muted tones

september 02

this entry is from september 02. click here for more information about the curator, and to hear the finished work.

plateaus, peaks, consolidation

september 25th, 2002

i’ve been in louisville for just over one year now since i moved away from chicago. one of the main reasons i left the big city was to leave everything and everybody i was familiar with and try to make it on my own. my main motivations were to find a job in a recording studio, form a band to backup my original songs, and finish my first solo album. last september i thought it would be easy, and that as i long as i remained patient and persistent, i would accomplish all of these goals. well, i’ve almost accomplished all of them, but it wasn’t anywhere near as easy as i imagined.

at the end of the summer i finally found devoted and talented band members, i got myself two songs away from finishing the album, and i expanded my set list to fill a live spot. the problem was that i found myself totally unmotivated to follow through to the end with any of them and realized that i was out of energy. i let a couple of weeks pass and finally brought it up to a friend who provided some wisdom that i wanted to make permanent here.

there were three things that i rembered. first he told me that with everyone’s ambitions, there are plateaus and peaks. we all know that, we spend 98% of our time working on whatever it is we do (plateau) all to achieve that 2% peak. but from there he explained that not everyone consolidates the accomplishments and lessons that occur between each plateau and peak cycle. in other words, to take the time to lay out what worked, what didn’t, and what needs to happen next. pretty much for the purpose of giving direction to the next plateau that leads the the next peak. in time, he claims, the time between those plateaus and peaks become shorter and shorter and the entire process moves incrementally faster.

secondly, he gave me a myriad of examples of people that we know who like to start things, but don’t like to finish them. someone thinks it would be so cool to be a pilot and goes to school for like 2000 hours, and now 50 hours away, just decides it’s not for him. not that it’s bad to change direction, but in my case i realize i do that with my own music, and after some reflection, i’ve decided that it’s a weakness for me. it’s basically like hammering through a prison wall for 15 years, and then giving up when you only had two more inches to go. it’s impossible to know when you’ll break through, but the fact is you have to eventually if you keep pounding.

finally, his explanation for all of this is the fear of success. on any level, he believes, that people don’t go those final steps because they’re actually scared to succeed. it seems ridiculous when you apply it to yourself and your own endeavors because we all sweat to achieve our thing and all we dream of is the end right? and hopefully success? well if you give it enough time, it might not seem so far fetched after all. obviously lots of people are ready for success and go after it with everything they’ve got. but if it comes to that last leg and you find yourself letting go, it may not be for any other reason than you’re scared to succeed.

i had to put this out there because i realized it was true for me. i’ve got the band, i’m two songs away from the album, so i’m officially on the last leg, and i decided that my lack of motivation and drive was, after all, because i’m scared to succeed. it was probably one of the most enlightening ideas to ever affect me, and, more importantly it set me straight to get to the peak. since last week, when i had this conversation, i got my first solo gig lined up. honestly, i’m still kind of freaked out?!



september 25th, 2002

It took me a long time to root out my specific flavor of success fear. It is the fear of being found out as a phony. That I really have NO IDEA what I’m doing. NONE. And if I like, start being recognized, and people find out that I just make it all up, then what happens? Do I get thrown in the brig? Nope. And it’s because everyone else just makes everything up too. Some people just have more training so they get done faster, or more precisely. OR so they can sound like they know what they’re doing. But they don’t. We all make it up.

i don’t know how young you are, but i’m too fresh to understand that i’m scared to succeed and i dread it’s outcomes in the future

march 12th, 2003

So i have this huge tryout on Saturday to decide my next year future for high school. I'm attempting to be accepted into an amazing Arts High School where i will be given the tools and opportunity to play and experience music for more than half of the day. So i've been working on my composition that i have to have prepared for the audition and i'm decent at composing music on the piano. So i wrote these awesome scores, they were heartfelt and amazing, but I always forget them, because i get in the moment and then keep going and end up wondering how it started 30 minutes ago. So I did this beat box mix with this weak piano front and it's horrible, and i would be ashamed to put it out there. The thing is that i always get to this point and freeze. Just say, " Man i don't want to do this, it's not for me". The thing is that this is my last chance to do this. Next year i'll be a senior and after that this school isn't open, unless they have some SUPer senior program that i am unaware of. So it's three days really until my audition and i'm stuck in this sticky gue of freight, or basically i'm just scared to succeed at this, but i need to because i need this. It's my dreams and my ambitions, but i'm scared as hell. SO i know what you are going through and hopefully my music career will turn out a sixth as well as your has already. I look forward to hearing your music one day. Maybe we could jam, eventhough i know you've worked hard to find dedicated musicians to back you up, we could have some fun. SO that's it. I have to go and sit and stare at my instrument of song until i come up with something worthwhile. Hopefully it works for the best.

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