Focus. You need it. Without it you’ll lose sight of both who you are and where you’re going. It happened to me (multiple times mind you). Visualize where you want to be and I swear to God if you don’t get there the only reason will be because your focus became blurred. Too many distractions that you couldn’t handle or didn’t want to handle… My situation happened to be the latter for the past few months. You see, I’m one to admit when I screw up. At my job I’ll own up to my mistakes and even performing live if I screw up I’ll start the song over and play it off as a joke. I’m telling you now that since my last blog post (and perhaps even before that) I screwed up, got lazy and LOST FOCUS.
I had a lot on my plate and even more on my mind… I figured if anything had to go it would be the blog. After all how many readers do I get anyway? So I decided to go full throttle into getting my name back out there in the music scene. I felt I wasn’t doing enough. I needed to do more; play more open mic nights, book more shows, record more songs… but you know what? More does not mean BETTER. Doing all of that for about a month or so made me tired, short-tempered, depressed and I ended up drinking almost every night of the week which would turn into a mild hangover at work (those AREN’T fun).
So how did I lose focus? You might be thinking “Steve, you were getting after it, focusing on music, grinding, being a musician!”. I’ll tell you right now that you don’t get anywhere doing it that way. When you’re tired and feel like shit you lose creativity, you lose patience, you lose hope… You get into a rut and just go with the flow: Wake up, go to work, come home, grab your instrument, drink, play, repeat until blue in the face (sounds fun right…..?). I was also writing at the time for an album (stay tuned by the way!!!) I have planned, but that was going slower than expected due to the above circumstances. After a while my vision had become blurred: I didn’t know where I wanted my music to go, I didn’t know how I wanted to be perceived, hell I didn’t even know what day of the week it was.
With all of that being said, one day I was flipping through social media (Instagram specifically) and noticed in the story section something that caught my attention right away from The Minimalists (seriously go check them out). Each part of the story expanded on the last. The gist of it was to bring yourself to ask the right questions and to truly be honest when answering them. Once you can do that you can really start to feel something… it may start small… but you’ll feel a sense of realization. What do I see myself doing with music? Well for starters, I needed to finish writing the album. DONE. Next, I needed to book recording time. DONE. Now how am I going to release this thing? I knew where I want to have the release show, I know I NEED to sell it out and I know I want some of my best friends playing along side me. This will all come in time, but it WILL happen. You know why? I’m focused on the visual, and honestly, I can’t wait…
When you take the time to make one thing great you’ll feel incredible. Sure you can do bunch of little projects, rush through them and then BOOM on to the next one, but you know what? If you want something to be great you make it great. PUT IN THE FUCKING TIME. Maybe that one great thing IS an album, maybe its the performance, or maybe it could just be one day of the week… I personally feel that this can go for careers, relationships, really anything in life. This leads me to a phrase I was taught by my buddy George Hahn: “Less but better” (which I think is from an old paper towel ad or something). The phrase is simple enough, but you learn to take the time and force yourself to have the patience. Trust me, the rewards are that much greater when you do. We live in a society of instant gratification with a lot of fast food, movies being available from home, porn, and now we’re getting groceries delivered to us because we feel we don’t have the time of day to go to the damn grocery store… I mean really?? Don’t get me wrong me… I’m human and would like my needs met as soon they happen, but then I stop and think that it’s not the end of the world, I CAN WAIT. So as customary and tradition with my blog posts this has ended on a little bit of a rant, but thats how my head works so deal with it. 😉
However, to get back on track and lead you into the weekend on a positive note: Make what you do count. Challenge yourself to focus on where you want to be, when you want to get there, who you want to be there with… ask yourself all of these questions, be BRUTAL when doing so and I truly believe that you’ll be on your way to something incredible.
“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty. I have never in my life envied a human being who lead an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”
– Theodore Roosevelt