Monthly Archives: February, 2013

Just give up.

OK, today I give you a free pass.  Just give up.  Are you going through hard times?  Do you need a break?  Just give up.  I only have one question; what good will that do?

You say you need a break.  I get it.  You say you work hard and you aren’t getting anywhere.  I get it.  Just give up.  See today is reverse psychology day here at 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  Today I will say it is OK to just give up.  Again, I ask you what you stand to gain by giving up?  Do you really think you will live your dream because you give up?  Do you think you will hit the lottery?  Maybe you will, but really; what are your odds?  If you give up, you can’t complain about how your life turns out.

Just give up.  Do you really believe you will get anything other than the crumbs when you give up?  Just give up and be happy.  It is easier, why sweat it out and try to actually make a name for yourself?  See I am giving you the OK to give up, but I am not giving up.  I am still trying to make a name for myself.  Listen, if you are really quiet when you give up; maybe no one will even notice.  If you can live with yourself knowing that you have given up on your dreams, I can live with it also.

Now for those of you who have continued to read this, I will be back in a couple of days with another post.  I am not giving up.  I am just trying it from the other side today.  I used to sit around thinking everything was a scam.  I use to be mad at the world.  I try to be as positive as I can, but sometimes I run out of steam.  The people closest to me see me at my worst moments.  Those are the people I am sorry too, and those are the people who I answer too.  But hey, I understand; chasing your dreams is a hard thing to do.  So just give up.  Today is the day you have been waiting for me to say it.

See the funny thing about your dream is it is your dream.  Not everyone will agree with you, and no one can do it for you.  Yes, people who agree with you might help you; some might not.  Some people who agree with you may be jealous of you, or may be protecting their own dream.  Some people who agree with you, might just help you; but since they are hard to find, you might as well just give up.  See, if you are lucky; maybe 1 out of 100 people you run across might help you chase your dreams.  Those odds are pretty bad aren’t they?  It’s OK today to just give up.  It won’t be OK tomorrow.

I don’t know if you were told it will be easy, I never said that did I?  No I said it will be worth it.  Now sometimes people make things complicated when they are not.  The steps are simple, but they may not be easy.  You may have to swallow your pride or face your fears; again not easy, but simple.  You will have to get around people who are headed in the same direction you are headed, and you might have to fight to keep up.  Again, this is not easy but simple.  Some people may help you and some might work against you, you may need to pick a mentor to coach you.  This is simple to say, harder to do.  You may need to accept coaching and you may need to coach others.  You will have to work as a team, but if this is too much to ask; just give up.

So today is the day I will say, just give up.  Tomorrow I will say chase your dreams.  Today I will say, just give up.  Tomorrow I will say get around people who agree with you and learn from them.  Today I will say, just give up.  Tomorrow I will say find a mentor and accept coaching and then mentor others.  I hope that you don’t listen to me today.  I hope you will listen to me tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day.  I hope you will listen to me when I say chase your dreams.  Today I hope you ignore me.  Today I say, just give up.

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Finding Balance, the Little Drummer Boy Part Two:

For the second weekend in a row, I was able to play the drum with a group of musicians.  We were learning new songs and had one day to get it them down.  Finding the right balance was vital to our success.  I am learning to be a leader by being a good follower and servant.

Let’s review my journey as a drummer.  I have never owned a real set of drums.  I did have a toy set when I was a kid.  I have owned various other musical instruments, mainly the Bass Guitar, Six String Guitar and Various Keyboards.  I play the drums because I like the drums and I will play what is needed most to keep things moving forward.  I have been asked to play the drums because a drummer is what is needed most.  So I am taking what I have learned from other drummers and try to apply it to this situation.

Normally, our singer / keyboard player is used to leading a vocal group to pre-recorded music tracks.  Now we are trying to build a band to take the place of the pre-recorded music.  This weekend, we had to learn three new songs in one practice session as a band, and then we got one practice session with the vocal group.  Everything came down to finding balance.  As a drummer I did not want to play to loud.  I did not want to play too fast.  Lastly I did not want to play too complicated and lose the beat.

