I subscribe to several blogs and get the updates in my inbox. Monday I got an update from one in particular that caused me to answer the questions in my own mind. I kinda stumbled on the first one and it caused a MUCH deeper thought process. Before I got too far with it I thought I would post it as a 'thinking out loud' blog post... Following my gut here... :-)
First, here's the post that prompted this - http://manvsrow.com/2015/02/09/are-you-on-the-p-a-t-h-to-songwriting-success/
Now before you say to yourself, "self, this is about songwriting and it doesn't apply to me" remember that it can apply to ANYTHING you set out to do or be. If you have the same reaction to number one that I did then it DOES apply to everything in your life.
Okay - let's get to it. :-)
PATH is an acronym for Purpose Action Time Habit. Quoting Brent on Purpose -
"Why are you on this journey in the first place? Where do you want to go, and why do you want to go there? Without a clearly-defined purpose, without a desired destination at the end of the path, all you can do is wander. Find or define your purpose."
Now I'm a long time fan of Zig Zigler and one of the main things I remember from my days of reading and listening to him is the fact that you have to have a clearly defined goal. How can you work toward something that you don't have? How do you know when you've hit it? How do you even know when you're close? So I understand what Brent is trying to say here. Is my goal to be a "hit songwriter?" Sure - at least I thought it was...
Let's assume for a moment that is what my goal is. How do I get there? First you have to write songs. Okay - doing that. Then you have to write better songs. Okay - I think my songs and my songwriting is getting better. Muscles improve as you flex them, right? Sure! So that's a check in that box.
Next would be networking. Gotta make those connections. I'm probably not doing this as well as I could be. I could be spending more time on the road (and the phone) to Nashville, but of course I have to balance that time out with work, family, etc. Living in Nashville is not an option right now, so I can't hit the open mics every night, etc. So I guess I'm failing on this step.
Now right about here is where the whole thing started to break down for me... How you ask? I thought back to the work PURPOSE. I'm a Christian. What is my PURPOSE on this Earth? To follow Christ! Can I do that and be a hit songwriter? Sure! Does that mean I put the PATH to being a hit songwriter first? Absolutely not!
I've said for a long time that I want to do what God wants me to do. I'm a firm believer that if it's meant to be then it will be. Now that may sound like a cop out for not pushing myself as far and as hard as I can. I think I've been looking at it the wrong way though! First, if it's not in His will, even if I attain it it will not be right. If it is, in fact, in His will, then it won't happen early nor by accident. It will be due to God allowing it to happen.
Does this mean I don't work toward it? Not at all! But it does mean that I have to make sure that I am in tune with His will. I'm reminded of Matthew 6:33 - But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Now there is more to Brent's post, and I recommend you read it. But I wanted to share with you that as I read it, and reflected on it, I couldn't think about it in terms of songwriting, but in terms of living the life that He wants me to live. So far He has blessed me with the ability and the opportunity to write songs, perform them, perform cover songs, perform solo, perform with Vanessa, perform bluegrass with various people, perform in different country bands, perform gospel music with several groups over the years... And the list goes on!
I am a blessed man when it comes to music, and I don't take it for granted!
Thanks for reading.