struggle, stagnation, frustration, and folly, we have a few simple suggestions to put to use that will help you hang on, hold up, bounce back, and keep yourself growing when nothing seems to be going your way. These suggestions are ways to keep you from falling into depression, negative behaviors, or giving up all together.
Nothing is wrong with periodic soul-searching. In fact, it’s recommended if you want to get to the top of your game and keep reaching higher. But when you’re attitude is negative or self-destructive, soul-searching can become a threat to your muse, your relationships, your everyday well being, and even your life. So the following are keys, notes, and chords to strike that will help keep you positive and pressing on through times of struggle, strife, and strain.
The first key is to Energize. In other words, you need to engage in physical activity that you enjoy. This needs to be something that gets you moving. It may be running or hiking. It might be a sport you enjoy. You want to have at least three energizing activity options that are available on a daily basis for at least thirty minutes at a stretch. That doesn’t sound like much, but it will make a difference.
To provide an anchor or hook to attach to these activities, assign specific favorite songs that serve to get you pumped in some way. When engaging these activities either listen to or move to the songs you’ve selected. You can let the songs run through your mind as you engage in the activity. Or, the song or song-set for each activity can be played as an overture prior to performance of an activity and then revisited afterward as a form of celebration.
The goal here is to have energizing activity and music at your disposal to offset negative responses to disappointment, frustration, and the plateaus you’ll have to endure. This energizing activity just might also inspire new songs, new ideas, fresh arrangements, and can even help with image issues and overall fitness.
The second key is to Socialize. This is also pretty straightforward. You need to go out and engage in a social activity. It can be seeing a play or film or going to a party. It could be joining a club or organization that interests you. For this activity you need to choose three positive people that you enjoy seeing at least once on a weekly basis. You must commit to going out with them once a week, either individually or with two or as a group.
You also need to choose one social hangout that for you is a special, personal safe place to refresh, refuel, or relax. It could be a favorite live music venue. It could be a restaurant or a library. It could be a church or place of worship. It needs to be some place that you can go to simply to recharge your battery.
The song connection for this key is to associate a specific song or song-set with each of your three companions, and you must also choose a song or song-set of comfort and connection that you associate with your special hangout for socializing. If you want to share this information with your friends and whoever runs the place you’ve chosen, do so at your own discretion. Who knows? They may actually find it amusing or intriguing.
Humorize Is Humor-Wise
The next key is humorize. Ok, that’s not a real word, but its meaning is pretty clear. You need make yourself humor-wise. In other words, set aside time just for laughs. This can be handled through watching sitcoms or DVD’s of funny flicks or even by reading books by authors with a comic flair.
For this you need to choose at three songs that always make you laugh or maybe at least smirk or smile extra wide and goofy. These songs must be the sort that you could not sing or play without cracking up even if it’s only on the inside.
You also need to choose three resources for humor that you will have access to whenever you need a good laugh. Your resources could be a favorite comedy filmmaker, an author, a comedian, a politician, a neighbor, or a family member. One resource for humor could even be a favorite pet that is often able to rescue you from the throes of even the slightest blue mood or self-effacing behavior.
These are only the first of three keys to keeping yourself healthy and hopeful. They’ll feed the staying power you need as you navigate an often treacherous, sometimes discouraging road that leads to your success as a singer, singer-songwriter, performer, musician, and all things that are positively creative.
We’ll bring you the rest next week.