I have a decal on my living room wall that proclaims in big, looping script, “Life is about creating yourself.”
Taking my own wall seriously, I made the commitment to music last year—that I would give being a full-time musician a chance. And, here I am a little over a year later, still financially afloat, with a better car and computer for doing my work, a new website, new collaborations, a new instrument, and over an album’s worth of new material. It’s useful for me to look at some obvious changes and numbers, because day to day, I’m still washing dishes, making to-do lists, and practicing scales like I’ve always done. I can forget I’ve made progress since so much of the road is familiar.
But, certainly, we can all use the power of habits and the familiar to our advantage. Isn’t this what we’re doing when we learn a new skill? We are creating those familiar pathways that are initially unfamiliar. A friend of mine going through major life upheaval, where nothing seems familiar, when given a guitar, exclaimed, “I know what to do here!” The patterns all make sense because he took the time to ingrain them. Prayer, relationships, a workout routine, diet choices…so many things that become the fabric of day-to-day living were, at one time, all new.
So as I enter my second year of being a full-time musician, I am still asking myself, “Who do I want to be?” and, more specifically, “What does that look like?” What are the daily routines and tasks that I need to refine or develop to have the success and life that I want? The experiences that leave me saying “not that!” are just as useful as the ones in which I say “YES!” with all of my being. They are contrast and clarity. So I have (ok, am still) learning to welcome the not so great experiences as much as I revel in the pleasant ones.
And so, my friends, what questions are you asking yourself along the road? What helps you gain clarity into who you want to be and what the day-to-day living of that looks like?