It takes talent, hard work, and a specific kind of mindset to breakthrough as an artist.
You wrap up a track, and there you are working on the next one. You finish recording a mix for a podcast, and you’re already thinking about the next submission due. You make your bed, and a few hours later you’re back in it. You get through your inbox before lunch, and when you get back to your computer you have 30 new e-mails to reply to. You have just put away your kid or dog’s toys, and soon enough they’re all back out on the floor. Just as you finish up a big work project, another one lands on your desk. You finally get to fix up something in your home, and another problem arises.
Life can be like that sometimes. In fact, life is like that most of the time, whether you’re an artist or not.
You can either accept it, and learn to love it, or you can let it drive you insane.
Have you ever seen those beautiful Buddhist geometric designs made out of sand? Did you know that in Tibet they spend countless hours making them, only to wipe them clean and begin from zero once they’re completed? Just like when you complete a complicated puzzle: you may admire it for a while, but isn’t the purpose of it to start again and go through the process, over and over again?
What if we adopted this approach and mindset to everything we do in life? What if, instead of hating having to go through the same motions over and over again, we accepted that this is simply how life works, on a macro and micro scale?
We see it with yard work, with our dishes, and with laundry. We see it with every single game that makes up a sporting season, our e-mail inbox at work, or whatever tasks we are assigned to at work. We even see it in the way we cook and eat, and the way we gain and lose weight.
Rather than feeling frustrated, we should see this as part of the regular flow of life. Nothing is truly finished. Each action and each motion, especially when repeated, is part of our process and growth. Each one is an opportunity to learn something, improve on something, or merely to go through the necessary motions that bring about the desired outcomes we want for our life.
An artist’s work is never completed. Each painting is followed by another. Each completed song or track leads to the next one. If you think about it, our lives are no different… no matter what your vocation may be.
It’s easy to focus on the big things, the big accomplishments, and the big milestones in our careers. But it’s the little things, the little accomplishments, and the everyday mindset that build up to those magical moments that are forever etched in our memories and on the timeline of our lives.
Each of these actions, repeated and accumulated, forms our days. And each of these days forms our week. And they, in turn, form our months, and so on.
Your mindset determines how you look at the actions before you, how you choose to tackle them and, ultimately, the way you choose to live life.
Live it well. Live it with purpose.