When I was 16 I wanted to be a professional singer/songwriter.
That’s ALL I wanted.
Did you write down YOUR dream from age 16? As I share my thoughts about this keep in mind I am only sharing MY dream because I don’t know YOU. Use my example and plug in your own experiences and vision ok?
I wanted to travel around playing at all the cool small coffeehouses and folk music clubs that were around at the time…
I wanted to go to Greenwich Village in NY City and get “discovered” by a record company or a manager who would make me famous and get my music out into the world…
I would focus on writing songs, performing and attracting really hot chicks.
The question this guy asked me the other day was this: What was your dream when you were 16? His point was that when we are teenagers we long for something that we want regardless of how practical or “realistic” it is to achieve it.
So the question is, “do you really still want THAT dream?”
Or, have you moved on to something bigger and better? Have you REFINED that dream and adapted it to your increasing level of sophistication as you’ve grown older and wiser?
Or have you slowly, steadily, sadly, given up little bits of it at a time until you are wondering why the hell you are even here?
Sometimes we don’t get something when we want it but that only makes it sweeter when we eventually do reach our goal.
Other times we get what we want only to discover that it’s no “big damn deal” or an outright disappointment.
When I was 16 I was ignoring the fact that in order to make a living performing at tiny coffeehouses, I had to travel all the time and basically live on the $100 bucks I would earn a night. And THAT was back in 1978! When $100 bucks could actually buy you a couple of things. Now it’s still a $100 buck gig. And it doesn’t take very long to do the arithmetic and realize that it would suck to HAVE to depend on that to pay your bills.
So what is a better idea?
For me when I scratch the surface of wanting to be a full time professional songwriter, I find something interesting… It is the process of learning and expanding my awareness that causes me to have material to write about… and processing that new knowledge and understanding through a song is incredibly pleasurable…
In other words, the stuff I have struggled with in my life, love, financial, health issues, have fed my songwriting, given me material to work with in songs that truly set them apart… These songs are not just entertainment, they are a integral part of how I do life…
AND it is the same exact process through which I generally learn and adapt and adjust and grow towards any goal… again, the particular way I live my life.
So the next question is: what if the songwriting was part of something bigger?
So for you, what if the thing you dreamed of when you were 16 literally was leading you to an even bigger, better dream that incorporates that 16 year old desire and ENHANCES it with some profoundly attractive ideas and experiences in ADDITION to that dream?
Here’s an example. I was coaching a 16 year old baseball player. His “problem” was that he was experiencing “Chuck Knoblock” syndrome. Essentially when he caught the ball at short stop or 2nd base he was increasingly throwing too high to the first baseman. He was experiencing “Performance Anxiety” on those particular throws. Of course he was fine in practice, this only happened in crucial spots in real games.
So I asked him, “What do you really want?” Do you want to be a top college or professional ball player? (I know his parents brought him to me because if he was able to get his head back in the game in those key moments, they would be looking at full scholarship money for his college tuition).
He shook his head. “What I really want,” he said, “is to travel the world having sex with the most beautiful women in every country.”
Now I did point out to him that if he “fixed the throwing to first base problem” and ended up a major league baseball player, he certainly would have his pick of women from all over the world if he still wanted that…
BUT if becoming a great lover of women is truly his deepest, most honest dream and he sets out to accomplish that,
Some people might judge it as shallow, BUT imagine all that he will have to learn in order to pull that off.
- He will have to learn how make money in order to fund his travels in a way that gives him time and cash to actually be able to buy his plane or boat ticket and keep himself in food and clothing while traveling.
- He will have to seriously learn how the female mind works. This alone could take a while… LOL
- He will have to understand human female AND male psychology as well as the dominant psychology of the cultures he is exploring.
- He may also have to discover that after having sex with a 100 or more women, that there might be more to life than that.
- He may have to work on himself to change his way of thinking and lift himself up to a higher level of status and awareness that women find attractive in a man.
- He may have to learn self defense skills to protect himself from all the jealous boyfriends and husbands he will encounter
- What else?
Ok. So not such a shallow goal after all. But at 16 he doesn’t see all the details or possibilities for general enhancement that his goal will provide.
Now Back to my example :o).
This dream of getting my music out into the world has driven me to do deep, deep work on myself. I was so full of fears and anxiety and self defeating mental and physical habits that it took me YEARS of concerted effort to transform and heal those things.
And now. Today. This week. I’m taking some time to truly evaluate. What is it I want to spend the rest of my life doing? I find this a helpful thing to do pretty much every 90 days or so. Check in. See if you are on track. Are there adjustments necessary? What’s working? What needs work? What needs to be let go?
I will ALWAYS write songs. When a song “comes in” I stop and focus on it. Or it happens while I’m doing other things. The songwriting part is easy. Does a labrador retriever wag it’s tail? It’s just what I do.
But these days in addition to writing songs, I also write blog posts and make videos.
Wow that feels good! I mean, really, really good.
But instead of traveling for hours to perform for $100 bucks. I simply upload the song or video or podcast or blog post to the appropriate blog or channel on youtube, key word it so that someone who is actually looking for what I have can find it and then I move on to the next thing.
So the dream I had at 16 is still alive. I want to share these songs with as many people as I can in my lifetime, but in an intelligent way. In a congruent ecological and sustainable way. In a way that delivers profound value to the exact people in the world who most desire and value what I have to offer. If I offer value then value will return to me perhaps from an entirely different source that I sent it out to… That’s part of the fun.
Where and when appropriate I am happy to perform my songs or give a talk, teach a seminar, coach a client, work on a self help course for a specific problem that I may have solved but that you might need help with.
My performing my songs happens in and around all that. It’s perfect. It might be in my living room for a few friends. It might be at some local coffeehouses that don’t require hours of travel.
I also have kid songs and stories that I enjoy performing for schools and family audiences. I charge more for those so that’s cool.
I also perform every week at my beloved Unity church. Where people truly “get” the content of my spiritual but not religious songs. That’s a steady gig so I charge a bit less.
I love reading and writing and thinking and understanding and working out new ways of percieving and communicating with other people. And that is the engine that fuels not just my songwriting but my storytelling and teaching, my coaching and self help programs, my writing. It all works together. I’m not JUST a songwriter. I’m a transformational communicator. I’m a healer with words and ideas. I’m a creative artist. I don’t have to make a million dollars at any one thing. As long as I can do the things I love doing I FEEL like a millionaire. Because isn’t that what people who want a million dollars REALLY want?
To be able to do what they want, when they want, how they want, with whom they want?
Isn’t THAT what the million dollars really represents?
Do you see? 40 years later, my dream is still alive but it is being refined and filtered and adjusted.
And when YOU get it right for yourself and all the areas of resistance and all the “yeah buts” have been ground down by real living, you just might wake up to find you are richer in fact than most millionaires or in theory.
And that stuff called money just might find you extremely attractive and start flowing towards you in ways that you might never have been able to imagine back at age 16.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it:
So your assignment today is to go back to your beloved dream as a 16 year old and remember it. Find the hidden kernel of TRUTH contained in your young dream. Honor the essence of what you wanted back then and begin to hold in your mind ways that you can still have the essence of what you wanted then, TODAY.
How was what you wanted good for you? How was want you wanted not so good for you? How is it possible to let go of the things that don’t benefit you and tune up and increase the things that ARE good for you?
Play with this and let me know what you think!
Questions? Thoughts? Comments?
P.S. If you have any thoughts or questions or subjects you would like me to reflect upon in future videos, click the button below and contact me today.