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Archive of ‘passion’ category

Unbounded Thinking

Here’s a link to the web-based version of what I hope to be a much more cohesive run of email newsletters detailing my many and varied madcap adventures in art, love and bright, twinkling lights.

Oh, and here’s some inspirational shit I wrote out in note-form for myself the other night, I hope it helps you as much as it helped me:

Unbounded Thinking

We are here to be ourselves, to realize our uniqueness and to maximize our true selves – expressing our true nature without fear.

So your passions do not need to be curtailed for the sake of focus, explore them all freely.

Obviously you must make money so search for the sweet spot. But don’t get too hung up on money. It’s kind of nothing.

For example, I love to create awesome things, and a good business is such a thing, a work of art.

If you need money (now) and this is where the money (now) is, then go with this energy, this path of least resistance. But you know, you probably don’t need it as much as you fear that you do.

Defy expectations. Be free.

You can be building a business today, being a singer tomorrow and writing inspirational words next week. Do what is appropriate on the day.

It’s all me, and me is free. Unbounded thinking makes it so.

p.s. to get the email newsletters, just download my free tunes.

Cliché, Yes, but the Journey Actually IS What It’s All About

I was sitting on a couch in my friend Joe Hammond’s recording studio the other day listening to the song we’d just recorded when suddenly I felt completely empty, even a little depressed.

The recording was great, probably only 70% finished but definitely a successful and fun day’s work and easy to see how from there it would be plain sailing to finish it off into something to be proud of.

 

 

I had been waiting for the day in the studio for weeks. Catching me humming a little happy tune while doing my least favourite chore the night before (dishes), A Certain Lady commented, accurately, that I was obviously looking forward to spending a cheeky Thursday making music.

So, come 7pm that Thursday, given all was well, why did I feel so empty? No idea. But I have noticed it before.

Truth is when I get what I want, I very often feel like this and so I can understand how people who get everything they want often lose it.

It’s often bandied about that you have to do what you love in order to succeed – and I think this is true – mainly because you need that passion to push you through the hard bits. If you weren’t passionate enough about your work, the trials that inevitably befall any project worth doing would cause you to give up the fight.

 

 

But there’s another reason I need to love what I do – because I have noticed on quite a few occasions that when I get what I want, even though it does feel very good, the feeling doesn’t last. Soon after I feel kind of empty, tired and blue.

That’s why it is so important to love what you do – because success is a fleeting pleasure and because it’s the “doing”, the striving, that takes the most time. So if you love that process, then life is bliss, because once the momentary thrill of success, large or small, is over – you take a little R & R and then just get back to doing “it”, the thing you love, all over again.

Sweet as.

(Photos by Spindickle – thanks mate)

 

 

Middle Age is the New Teenage

I think middle-age is a lot like being a teenager, you wind up back where you started, bored in suburbia, sitting on the couch thinking: “Is this it? Surely there’s more!”

When you are a teenager at home abiding by other people’s rules and when you are all grown-up with responsibilities, you have something to rebel against. When you’re in your ’20s (or just generally pre-mortgage / babies) you sort of don’t. Life is then as perfect as it gets. You have energy and health and get to please yourself a lot more than at any other point in life – so what’s there to rebel against? Sex with perfect bods and immunity from hangovers? Not!

Rock Begins At 40

(OK, 38, but close enough…)

People who kick-arse begin with a vision that is apparently ridiculous and then successfully engage a critical mass of people with that vision until their support helps it actually become reality.

U2 got a critical mass of people buying into their “impossible mission” – that a bunch of kids from working class Ireland could possibly become rock stars. This seems plausible to us in retrospect, but to your average person of limited vision this would have been laughable before they did it.

Here’s my crazy vision: To prove that dreams can come true – even for middle-aged musicians – thereby inspiring people to determinedly pursue their passions, no matter what their age or situation.

Think about it – middle-aged “popular music” musicians almost never rise from obscurity to establish a viable career as entertainers. All the working rock stars over 30 established their brands in their 20s. It’s an expectation waiting to be defied, and it has a massive “what’s in it for me” factor for loads of people – Hope (not to mention great music).

In 2012 I will have been gigging for 20 years – but I am really only just getting started and the best is yet to come.

To support my vision of geriatric glory you only need to do one thing – download some of my music for free. This will subscribe you to my mailing list so you can follow my further adventures in entropy, prescription drugs and rock n roll (you can unsubscribe later if you choose – although I may send round the heavies if you do).

So, About Those Voices In Your Head…

The Wrong Voice tells you to do things to make money. It says “Make money first, then you will be free to pursue your dreams”. But the Wrong Voice is full of crap.

The Wrong Voice comes from your Lizard Brain, the amygdale. It’s the reptilian part of your brain that is not very intelligent and is only concerned, in a kind of scared little animal way, with surviving in a harsh world.

In order to be butt-kicking superheroes, we need to identify this voice (which Steven Pressfield calls the Resistance) and laugh in his face. We need to learn and understand the power of the following simple quote by Steve Jobs:

“There is no reason not to follow our heart.”