So first and foremost, I did not want to be too loud, because then I could not hear the two guitar players, the keyboard player or the singing. I would have just been a drummer bashing away.  As a leader, it is very important that we listen to the people around us, and make sure we are all in harmony.  Now the flip side of this is playing too soft.  As a drummer, if I play to soft then there is no definite beat to follow.  As a leader; if the leader is to quite, than you may not be making steady progress.  Both a Leader and a Drummer have to know when to be loud and when to be quiet so that everyone follows a nice steady pace.

Secondly, I had to keep myself from playing too fast.  Sometimes the singers would kind of hold notes and let them linger through changes in the song.  This would change the feel of the song, which would of course change the pace or rhythm of the song.  If I played too fast, I would lose the singers through the changes.  The easy solution was to slow down a little and make sure we are all staying together.  As a leader, it is important to keep everyone moving together. Projects, Programs, Clubs and Companies have to learn to work as a team.  Win together or you will lose together, so it is important to keep everyone moving together.  A leader can not run ahead of the pack so fast that they lose the pack.  Again, the flip side of this is moving too slow.  You have to keep a steady pace.  You have to maintain a level of energy that everyone can follow.  The same is true of being a drummer; if you play too slow, the song will lose energy.  Again it was important to find that balance.

Third was not playing too complicated.  As a group we were listening to the recorded versions of the songs and there was a lot going on.  There was more music than we had players to cover all the parts.  We had to keep things simple.  We had to pick out what parts of the songs were the most important and make sure we covered those points first.  We had to keep things simple and yet put first things first.  If we got too complicated then we would get lost as a group.  I feel leaders need to learn this lesson.  Do not get to complicated, but still put first things first.  As a drummer; I told the group, it is better to play less and stay steady than to try to do too much.  As a drummer and as a leader in the group, I had to listen to my own advice.  I took some very complicated drum parts and kept them very basic.  Keep it simple and stay on target.  As a leader, we should do the same things.  Figure out what are the most important and vitals things and do them first.  Do not get too complicated.  Now the balance is if you are overly simple, everything sounds the same.  You have to be able to switch things up and not get boring without being so complicated that everyone gets lost.  Balance, balance, balance; a Leader and a Drummer have to maintain balance.

Even though it was not obvious to the people in the crowd when we were performing, I was able to play a leadership role in keeping our newly found band on pace.  It is a great feeling to be a to be a leader and a follower and a servant all at the same time.  I hope this thread helps you find balance.  Not too loud and not too quite; a leader has to be heard without drowning out everyone else.  Not too fast and not too slow; a leader has to set a steady pace, and make sure everyone stays together.  Not too complicated and not too simple; a Leader has to put first things first, and know how to change things up to avoid being boring.  A Drummer is like a Leader when it comes time to find that balance.

Be the first you!

AreYouNext

What do Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs and the Korean Rapper PSY all have in common?  They are all famous for very different reasons, but they also were not standing in the shadow of someone else.  They were not the next big thing, the came out of seemingly nowhere and made their mark.  They were not trying to copy what someone else had done.  They did their own thing, their way and the world took notice.  My message today here at 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  Don’t try to be the next whom ever, be the first you

Michael Jordan

Be the first you!  Michael Jordan did not enter the N.B.A as the first overall pick in the draft.  He was not seen as the next Bill Russell, or Larry Bird or Magic Johnson.  Once it was all said and done Michael Jordan is considered by many as the greatest to ever play the game.  Lebron James, for how great of a player he is, is in Michael Jordan’s shadow.  Why, because everyone was looking for the next Michael Jordan.  Now it only makes matters worse when you give yourself a nickname of “King James” before you win any titles.  It does not help when you leave the team built around you and declare at your new home that you will rewrite history before you even play a game.  Michael Jordan took things one step at a time, one title at time.  The game of basketball and endorsements changed because of Michael Jordan.  Michael Jordan was not in anyone’s shadow.  He was not trying to be or worse yet chosen to be the next anyone; he came along and rewrote the rules.

