About 4 years ago, I was met by the beery breath of a drunken man at the bar. He opened his mouth and said, “You know, I could have been something in the music industry” I was intrigued. I asked him why he might think that. He said that over the years, he was always able to predict what might be a hit, just from the first few bars. Being in his mid 60s, he had predicted that the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd would all be famous long before the prophecy came to be true. He said he would have loved to do that in the business.
So the question was, why didn’t he become something in the music industry? I asked him this and he thought long and hard and couldn’t really say why. I asked him what he had done to try and get into the music business and he just looked blank. Going very quiet indeed, he took his beer away from the bar. I suspect the answer to what action had he taken to realise his dream, was, none at all.
Why didn’t he at least try something to at least make his dream a possibility? I suspect that it was the fear of failure. When we follow our dreams, we fear that we will fail. That fear is so scary at times that it can stop us from trying. In fact it can be so paralysing and after a while, we stop trying anything at all.
In a world of constant media noise, where photoshopped, bearded startups rule the roost and pulled-pork hipsters, cashing in on kickstarter projects date beautiful and successful musicians thriving on our screens with songs we have heard before; it leads to the only conclusion that we are at a point where most of us have stopped having dreams altogether. As musicians, is there any point in trying to get a record deal? Is there any money to be made in music? There are so many questions and so few answers.
The only answer is for our dreams to become more and more bizarre and outlandish. Only then will our true inspiration be revealed. Our true inspiration lies in doing the things we love in a way that suits who we really are. We need to serve the community to which we truly belong with our inspiration. So, it is time to relaunch the question with a refreshed inspiration. ‘What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?’ Some things are worth failing at, after all.
What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? Robert H. Schuller
For lots more depth about inspiration and confidence, take a look at the confident performer book.