Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4: Revelations Abound

I missed Day 3 due to work overload. (The department had an open house today to recruit students to our program; Secretaries are also event planners, dontcha know, so it was all mine to do.)

This morning I had a brief revelation that I scribbled in my paper journal before dashing off for a very busy day:

  • Ask that your Soul reveal to you Its deepest desires for you in this life, what to be/do/have (so that when you're all done living this life, you can say on the way out, "WOW! I got to be HER, and she was wicked cool!!! Wow.")
  • Then ask for assistance with:
    • being re-inspired to take positive actions to do/be/have that
    • the ability to sustain that motivation long-term
    • opportunities coming to you that carry you through...
As it goes, I then immediately forgot all about this entry, rushed off to work, immersed myself in the event, came home, collapsed on the couch, fell asleep (and drifted in and out of sleeping/waking for the next hour and a half), and then had an EPIPHANY.

But before I reveal that, I have to tell you that I had more fun at this event than I thought I would. It's basically a meet-n-greet for faculty and students who are interested in the major and specialization our department offers (Finance); as a secretary/event host, my main job was to smile, make sure everyone signs in and gets a name tag, and keep the soda stocked.

I wasn't expecting to have a lull with no professors around, and five students showing up whom I had to entertain and hold there while the Chair went out to pick up the second round of subs. (We ran out! We got more students than anticipated!)

I hadn't expected to enthrall them with probing questions designed to trigger their "Wildest Dreams" motivation, such as, "What is your most favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?" (And to watch their brains just lock up as they confronted it was amazing.)

I hadn't expected being able to tell one humbly abashed student (who was probably used to disappointing everyone with his answer when they inquired about his major) that "Undecided" is such an awful word--that it really means "Still exploring". The light in his eyes when that hit him was priceless.

I hadn't expected a bit later in the event to be drawn into a fascinating conversation with an Entrepreneurship student and two of our professors who were encouraging her to join the College's version of "Shark Tank" (where students pitch ideas to real investors for real money--last year's winner bought and runs a taco truck on campus now). Drawn INTO the conversation, as a contributor, not just standing idly by smiling and nodding.

This young lady's bold dining concept had ME excited. I won't divulge the details so as to protect her idea, but it was innovative, and it even inspired a few "maybe you could do THIS" ramblings from ME. (My boss and the other professor saw me with new eyes today).

I've had this happen before--it's rare, but I recognize it when I feel it. When she spoke about it, she lit up inside. She vibrated with energy. When I joined in, I felt that energy rising inside of me and joining hers. It's a very happy buzzy energy but being unfamiliar with it, I get a little uncomfortable and feel unnaturally giddy and zingy inside.

But it's the energy that tells me, "this one is GOING somewhere".

This energy has never been wrong in the past. When I found out about Def Leppard in a British music magazine before the release of their very first album (to name one example), I had that feeling--and I hadn't heard the music yet (nobody in the USA knew of them yet).

I know this energy. It's that hunch, the "nudge" that points you in the direction of your dreams.

So after the event ended, and I came home, I fell asleep and sort of dreamed/meditated, and had this epiphany.

I know what I have always wanted to do.

AND I know why my motivation disappeared after my parents died.

It's because I've been trying to make it about me--and it has never been about ME.

All those years I thought my drive and desire was about making MYSELF successful, I was wrong. Let me fill you in a bit so you get it.

  • age 4: parents discover I have musical talent.
  • age 5: children's choir
  • age 6: guitar lessons begin, along with endless recitals, talent shows, etc.
  • ages 6-18: member of every school musical thing imaginable
  • age 15: change from classical/folk to rock guitar; decide to be a rock star
  • ages 15-36: play and sing in countless bands, interspersed with feeble attempts to get a college degree at parents' insistence (finally did, at age 33)
  • age 26: moved to Hollywood, attended the Musicians Institute, honed the vocal chops, lived on the Sunset Strip
  • age 27: moved back to Ohio after realizing how corrupt the music industry is in L.A.
  • ages 33-39: try to hold a regular day job in my field (four years tops--laid off after 9/11)
  • age 39: finally got my horse--focused on that for the next 10 years, interspersed with feeble attempts to have a solo career as an acoustic singer/songwriter
  • age 43: parents died, the music stopped--I went into self-imposed exile for the next seven years
My dream, or so I thought, was to be a multimillionaire rock star. But I've always loved writing, too. And art. And horses. And Philosophy. And...