250px-Steve_Jobs_Headshot_2010-CROP

Do you want to be the next Steve Jobs?  Don’t!  Learn to be the first you.  Steve Jobs rewrote the book at Apple twice.  What did he do in between?  He was fired from the company he helped made great, and then he was rehired and made it great again.  Each time he did not try do what other people were doing, he was the classic out of the box thinker.  When Apple was known for making computers, he did not try to copy IBM or any other computer company.  When Apple brought out the Ipod, Iphone and the Ipad again they were not trying to copy someone else.  Steve Jobs was able to see things before other people could, and then challenged people to see it also.  Not everything he did succeeded, but the world has changed and Steve Jobs turned Apple into one of the Largest Companies on the planet.

220px-Psy_from_acrofan

Do you want to be the next big thing?  When PSY invented the Invisible Horse Dance and made a video for the song Gangnam Style, maybe he was shooting to be a Big Star in Korea; but the world took notice.  Since then videos have come out trying to be the next Gangnam Style, but they are missing the point.  PSY was not being billed as the next Cupid Shuffle, or Texas Two Step or bigger than The Hustle or any other line dance.  Nope, PSY was some guy who went viral on You Tube and then started popping up everywhere.  Now known as a one hit wonder, he had released five albums before he made it to Number One on the pop charts.  Sometimes it does not happen over night, but PSY never gave up.

So why do you want to be the next anyone?  Why not be the first you?  Why not do your own thing.  Why not take your shoot and keep shooting.  Don’t try to be The King before your time.  Take you time and win one title at a time the way Michael Jordan did.  Do not try to buy into some one else’s vision for you, follow your own vision the way Steve Jobs did.  And don’t try to be the next this or the next that, have fun making up your own goofy song and dance; and if it makes it big you may just surprise yourself the way PSY did.

BeYou

Be the first you!

If no one has called you crazy, you are not trying hard enough.

Hello to all of my friends.  How are you today?  I hope this post finds you well.  I hope you are up and out and chasing your dreams, and teaming with people who are heading in the same direction you are headed, and you have found a mentor and have challenged yourself to coach others.  I hope you are doing all these things and more.  I hope you are finding success.  But I have to ask, has anyone said to you, point-blank; “You are crazy?”  If not, then maybe you are getting a little comfortable.  If no one has called you crazy, you are not trying hard enough.

Remember, 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo is here to encourage you.  We are here to tell you; “Yes you can!”  We are here in the hopes that you will not let a little resistance keep you from living your dreams.  So, if you are challenging yourself, and if you are dreaming big; someone, somewhere will say that you are crazy.  It is because they are not chasing their dreams.  It is because they are not thinking the same way you are thinking.  You see, life wants you to fit into a neat little package.  Life wants you to be like everyone else.  Life wants you to forget about your dreams and be normal.  Chasing your dreams to normal people seems crazy.  If no one has called you crazy, you are not trying hard enough.

I won’t call you crazy.  I will say, if you can take your dreams and break them down into to goals, and track your progress, and get around people headed in the same direction as you than you are right on point.  I will say that I am happy for you, because I am.  I am happy for you.  If people are not happy that you are chasing your dreams, they may actually be a little jealous of you.  Let them be jealous.  I say give them something to be jealous about.  Reach your dreams and don’t apologize, thank the people who helped you.  Reach your dreams and then help others reach their dreams.  Help others reach their dreams while you are chasing your dreams.  Sounds crazy doesn’t it.  Well; if no one has called you crazy, you are not trying hard enough.

If you have made it this far into this post, it is almost like singing a song.  If no one has called you crazy, you are not trying hard enough.  Do not let someone rob you of your dream because they have given up on theirs.  I wish people would be happy for you.  I hope people could be happy for you.  I know that people should be happy for you; but chances are they won’t.  Don’t let that stop you.

If no one has called you crazy, you are not trying hard enough.  Listen, no two people agree on everything.  Everyone has their opinions.  I can’t think of any one thing that everyone agrees upon.  Why would everyone agree with you about your dream?  If you are trying to get everyone to agree with you and make everyone happy, you will never be able to make yourself happy.  Shouldn’t people be happy for you, as long as you are not hurting them?  If your dream involves hurting people, this is not the kind of blog you should be reading.

So I hope that your dream does not involve stomping on someone else’s dreams.  I hope your dream is completely innocent in nature.  Then from there, I say chase that dream.  I say, go find happiness.  I say, go be happy.  But I also say; if no one has called you crazy, you are not trying hard enough.

