Howdy folks! It was weird not to blog for a whole month — and once I turned off the switch, it’s been hard to turn it back on. Much has happened in March.
Recap of My Month without Blogging
1st week: worked on one music project, which I realized wasn’t quite right for the current time.
2nd week: worked on another song, which I realized was more of a test (to see if I can get back into music-making) and I really didn’t believe in it.
3rd week: worked on another song, which I do believe in, but it’s a very difficult and ambitious song and I ran into problems.
4th week: halted production on the said song, and worked on putting together a web site that promotes my music services.
This week: work on web sites continue, but realized I’m running out of money — so back to job hunting. By that, I don’t necessarily mean I’m looking for an employment — I am looking for short-term projects so that we don’t totally deplete our savings.
I feel like a blindfolded mouse in a maze, bumping into dead ends and walls as I go.
This is the challenge with following your intuitions. Namely, intuition doesn’t have a plan. It’s not a very efficient use of your time, nor are you moving toward a direction in a singular manner.
But yet, the time was also filled with many major realizations.
Blogging is not needed:
I sort of knew this going in, but blogging has always been a substitute for music making. If I’m making music, I have no need to blog.
Follow a path just to make sure you shouldn’t go that way:
This happened a lot. I’d follow a voice in my head telling me to do something. Then some time later, I realize that it’s not really right — and now I feel more secure in my decision to choose the other way. While this may sounds like my intuition is wrong, not necessarily. When you choose something, after ensuring that the other paths are not right for you, you create yourself a commitment and focus that you wouldn’t have been able to achieve had you not explored the other paths. Following a certain direction is not always a guarantee that that path will work out, yet that doesn’t mean that going that way is a wrong choice. Follow me there? If you keep going down that path thinking about how it must work out that way, then you’re forcing something. And that’s not right.
Problem-Solving Is the Problem:
My friend and coach Tom Volkar first told me about this practice, which I believe Quakers use. At the end of a meeting, you go around and everyone says what they liked or what went well in that gathering. They never talk about what went wrong or what can be improved — only focus on the positives.
Then my wife told me to read a book called Living with Joy by Sanaya Roman. I haven’t read the whole book, but one of its chapters about turning negatives into positives really hit me like a 10-ton hammer.
Focusing on problems is a problem.
You see, I’ve always been a problem-solver. In fact, my previous industry wanted people like me — people who can solve problems. But by focusing on problems, you are enlarging and getting yourself attached to them. I’m taking both emotionally and metaphysically here, but if you want to grow and leave some yucky parts of your life, you need to love them.
That’s right. You need to love the problems, the challenges, all the faults and wrongs in your life. You need to embrace them and thank them for being the weights that you can lift, so your internal muscles can grow. Once you love them and stop seeing them as problems, then you are ready to leave them.
I knew, of course, about looking at things on the positive side, keeping good attitudes, being appreciative, and all that. But this drives all those notions down a lot deeper. Desire for growth is built into us, and we create ourselves challenges in areas where we want to grow, so that we can develop that area.
I’m sure many of you have seen patterns in your life, where you have recurring problems — similar obstacles coming up over and over. That’s happening because there is something there that you want to learn. I’ve said this before, and I am saying it again. Challenges are opportunities. Love your problems, so that they become ex-problems. Focus your energy on things that are right, working, and perfect, so that they can overcome and overwhelm the other parts that are not working.
I don’t know about you, but this changes how I go about my life completely. I am so used to fixing problems. I’ve gotten so used to doing them. I’m really not sure how I am going to live, if I’m not fixing something! 😉
Where My Intuition Has Led Me
Well, I had an ellaborate business plan going into this 2 months ago — and at this point, most of that plan is discarded. So where I am now? Here are the conclusions I’ve reached, as of today:
- I am more of a freelancing musician than a business owner/entrepreneur. The latter I’m still interested, but I need to start small.
- I’d rather do real-life, face-to-face networking than blogging and promoting myself online.
- The core of my activity lies in making music. Not teaching how to make it, not writing about it, not talking about it. So with this realization, I have my identity narrowed down to 3 roles: a record producer, a film composer, and a guitarist.
- I have one client — someone who worked with me a few years ago hired me back once I told him I’m back doing music. Yay!
9 weeks of soul-searching and is this it? Yes, and I’m glad. These last 2 months have been just a long series of paring down. I cut, cut, cut — and I’m not even sure if I’m finished.
Intuition only shows what you’re supposed to do right now. It doesn’t predict what will come out of it. So you go from point A to point B, and then only when you’re at B then the path to C appears. So it’s a bumpy, not-very-straight ride. But I feel good about the progress I’ve made.
My Resignation as a Self Improvement Blogger
So, with a great relief I’d like to announce that I am retiring as a self improvement blogger. Our Best Version will remain up, as the traffic is higher today than ever (ironic, isn’t it?) and my work is still reaching out to people. But I will no longer routinely update it. Oh, if there is something I’m dying to say, I will…but I am discarding an identity as a blogger. I may blog still, of course, to promote myself as a musician or for other reasons. But I’m not a blogger. I’m a musician.
It’s been great fun and I must say that had I not done Our Best Version, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I have come in contact with many other thoughtful caring people through this activity and I will continue to build on what I learned from this activity.
May we all grow to become the best version of ourselves! Please know that if you ever want to catch up with me, you are very welcome to contact me — I’m sure I’ll always be findable.