Focus: it’s everything when it comes to dreams that come true. I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trying to figure out what I must do so my dreams for music and writing can come to fruition. Other people’s success has often seemed magical, and it’s been easy to believe they had something I didn’t have. Some kind of natural talent. Well, some people do of course, but I’ve got real clear about another contributing element.
People who make dreams come true are able to focus, from minute to minute, day to day. Success is about work, not only about talent. Work means doing the thing you love that your mind, body and soul is built for, and being able to be practical as well as creative. Being able to organize your days, weeks, months and years so you can play, write. Brilliant musicians are brilliant because they play all the time. Good writers know what to do with words and how to move people with them because they write a lot.
A lot of things can get in the way of focus. It can take a lifetime to just see them. Not everybody has to do this before they can be successful, but some of us do. Think about it, when you have intrusive physical pain it’s difficult to concentrate. When the pain is emotional it’s easy to not be aware of it, but it’s still chewing up your focus. It hobbles you – and you can be unaware of that too. Strange.
Eventually you kind of grind to a halt, though, and then you face it. The thing is, I’ve discovered it’s not just emotional pain that has held me back, it’s what I learned from my mother and father and the family dynamic about how to do life. When everybody is consumed with trying to survive an emotional holocaust and a child is at the bottom of the pecking order there’s not much positive stuff for it to learn.
Stuff like dealing with fear so you don’t run from scary things that arise when you study. Like understanding that all problems have solution, so you just have to persist and reach out and ask for help and you’ll find the answer. Like it’s okay to be ignorant because everybody is, at some point in their lives and understanding that learning starts with what you can get your head around. I didn’t know these things. I also couldn’t concentrate.
In this kind of situation it’s easy to hoodwink yourself into believing you are working hard, and focusing. I thought I was. I haven’t been doing nothing – I have written a couple of film scripts and now I’ve finished my book, and I’ve learned how to learn on the piano and I’ve unlocked my voice more or less – but I haven’t been focused. I’ve done a bit here and a bit there, and I’ve run away inside myself when I hit a challenge.
But I’ve done a lot of re-learning about how to do life, and the old emotional stuff is resolved enough to not disable me any more. Much more of my mind and energy is available to me, so is my energy, and I can focus now. I’ve got strategies in place for my singing, my book and other projects; strategies that are about things I need to get done today, this week, this month. I sure hope I get another chance at this living on earth thing. I’ve only just begun to be able to do something real with what I’ve got.