The Selfless Leader:

How many times have you heard it said that Leaders are Fearless, or Arrogant or even Self Righteous?  How many times have you thought, is this person operating for personal success in lieu of success of the team or organization?  How many times have you heard people classify Leaders as “Good” or “Bad?”  So many questions, and why do I ask them?  It is because I feel the Best type of Leadership is Selfless Leadership.

I have read a lot of books on Leadership, been to a few meetings on Leadership, and aspire to be a Leader in my own right one day.  So, it is my belief that Selfless Leadership is truly the “Best” type of Leadership.  Leadership can be defined many ways.  Leadership derived by Title or Position or Wealth or Fear or Might, are all forms of Leaders.  So my question is what Leader would you choose to follow if you would see no loss of income or no threat to your safety?  Some people are thrilled to follow “Fearless Leaders.”  Some people are motivated to follow “Inspirational Leaders.”  Other people learn to follow “Teaching or Servant Leaders.”  Again, I believe you should seek out a “Selfless Leader.”

So what is a “Selfless Leader?”  An easy explanation is a “Selfless Leader” is the exact opposite of a “Selfish Leader!”  A Selfish Leader puts them selves before their servants, or subjects or followers.  They feel that everyone should work for their increase of power or wealth or influence. They will never put themselves in harm’s way, when they can very easily put someone else in harm’s way.  Think of Tyrants, Emperors, or Kings who expect to be worshiped as god like.  Yes I feel that Selfish Leaders are the worst example and the exact opposite of the kind of leader I would choose to follow, or aspire to be.

A Selfless Leader will always look to put the good of the team or organization before any personal interests.  A Selfless Leader believes all boats rise with the tide.  A Selfless Leader seeks to create an environment where the people around them can succeed and prosper and seeks win-win situations.  There a many great positive examples of Leaders who were inspirational, motivational, and educational.  There are many examples of Leaders who help many people achieve great results.  A Selfless Leader is all of these things regardless of who gets the credit.

The Selfish Leader is driven by ego.  The Selfless Leader truly wants to see others do great things, even if they don’t get the credit.  The Selfless Leader actually cares about the people around them as much as they care for themselves.  A Selfless Leader continually asks how they can make things better for everyone involved.

Now, I am not saying a Selfless Leader has to take a vow of poverty and give away all their belongings to help others.  No I am saying a Selfless Leader does everything they can to help give people the tools they need to succeed on their own right.  This can and probably will include being inspirational, motivational and educational.  Yes a Selfless Leader has no problem being a Servant to their Team or Organization.  The Selfless Leader sees this service as an honor where the Selfish Leader may see these things as beneath them.

Ask your self these defining questions.  Does your Leader actually care about you, and hold themselves to the same standards or even higher standards that they expect of others.  Does your Leader seek to help others first or help themselves first.  Does your Leader try to set up the best deal for as many people as possible regardless of who gets credit, or are they seeking more credit for themselves?  Let me ask you, who are you following?  Seek to follow or become a Selfless Leader.

60 Seconds Of Motivational Mojo Top Ten Found Posts:

Why do I blog?  Why do I think I can motivate people?  Is it because I have too much to say?  Is it because I have too much time on my hands?  I think, I hope that each time I post to this blog that I am learning about myself.  I also hope I can make the world a better place, or at least my corner of the world.  This blog is a labor of love.

I have heard the quote from Socrates about the un-examined life is not worth living.  So it behooves me to examine my own blog and see which posts are getting through or being found or connecting in whatever way they connect.  No I do not blog to “Get Hits.”  I blog what I am thinking and then try to not sound like an idiot while I am trying to get my point across.  So here they are, a list of my most found posts to date.

Maximum Muscle Madness – I posted this about my own little belief that I could be a fitness guru.  It is somewhat tongue in check but is also based on the workout routine I developed over the years.

Life is like a roller coaster. The question is which hill do we tackle first? – Deep down inside, I am a slacker.  I am lazy and I like my spare time.  But I am also a guy who has to pay bills, and eat and work for a living.  It is my belief for me to be able to make the most of my spare time I have to be as pro-active as possible.

