Growing up, I always knew music was the thing. You know at the end of the movie City Slickers where the cowboy is talking about how the secret of life is just “one thing” – well, my one thing is and always has been music.
But for a long time (about 10 years) I put that dream on the shelf to pursue other things. What other things? Responsible, adult, grownup type things. I started and ran successful businesses, made good money, went back to school to get my masters – the whole mature adult shebang.
And once I did all that, you know what? I wasn’t happy. I had all that stuff that culture tells me will make me happy and give me a fulfilling life, but it was all empty.
I felt like I had all this explosive creative energy inside that was just being wasted. I heard someone say the other day, the richest place in the world is a grave yard – thousands of ended dreams, unwritten books and songs, faded ideas, and snuffed out creativity.
So true, and that’s how I felt, like my dreams and the real me was being wasted. My wife even noticed I wasn’t myself and something was missing.
One night, during this time, I started looking through some old journals I had written as I was coming out of high school. Suddenly, I came across the words that changed my life.
It just said, “Future me, if you’re reading this, I just want to remind you that you are built to do music.”
It was a simple statement, but I felt like the words jumped right off the page, grabbed me by the collar, and stared me straight in the eyes. I believe God led me there that night, because a spark was ignited within me.
The very next day, I began pursuing music again – songwriting, producing, and creating whatever other sounds I wanted to. I found some songwriters, and a couple cowrites turned into a full schedule. Crappy sounding tracks turned into good ones. And no music income turned into music income, and now I get to do music full time.
Do I make as much as I did? Not yet. Would culture tell me I’m less successful? Probably.
What they don’t realize, however, is that I’m happier than I have ever been, and I wake up everyday excited about what I do. I feel like a powerhouse of creativity. I’m an even a better husband, and Dad because I don’t spend the majority of my life in a job I hate. That my friend, is real success.
So why do I say all this?
If you relate to having a burning desire to pursue music, or any dream, don’t wait, do it now. There is never a convenient time for dream chasing; it is always, in the beginning, inconvenient.
But, oh man, it is worth it!
I’ve had both – the culture success and the real success. And trust me, I completely believe the real inner fulfilled success will turn into an outward culture success. But if I had to pick one, there’s no contest.
I thought I heard a quote about this one time, but I can’t remember how it goes – or maybe I’m making a quote of my own: “If you chase money, you might give up chasing a dream. But if you chase a dream, money will chase you.”
So, here’s to you finding your one thing and the true happiness of real success.