The thing is, and I keep going back to this, I've been most angry at NOT becoming a multimillionaire rock star NOT because I missed out on BEING a rock star, but because it meant I was denied the retirement plan I'd dreamed up. My plan was:
  1. Join awesome band, move to Hollywood, get record deal
  2. Sell lots of albums, tour the world, make millions
  3. Retire from being a touring musician somewhere in my mid-40s
  4. Be a multimillionaire.
  5. Buy horse farm.
  6. Learn to train horses (which my late Mother had said, when I stated this list at age 10, would be "impossible", because I "hadn't grown up on a farm and you have to grow up on a farm with horses to know how to train them", to which I'd replied, "Well... maybe, but I'll find a way to learn, somehow".)
  7. Build an art studio where I can paint, etc., as I desired
  8. Have a stellar library where I can read, and write the books I'll publish
  9. Get a college degree in SOMETHING so my parents get off my back about it (LOL)
  10. Be a philanthropist, donating generously to help those in need
  11. Build an epic recording studio, state of the art, hire the best engineer that I can, and...
  12. Go out and discover up and coming talent, invest some of my millions into their careers; help develop them from raw unique talent into the best possible "them" they can be while retaining that essence that makes them who they are; bring them to my studio to record; teach them everything I've learned about how to make it in the music biz; then, because of my clout, connections and investment, get them into a major label deal so they can have the careers they deserve (part patron of the arts, part mentor).
 Well. I'm 50 now, and not a rock star. Out of the list above, I actually have manifested quite a bit:
  1. I moved to Hollywood for 15 months
  2. I recorded albums... toured the tri-state area... made tens...
  3. Retired from being a professional musician playing live every weekend somewhere in my mid-40s, though sadly, I missed out on...
  4. Being a multimillionaire (or haven't yet gotten to this one)
  5. I also did not buy a horse farm (yet). But I did buy a horse!
  6. Because of said horse, I had no choice BUT to learn to train horses after a scary fall, thank you Parelli Natural Horsemanship for being the "someway somehow" method by which I learned all the stuff I would have learned had I grown up around horses.
  7. I don't have an art studio (yet), but I do have all the supplies and use them sometimes
  8. I have lots of bookshelves and I write... if a blog counts as being published, then I'm published and god knows my posts are like novels sometimes
  9. Got the college degree in SOMETHING, got the parents off my back about it (LOL)
  10. I've been as much of a philanthropist as I could be, though not to the tune of millions (yet)
  11. I've built a modest home recording studio, on a budget, and I'm the best engineer I can be...

In fact, the ONLY thing I haven't done besides the millions thing, and the ONE thing that really cheeves me off...

I have not been able to go out and discover up and coming talent, invest some of my millions into their careers; help develop them from raw unique talent into the best possible "them" they can be; bring them to my studio to record; teach them everything I've learned about how to make it in the music biz; then, because of my clout, connections and investment, get them into a major label deal so they can have the careers they deserve (part patron of the arts, part mentor). 

The epiphany I had today is that THIS was THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE WHOLE PLAN.

The horse farm, the art studio, the library, all that was just icing.




So what happened to my motivation when my parents died is simple--they were MY biggest investors, emotionally and financially. They were the ones helping me achieve my dreams.

I always had the impression that I had to become successful myself first, so that my success would pave the way and allow me to help the next generation of artists by:
  • proving it could be done
  • giving me the experience necessary to be able to mentor my chosen ones appropriately
  • establishing me in the music industry
  • giving me the clout I needed so that when I said "you have to hear these guys", the industry would listen
  • giving me the financial level I'd need to be able to support them in the early stages and pay for their recording, touring, etc.--as my parents had done for me
  • giving me the industry connections needed to get the young artists into major labels
With MY main financial and emotional backers gone, and NOBODY stepping up to take their place (in one instance, being told point blank by a person that they were not going to "let [me] mooch off of them the way my parents did"--meaning they had totally misperceived what my parents and I had been trying to achieve for me)...

I figured, "well, that's over, and my future is going to be just me, five cats, and a lonely dinner after my mundane pays-the-bills 9-5 job".

Why it never occurred to me to try to find an outside investor is beyond me. But that's beside the point. My drive to sing and play was stopped cold by their loss as well. It was just too painful to write. (The first couple of years I couldn't even go into stores during Christmas season, the damned Christmas music dissolved me into sobs in the middle of the store. I am DEEPLY affected by music, especially anything sentimental or "truthful".)

And the reason I haven't been able to get my head wrapped around being motivated to pursue ANYTHING is because all of the "things" I could pursue would be about ME and MY success, MY glory. It was meaningless; therefore, I couldn't bring myself to get enough energy to try to pursue it.

I wanted to be successful so that I could reach back afterwards and help others become successful as well--maybe even MORE successful than I'd ever been--and THAT was the part of my "retirement" I'd really be looking forward to! Back in the 80s and 90s, I had this excitement. I couldn't WAIT for the day when I'd be able to see the expressions on the faces of those young dreamers when I told them their dreams were coming true. 

I lived for that. It's what got me out of bed and on stage every day.

To say that this blew my mind is an understatement. And then I realized:
  • Maybe I can still do this (help others achieve their dreams) even if I'm not a rich rock star topping the charts.
  • Maybe I can still become a rich rock star and top the charts. I'm only 50, in a world where Motley Crue is still recording and touring (at damn near 60) as is KISS; the lead singer of Nazareth retired from the road at 67 only due to ill health--rock and roll is graying, not dying like we all expected it to. It's no longer only for the under-30 crowd! I'm not dead yet, and I can still rock with the best of them! (OK, I'm a little out of shape, but it's recoverable).
  • Maybe I can become a multimillionaire some other way (instead of through music) and devote myself to helping others achieve their dreams.
  • Maybe it doesn't have to BE about me at all, and I can STILL do both (achieve my own dreams AND help others achieve theirs, simultaneously).

It's about helping people achieve their dreams, mine and everyone else's. There has GOTTA be a way for me to do that. :-)

Tell me: do you think that through the course of today...
  • My Soul revealed to me Its deepest desires for me in this life, what to be/do/have?
  • Provided me assistance with:
    • being re-inspired to take positive actions to do/be/have that?
    • regaining the ability to sustain that motivation long-term?
    • sending me opportunities related to this?
Um, YEAH, totally...

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