The Seven Sigma Levels of Leadership: – Based on slightly scientific data and my own personal opinion; I tried to find a correlation between Leadership and Statistics.  Call me crazy, tell me I am wrong; just don’t call me and tell me I am late for dinner.

I am not proud of my failure, I am proud of trying again. – If there is one post that I am just trying to be as honest as possible, I guess this would be the one.  People need to stop being proud of the fact that the fell down, and start being proud of the fact that they got back up!  Also, I try to be as honest as possible in all of my posts.  Maybe this one is just closest to my heart.

Runners Log – June 14th 2012 – Why is this one being sought out so often?  I just don’t know.  I can tell you, I do not get a chance to get out and run as much as I would like.  Maybe this is my conscience speaking to me through Word Press.

Standing up for what you believe in is the right thing to do. – I am happy that maybe I am not the only person who believes that you should stand up for what you believe in.

Birds of a feather flock together. – I am not the first person to say this, and I won’t be the last; but I am making my stand.  Look around you; are you surrounded by people who share your values, hoped and dreams?

Today is my day. – Today can be your day also!

We all love seeing the Underdog Win. – Don’t be afraid to be the Underdog!

The more connected we are, the more disconnected we become. – Thanks to all of this technology we tend to set alone in a crowd of people, and text and chat via the internet to people halfway around the world from us, and don’t take to the people who are sitting next to us.

So these are my Top Ten Found Posts so far.  Maybe they will all be collected into a book one day.  Maybe each one will be a book.  Or maybe they are exactly what they should be, for what it is all worth.  Thanks for giving me a minute of your time.

Find your power up word.

Find your power up word.

Shazam, Cowabunga, Fantastic, Awesome; is there a word out there that you use when you are having a great time?  Is there a word out there that you use when your favorite sports team wins or when you receive good news?  Imagine using that word as your own personal catch phrase.  Imagine if that word had the power to get you through bad times as well as celebrate good times.  Imagine that word has the power to turn you into a super hero.  That is your power up word.  I am here to help you find your power up word!

This is 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo; I am here to encourage you.  Every day, you have to hold onto the first positive thought that pops into your head, “Shazam!”  Then you have to boil it down to one word.  That is your word of the day.  That is your good news word.  You have to choose to find the good in every day.  Use that good news, that good word as your lighting rod; use it as the direct connection to the source of your power.  The good word of the day is you power up word.  Remember, I am here to help you find your power up word.

I am not here to tell you your power up word.  I am here to help you find your power up word.  I can not be with you when things are going good or going bad.  You have to understand the need for you to learn this for yourself.  Are you a spreader of Bad News or are you a Spreader of Good News?  Do you gossip or do you encourage?  Find a good thought to take with you through out the day.  Then use you power up word to help power up other people, “Cowabunga!”  Bad news travels fast, so people who spread good news have to work really hard to just catch up or break even.  First you have to find your power up word, then you have to power your self up with the word, and then you have to power up other people with the word.  Your power up word is the good word and the good word is the good news that you are choosing to spread throughout the day.  You may have to challenge yourself to become the most positive person in your circle of friends and co-workers.

See doom and gloom is everywhere, but can you be the person who yells out “Fantastic” in the face of a new challenge?  Can you say it some much that people may actually get sick of you saying it?  People may make fun of you saying it, but at least they will be saying it.  They will be using your power up word and it will spread.  It will catch on, it will catch fire.  Can you light the fire?  Can you power up other people without them knowing it.  Can you spread smiles and happiness instead of doom and gloom.

Why be the person who bets on failure, when you can be the person who bets on victory?  Can you power up yourself and be the super hero when everyone else wants to give up?  Can you be the one who says “We Can” when everyone else is saying “We Can’t!?!”  Turn your personal power up catch phrase into a phrase that makes people catch fire and say “Awesome!”  Remember, I can’t do it for you, all I can do is challenge you to do it for yourself.  Start today, start now; find something good about every day, turn it into one word and then spread that word!  Find your power up word.

Fear, Excuses, Faith and Results:

Fear and Excuses go hand in hand.  So do Faith and Results.  If you have “No Fear” then you will have “No Excuses” if you fail to reach your goals.  If you have “No Faith” more than likely you will see “No Results.”  Now remember, I am here to encourage you.  I am here to motivate you.  Give me sixty seconds and see if you agree with me or not.  No Fear – No Excuses!  No Faith – No Results!