At first glance this may seem like a clichéd line, and indeed “follow your heart” kind of is. But to me the real power that drives this statement is “there is no reason not to…”.

He was being literal – there truly is no actual reason not to follow your heart. There literally is no reason not to sing, write, paint, start your dream business, have a child, restore that old car or whatever.

It can be hard to hear your Right Voice, but it’s always there, patiently urging you to kick massive butt…

A Passion for Process

By Seamus Anthony
We’ve all heard the cliché “it’s all about results”. But is it?

It’s easy to have a passion for results. Bank robbers have a passion for results, so do suicide bombers. But results don’t really last long. If you need to rob your way to wealth, then you probably don’t understand life or money well enough to hold on to your cash for very long. And some results, let’s face it, are probably fiction.

You can dream up the result for your business in a moment and put this into a detailed plan in as little as an hour. Then what stands between yourself and the end result? Process.

Process is going to account for countless hours whereas results are fleeting (a glance at your bank balance, a thank you speech, an article about yourself in the newspaper). So if you’re doing it all because of a love of results, which in and of itself is not bad (probably necessary), but you don’t enjoy the process, well you’re either a rare bird who can work relentlessly with only the thought of the dangling carrot to motivate you, or you’re never going to stick with the process long enough to succeed in achieving any results (let alone the rewards of this result).

Results Come to Those Who Enjoy Process

I used to be in a band (cue eye-rolling).

It was doing pretty good but we had a long way to go. But then it was suddenly over; we were young, restless and back then 5 years seemed like a lifetime. We had only made it so far in those 5 years (further than most) so we figured this was a problem and quit. Trouble was, two of us didn’t really want to quit, and kind of had a tactic agreement to continue at some point, preferably with the 3rd band member.

Years flew by, as I now know they do, and due mainly to geographical separation, me and Pete couldn’t put the band back together, but we kept talking about it. I had many adventures, so did Pete. But in and around study, travel, careers, home buying and child rearing we continued the conversation about how one day we should get it together and pick up where we left off.

Over time the “should” turned to “would” and in time, slowly, we started actually doing it. We are soon to release our first single under the name Zuiiza. (Watch this space baby!)

It’s been about 15 years since we started having the “we should get the band back together” conversation and I can tell you, it’s been quite a process. Along the way we’ve had to deal with things like:

  • the fact that neither of us wanted to live in the same place
  • the fact that the 3rd band member didn’t want to reform the band
  • finding a suitable 3rd band member
  • deciding that this was in fact a new band
  • naming it
  • finding the money to buy equipment
  • buying equipment
  • finding the time to cross the country and get together
  • collectively exploring new music ideas (i.e. jamming)
  • turning these ideas into actual compositions
  • recording… the list goes on…

And all of this against a backdrop of collective “wisdom” that said “this is a fool’s mission: why make it hard for yourselves, form a band with some locals and get on with it”.

But we did it – we made it to “Start” again – it took us 15 years, much longer than we thought it would (to say the least) but we made it – and my point is we wouldn’t have made it if we didn’t enjoy this whole, belaboured, inefficient, foolish, illogical, protracted, process.

But we did enjoy the process. We enjoyed catching up sporadically and having some beers and talking about how we “should” get the band back together.

And we continue to love this process. We enjoy emailing back and forth and figuring out when the three of us can all swing a weekend away from the demands of family and work to travel halfway across the country to hole up in the studio and jam.

If we hadn’t enjoyed the process – there would be no band. But we did – and so against the odds, we have now created a platform with which to, well, rock out, for years to come.

That doesn’t mean it wasn’t frustrating, it certainly was just that and still often is. And not every moment was in and of itself specifically “enjoyable”, sometimes just the opposite, but happiness is not the sum of many happy moments strung together. If it were, believe me, there would be no rock bands – and probably no families either!

How To Be Good At Stuff: Enjoy It

Meditation is a similar deal. If you don’t enjoy the process of meditation (overall, the painful or boring moments notwithstanding) then you are never likely to get to the end pay-off, the elusive good feelings of inner peace and physical bliss, not to mention increased health and well-being in your daily life. But the fact that a lot of people never manage to get to a place where they enjoy the process means that most people never get to experience the benefits.

Writing is a classic for this. A lot of people seem to fancy themselves writers but from what I can tell they do a lot more drinking and talking about writing than actual writing. I suspect these people haven’t actually learned to consistently enjoy the act of writing, which can be a long, lonely and hard slog, and are in fact enamoured with the results of successful writing, none of which they’ll ever get to enjoy because they simply don’t produce anything publishable.

So if you want to bask in the glory of “results” then you’d better find a way to enjoy process or give up now. I personally have given up on a lot of things, because I liked the idea but the process gave me the shits. In the end, I think this is best, because process is what fills your day, not results, so filling it with something you love makes sense.

Maybe this accounts for the clichéd Billionaire entrepreneur who just keeps working to accrue ever more wealth, leaving ordinary mortals to roll their eyes and ask “how much do you need?”. “More money” isn’t the point, they keep at it to experience more process, because they love the process that made them rich in the first place.