Conquer Reality

I can hardly believe my last blog entry here on my personal blog was well over a year ago.  Happy Friday everyone, and I’ve decided to postpone this weeks' travel blog entry just for a few days, to write a special blog entry.

Where to start…Needless to say, I’ve been busy.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, I just started a new travel blog, which will evolve into more travel and lifestyle related content, and that has been taking up a bit of time.  I’ve been busy pursuing my music career; I’ve been traveling a lot. Yeah, pretty much the usual.

A lot of you may know this, but in summer 2014, I began working with JONAVI on a brand new music project, which has evolved into her debut album.   We’ve been hard at work and at the moment, we’re focusing on her lead single.  There’s a LOT that goes into releasing music the right way.  Now, before I continue, I don’t mean to belittle or offend ANY musician out there.  What I mean by that is, if you want to release an album, or even just a song, there’s a LOT you have to consider outside of what the average person would think goes into a song… and the truth is, most people don’t.  I won’t bore you with the details, but needless to say, no matter how prepared you think you are, you probably aren’t if you haven’t done it before. :) 

I think I can speak for Jojo as well when I say that we’ve both learned a lot about how this process works.  It’s a lot of (fun) work; a lot of meticulous decisions that are made for many reasons.  The creativity and the business side are both important, and I’m blessed to have an understanding in both.  Am I pro? By no means would I say that I am just yet, but I have been blessed to be around a lot of incredible creatives, as well as a lot of very savvy business-minded people.  I’d like to think that mentally, I’m a pretty good hybrid of the two.

But I digress. That’s just one of the many projects that’s been occupying my time.  But I’ve had some thoughts lately…thoughts provoked by my experiences in this industry and otherwise…  I’ve noticed that as a person I’ve become more direct in recent times.  It’s something I’ve noticed in the past year or so.  I think it’s because I’ve surrounded myself with people in the industry that are like that.  After all, it makes sense.  You don’t have a lot of time in this industry to get things done.  Sometimes it feels like you do, but before you know it, you’re almost a year from when you wrote a song, and you’re almost done with it.  You’ve gotta make quick, but careful decisions.  It’s just a very interesting process.

In finding this newfound “honesty,” if you will, I’ve noticed that I’m much quicker to call out nonsense.  I think this comes from the fact that I’ve very self-aware.  I’m aware of what I do, and why I do what I do.  I’m aware of the root of an issue or problem almost instantaneously.  It doesn’t take much thought for me to discover such things.  Though, it’s a “catch 22” really; more good than bad I’d say though.  But I think this is a trait that can be learned, but it’s something that has no place for ignorance.

That brings me to the main point of this blog.  I think a lot more people out there need to be real with themselves.  Being positive in that is possible of course, and you should be.  But I think too often we as humans push aside what reality we don’t want to deal with and fill that void with a bit of fantasy.  Don’t get me wrong; you need to dream big.  But a dream needs to be built on the truth, on what is ACTUAL.  If you’re sitting around dreaming about doing something incredible but have no plan whatsoever, then you need to be real and START somewhere.  Learn as much as you can, and I promise, you’ll be closer to where you want to be.

Another motivator behind this topic is that later today, many of friends will graduate from college, so it’s got me thinking about it all again.  It’s hard to believe that I’m almost a full six months out of college.  It’s hard to believe that I do what I love for a living.  But don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of hard realities that were hard to believe at times too.  It was hard for me to believe that I wasn’t really going to make money DJ-ing for a while.   When I first started, I quickly realized that each gig I did was going to pay for more equipment, and that if I really wanted to do it right, I needed to work a lot harder than I was.  I had to realize that I was not prepared enough yet and that there were many things I had to do that I simply didn’t want to.  But I faced it.  I dealt with it, and ultimately, conquered that mountain in my career.  It looks silly to look back and think about it, but I’m a better person and business man for it. 

I’ve heard several motivational speakers both religious and not talk about how children dream…and they usually allude to the point that we should all be more child-like, but I think they always miss something.  Yes, children think, “I can be an astronaut, or a doctor one day.”  Children have a very limited perspective, however, and don’t usually have much backing to their “dreams.”  I remember when I was young I had dreamed to be a teacher… Why? For no other reason than I liked the white boards, bulletin boards, and other various classroom trinkets.  The mechanics, science, and art (though I didn’t know) is actually what fascinated me.  As a kid, I remember being amazed at how a dry erase marker worked (yes… I know… just keep reading).  But if I had naively followed my dream to be a teacher, then I’d be far off the path for my life and incredibly under prepared.

All that to say, yes it’s good to dream big.  But dream realistically big.  Say to yourself, “Ok, what do I really want to do? And what’s the first step to get there? Do I want the destination? Or am I going to truly get the most out of the journey?”  Here’s where most people freak out… usually the first step is the BIGGEST.  I think most people have this false idea that the first step on the journey toward anything is the easiest… and maybe that’s true in some circumstances.  But I know in my life it wasn’t.  I’ll save anecdotes for another time, but I think it’s clear.  If that first step is huge, then you either need to have the motivation to do it, or find something else to do.  Whatever you do, don’t get caught in the limbo of, “Oh hey, I want to go there!…but….. I don’t really know how…so I’m just going to keep wanting to go there!….but maybe later”…. Because frankly, it’s probably not going to happen.  I can’t tell you how many times this theme has been at the forefront of my lives or my friends’ lives.  I guess most of us are just really in that transitional stage.  

Now, especially to all my friends who are graduating today (and those who find themselves on similar journeys), don’t take this as a discouraging word.  Whoever is reading this, I pray that you would be driven; be passionate about your dreams.  Let that passion steer you toward conquering reality.  Reality often does kinda suck, but it’s when you can overcome those difficulties that you’re succeed in the best way.  If you ignore reality, you’re not going to beat it.  I’m sorry. It’s just not how things work.  It’s the people that faced the tough situations head on that reached the greatest success.  As you walk to a new chapter in your life, let the things that scare you motivate you into being better.  Let it drive you to become a better (insert profession); let it move you to take on the (undesirable steps toward your career).  I promise you, that once you get in the habit of climbing those mountains, you’ll be well on your path to getting where you want to go.