Most of us are held back by our fear.  You may or may not be ready to believe this, but it is true.  Again, I challenge people to find out the truth for themselves.  Don’t take my word for it.  Do a little background research if you do not believe me.  This post will still be here when you get back.  Having “No Fear” is more than just a catch phrase on a shirt; this is a challenge for all of us to face our fear. If you truly have “No Fear” then you will not make excuses when you fall short of your goals.

Again if you have “No Fear” then you can’t run around making excuses.  The beauty of any underdog story is not if the “Underdog” had “No Fear” but that the underdog stood up and won against all odds.  You do not have to be “Fearless” to act.  Many a success story acted in spite of their fear.  If you can face your fears, than you will not make excuses if you fall short or fail to reach your goal.  You will know that you did your best, you will learn from your mistakes and you will come back bigger, better, faster or stronger next time.  You will embrace the fear and not let it hold you back. No I am not talking about being fool hardy.  I am talking about facing your fear!  It starts when you stop making excuses.

Listen, Excuses are a cop-out.  Excuses are a smoke screen.  Excuses do not change the outcome; it only keeps you from learning from your mistakes.  The first step in facing your fear is to stop making excuses.  No Fear means No Excuses, No Copping Out, No Finger Pointing; learn from your mistakes and move on!

Now Faith and Results go hand in hand also.  If you have Faith you will expect results.  Even if everyone else thinks you are crazy.  If you have Faith, you will act on it.  If you have Faith you will speak your vision and you will put your money and your effort where your mouth is, as they say.  If you have Faith you will expect Results.  If you are not seeing any results, then maybe you have not really invested you times, your talent or your resources into the right areas.  Faith means you see it first.  Faith means you believe before or even in spite of other people’s belief.  Faith produces results; lack of faith will not produce results.  Have some faith, and then back it up with your words and actions.

“No Fear” leads to “No Excuses” which is a direct result of “Having Faith” and “Expecting Results.”  Now can you see how it all fits together?  No Fear means No Excuses and No Faith means No Results. So now you can plainly see that Fear is the enemy of Faith.  If you have Faith you will find it easier to face your Fears.  If you have Faith you will not make excuses!  If you have Faith you will expect Results.

Now let me say one last time.  I am not talking about flying off and becoming a dare-devil without doing your homework.  Faith takes effort.  Faith takes preparation.  Faith is like a garden, if you have planted and you have watered you should expect a harvest.  If you have done the work, you expect the results.  Fear, Excuses, Faith and Results are all connected.  I won’t take any more of your time!

Leading by following; the tail of a drummer boy.

How are you today?  I hope everything is great.  I had a great weekend.  I am typing this draft on a Monday; who knows when I will get around to posting it. I learned a valuable lesson about leading, following and listening by playing the drums.  This is my story of Leading by following; the tale of a drummer boy.

I got to play the drums this weekend.  I practiced with a new group of people a couple of times and we played the next day.  Now usually, I play the bass guitar or the guitar or keyboards, or the drums.  I play whatever I need to play to get a chance to play; and this time I was asked to play the drums.

Not many people view the drummer as a leader of a band.  This band consisted of a keyboard player who sang and two guitar players, one who sang backup and I was on the drums.  Usually the Singer / Keyboard Player played alone.  This was the first time trying to make a band fit together.  Everyone was looking to me to take the lead and they would follow me.

The first thing I did was go through my mental check list of the best advice I had learned about music and the best advice I had learned from drummers.  First and foremost the drummer has to set a steady beat.  Second the drums should be at a consistent volume; not too loud, and not too soft.  Also there are general rules of music.  “Keep it simple” and “Less is more.”  After going through a mental checklist, I asked myself.  How do I lead, when I am learning the songs in my own right?

In each case, I was able to be a good leader by being a good follower.  For each song, I let the Singer / Keyboard player start.  I kept a very basic very minimal lead in and found the beat that was being created by the music.  I had to find the beat before I could control the beat.

