If we were to think about the one thing that sets mankind apart from all other creatures I would argue, first and foremost, it is our ability to create. In the Jewish faith they believe that God also had a need to create and wanted to make something, so he made the earth. I like that. It’s a beautiful belief. They also believe that the kingdom of God is inside you, and in that tradition we are a child of God and co-creators. This is why your choices are so powerful.
I want to point out here it’s very important to invoke wisdom and make wise choices. Because the only thing we have a limited amount of on this plane of existence is our time, and you always are in control of how you choose to spend your time. It’s very hard to see what we are doing while we are doing it because, rightfully so, we are often caught up in the moment when we are doing something we love.
When we are creating.
Here is a wonderful exercise I always initiate when I am producing a record and helping an artist focus his or her vision. I want to know who they are and why they are here. The key to doing this successfully is looking back at your life from the present moment back to your childhood and seeing how you spent your time. What were the major themes in your life?
I have them do this by writing a short, no longer than one page, autobiography. I encourage them to keep it short so they can share it with people without revealing too many personal details at first.
People are much more seduced by what they guess than what they know. Leave a little mystery to build tension. In business they might call this your 30 second elevator speech. So you have a clear idea of what I am recommending I’ll go first and share mine with you.
I grew up in Houston- the largest city in Texas. My father worked in the oil business and has always been an avid saltwater fisherman, so most of my childhood weekends were spent at the beach. A self-portrait I painted my last year of junior high won an award that netted me a scholarship to the Glassell School of Art. So every day after high school I was painting and drawing.
Art and baseball consumed most of my time until I got a guitar, started drinking beer and became interested in girls. I registered for the draft with my dad when I was 18. I remember it making my Dad proud as he was in the Navy. I’m glad I never got called because later that year I was accepted to the music program at The University of North Texas in Denton.
I graduated with a music degree when I was 25 and went to work in the music business immediately touring and pursuing my dream. I released five records and got to see the world along the way falling in love with Prague and Italy. I almost got married at the age of 28 and bought my first home later that year.
I have a solid black male German Shepherd that I love and walk every day and enjoy music, dinner parties, outdoor BBQ’s and reading great books.
How about you?
The three primary areas of focus in my life have been Music, Food and Love. When I look back at my bio after I wrote it it was almost eerie to me how the three pillars of my existence- the things I’ve been drawn to were already so innate. You should check out the work of Biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher. She gets it. In her book- Why Him? Why Her?: Finding Real Love By Understanding Your Personality Type she explains how a major part of our make up and drive is already innate in us. I want to make it clear here I am not talking about going with the flow. If you go with the flow you can be sure you will hit the rocks. I’m talking about knowing who you are and why you are here. My love of food started as a child because my father taught me to fish. I ate fish ten minutes after it was caught. Still to this day It’s almost impossible for me to eat seafood in a restaurant unless it is completely fresh. This is why I love Japanese food.
You will also see in my short bio how important my family and interest in girls was as a kid. I might have started out utilizing my creativity in art, but as soon as I got a guitar I found my path in life and have never looked back. I didn’t write the above article until two weeks ago. I looked back at it and it’s so obvious to me the things I am into. Music, Food, and Love.
How about you?
What is your big three? Are you spending 80% of your time on those things? Or are you being pulled in several different directions by the five P’s? Steven Jobs knew what he wanted and had very clear goals and he would have told you- “Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
So to wrap things up- keep it simple. Find the three things that matter to you the most, put it on paper and get busy living. No more plans, lists, seminars, workshops, and all those other distractions. This is your fucking life and don’t let anyone else tell you how to live it. Here is a great way of looking at it that the brilliant performer Lady Gaga preached to 16,000 fans at her show in Sweden recently.
“Don’t give a fuck.You shouldn’t care what people think of you. You should do what you think is right and be true to yourself.”
No truer words have ever been spoken.