Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Become the Worst to Flourish (Bieber, Fallon & Skrillex)

There is a fantastic book you should read called “Smartcuts,” by Shane Snow.  In it, the author considers individuals -- Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon, Skrillex, etc. -- who have taken non-traditional, fast tracks to success, or in their cases, stardom.

There are a number of characteristics that connect the above-mentioned individuals, one of which is the value they obtained by teaming up with extraordinary people.


Consider the following quotes:
“Every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead…” -Albert Einstein 

“If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.” -Isaac Newton (although out of context) 

“Always be the worst guy in every band…” -Pat Metheny  

The first two, I wrote down years ago.  I just came across the last one in an excellent book entitled “The Passionate Programmer,” by Chad Fowler.  (Another great read!)

It spoke to me and woke me up to my present reality -- one of working with people of much greater talent and depth than myself in the world of music.  
(Note: I have ALWAYS been surrounded by superior talent in this realm.)

Recently, I have felt increasingly unsettled, even lost at times, in my creative endeavors.  For the life of me, I could not pinpoint why, until the author's work exposed various changes underway.
(I find these "awakening" periods fascinating.)

Now, I understand.

Those unsettling feelings are due to change:
--Letting go of "truths" I have previously argued against or defended.
--Setting aside practices I have invested in and tailored, in order to experiment with new approaches.
--Turning off my initial reaction to embrace new sounds, rhythms, noises, words, people, etc. 

Both the musicians and the producer I am working with here in Spain are changing how I think about, feel about and create music -- an interesting, hopefully worthwhile, but often challenging experience. 

We know the value in connecting ourselves to others, especially those of greater and/or complementary talent to what it is that we possess.    

However, we often avoid it.  

Due to a desire for comfort, our own self-doubt, discouragement from peers or fear, we allow ourselves to settle. 

It is easier and feels better to be the superior talent or intellect in a given room.  In that space, one possesses power -- abilities, insights and resources beyond those at the same table.  Our chin can rest a little higher, and we can bask in the glory there.

The feeling is comforting, so we naturally latch onto it.  

I urge you to consider the alternative. 

The second you feel that sense of comfort or superiority, transition out of that space.  Your time there is complete.

Remaining in that space is the first step towards your demise in achieving something of excellence.

Fear not that your talents will be diminished by the superiority of others as you transition into the next level, for they will not be.  

Your talents will be enhanced, developed, even made a new in this space.  In short, you will flourish! 

$.50 Philosophy

No comments:

Post a Comment