For just a minute let me give you an example of very basic drum beat.  First Step Count to four and then repeat:  1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 1 – 2 – 3 – 4.  Ok now on the 1 and 3 put a Bass Drum Sound – “Boom” and on 2 and 4 put a Snare Drum Sound – “Snap.”  Now your Pattern would sound like this – Boom – Snap – Boom – Snap.  Now in between the 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 you see dashes.  On the dashes put a Click.  This click is from a High-Hat which is Two Cymbals pressed together to provide accents to the Beat.  Now a basic drum beat goes Boom Click Snap Click, Boom Click Snap Click.  Now reduce this very basic beat to just Boom Pause Click Pause Boom Pause.  This overly simple beat was the way I started most of the songs.  Before I took the Lead on the Beat, I followed the beat being created as the Keyboard Player and Guitar Players were finding each other.  Once I could clearly hear the rhythm they were creating I would take over with Boom Click Snap Click, Boom Click Snap Click.

As the songs will develop I would continue to go through my mental check list.  Am I setting a steady beat?  Am I hearing the instruments clearly?  Are we playing too loud?  Am I playing too soft?  Are we getting too complicated?  For me to lead, I had to listen and follow what others were doing.  Once a clear direction was taking shape, I had to set the tempo and keep the tempo nice and steady.  Not too fast, not too slow, not too loud, not too soft and not too complicated.  The key to leading was following and the key to following was listening.

We worked on how to start each song, and how to end each song.  We worked out a very non-verbal form of communication.  We had to create a road map for our performance.  We had to set clear directions and goals for the songs.  The beat was just the beginning.  We also had to work through all of the changes.  Can we keep a clear and steady direction through the changes?  Even though the feel of the songs may change from verse to chorus or from song to song; we still had to stay on pace and on path with each other.  Again, the only way for me to lead the song and through the changes was to follow and listen to what the other people were doing.

Some leaders get lost because they do not keep a steady pace that others can follow.  They move too fast and others can’t keep up.  Or they move to slow and lose the feel, they lose the rhythm; effectively they hold people back.  Some leaders get lost because they are too loud.  The can not hear others.  Some leaders get lost because they are to quiet and their message does not get through.  Other leaders get lost because they are too complicated, there are too many rules and regulations to the point where people do not know what to do next and nothing comes naturally.  I learned a valuable lesson of leading by following and listening when I played the drums.  If you set a steady beat, people will do what comes naturally.

So what did I learn by playing the drums this weekend?  If you set a steady pace, listen to others and can agree on direction; people will move forward together in a very natural progression.  To lead you must listen and follow.  Leadership is not about being the loudest or the softest, or the fastest or the slowest; but being the most consistent and being the person who others can rely on to set a steady pace.

P.S. everyone was very happy with the final results, and the performance was very well received.

Be the best you, you can be!

Hello, how are you?  I hope you are doing fine.  I hope you are being the best you, you can be.  You can’t be me, you can’t be them.  You can’t be he or she.  You have to be you; so be the best you, you can be!

How are you doing?  Do you know who you are?  How can you be the best you if you don’t know who you are?  You have to do the best you can do to be the best you, you can be.  See it matters what you do and how you do to be the best you.  You can’t do what someone else would do if they were you.  You have to do the best that you can do being you.  See if someone else were you it would only be temporary, until you got back to being you; so do you as only you can do.

Be the best you, you can be.  If you could see what I can see you would be the best you, you could be.  You see, if I see something and you see something we may see it differently.  See you see yourself in a mirror, or on tape delay.  I see you live as it happens, so be who you are even if you can’t see what I see you can be.  I wish I could state it simply; just be the best you, you can be.

To do the best that you can do, you have to give all of you.  If you only give part of you, the person you are cheating is you.  Why would you cheat you at what only you can do?  If someone tries to imitate you, they would fall short.  Someone else can not be you, and someone else can not do you the way that only you can do.  Even if you could, would you; let someone else try to do what only you can do when you are being the best you that only you can be?

Know who you are, and do what you do and understand that it is your purpose to be only who you can be.  So be the best you that you can be and what you do will come naturally.  Don’t leave it chance or give away your fate by letting someone else imitate a thing that you do naturally great.  See all of this is clear to me that only you can be, the you that I see.  So be the best you, you can be.