I love playing the Bass Guitar. I love making music. I have told me exploits as a Drummer and a Servant Leader. I have been trying to learn to become a better leader by doing the best I can to help move the group of musicians I jam with forward. Well this week I learned quite a lesson. I will share it with you if you will stick around for a minute. Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.
Have you ever heard of the term, “Fake it until you make it?” I am not sure I agree with that term. I believe you should do the best you can, do not be afraid of making mistakes; but learn from the mistakes you make, and keep trying to get better at what you do. I play the Drums in a Praise Band, because that is what we need the most. Every now and then I get to play the Bass Guitar. This week for the second time only I got to play the Bass.
Now as a Drummer, I have tried to make sure everything was good for all the other musicians. I bring extra Cables, converters and spare batteries to make sure you can clearly hear each instrument. I have explained to the people in the band that the person running the Sound System can make or break our performance. The mix of the Sound through the Main System is what the people in the crowd will hear. We will hear the mix through the stage monitors first, and the sound going out to the crowd will sound like an echo to us on stage. Everything has to be mixed just right.
I have gotten used to different mixes because I have played different instruments and different styles of music. It never sounds exactly the same twice. Most of the time people in the crowd are not 100% sure if what they are hearing is mixed just right, or if it is even being played live at all. You see people pantomiming to music in the Movies, On TV and even at some Concerts. A lot of Television Appearances are set to pre-recorded music. I never much liked watching people fake it on Television or in the Movies. I really like movies where when you watch the musicians’ they look like they can really play, not just fake it. I never like watching people fake it on Television or Live.
Ok, quick switch. Name your five favorite singers. Now name your five favorite bass players. Most people can not even name five bass payers. Most people can not really tell who is playing what on stage. I can. I am a musician. Some styles of music are truly built upon what the Bass Player and Drummer are doing. Usually the best Bass Lines can be found in Jazz, Rhythm & Blues and Funk Music. In other Styles of Music the Bass Player can sit in the back ground and just provide deep notes that sit under what everyone else is doing. I like playing the Bass in a way the weaves in and out of the mix. I play the bass in a way that can sit back or take the lead. I like to play in a way that will push the other musicians’ and add a lot of energy to the music. I want people to feel what I am playing.
Well because of strange scheduling we did not get to practice with our sound man. We made it through practice, but there we some sound problems. Noisy cords that were creating a popping sound in the music. Because we were not able to really pin point the problem we just did the best we could and got through practice. During our performance, something went terribly wrong. The Acoustic Guitar and Bass Guitar were low in the mix to start with, but halfway through the first song the Guitar and Bass were turned completely off in the mix. We were reduced to playing along, but nothing was coming through the Main System or the Monitors. We tried to wave to the Sound Man but we could not get his attention. I was basically faking it. The keyboards, drums and vocals were the only thing being heard by the crowd. Everyone seemed to enjoy the music, everyone but me. The Bass Guitar was plugged directly into the Main System, no Bass Amplifier on Stage. I knew what I was playing, and I was trying to play to the best of my ability. I really, really wanted people to feel the Bass parts I was playing. I wanted to take each song to New Heights.
All the weeks I spent behind the drums making sure everyone else could be heard, and now I was not being heard at all. Many a Rock Star has walked off the stage when the mix was wrong. I wanted to sit down the bass and walk off stage. I had to convince myself that the sound could be fixed at any minute. I had to fake it. I had to keep playing not knowing if I would be heard or not. I have read stories of Guitar players who would jump around and go crazy one night and really concentrate on their playing the next night. People like to see people jumping around more than really trying to play their best. I knew what I was playing. I could hear it in my mind. No matter how much I tried it would not be heard by anyone else. I would not be able to make people feel what I was playing. They would only see what I was trying to play.
I gave up trying to signal to the sound made. I tried to let it go and just have a good time, somewhere between faking it and really playing. The performance made me realize it is not about me; and if the sound man could not hear what was wrong, no one in the crowd would hear it either. No one else could tell that the Acoustic Guitar and The Bass Guitar were turn off in the mix. We were really playing but not being heard. We were being seen though. A few people even told me, that they could not hear me in the beginning. The Bass was actually “On” early in the first song.
The whole thing made me wonder if I could every “fake it” for a TV show. I am not sure if I could. I think I would at the very least need an Amplifier turned “On” even if it was not part of the Main Mix. As much as I wanted to show off my skills to the world, how much will it really matter? Someone has to really be tuned in as much as I am to what each instrument is doing. Maybe this is why some many people can just fake it. Maybe people really do not even really know what they are hearing. Live or Pre-Recorded. It is more about liking what they hear more than how it is being made. I still want to really play; I do not want to fake it. Maybe this is why more and more bad singers are famous, and why so many acts out there can just put on a tape and jump around. They just fake it.
The most important thing is to do what is best for the group and move forward. The lesson is to really tune in that sound system and each sound man to what sounds they are hearing. The sound man can make or break the mix of the music. So on wards and upwards in my journey as a leader, sometimes you just have to adapt to the worst possible scenario and keep moving forward. Next time, there will always be a next time!
Another day, another 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo Acronym: I really don’t like it when people lie. I like many people do not like being lied too. Now golfers have heard of the term, a good lie when talking about when their shot lands in a favorable position. I am not talking about golf, so what am I talking about when I coin the phrase “The only Good L.I.E.?” I am talking about an Acronym for Learn, Improve and Endure.
The only Good L.I.E. – Learn, Improve and Endure. Hopefully each of us wants to achieve something in this life we have been given. Hopefully each of us wants to make our mark or build something that will live on after we are gone. Hopefully each of us wants to make a difference. The first step in doing is learning. From the start of our lives we learn. We learn to walk and talk as we grow. I believe we start slowly dying when we stop learning. I had an uncle who once said he was an old man with a lot of young ideas. The minute he said it, it struck me as a key to life. Keep having young ideas. Keep learning.
So once you have committed yourself to a life of learning, you have to make up your mind what you want to do. What do you want to accomplish? The first time you do something will not be your best time. The first time you build a model or a system it is called a prototype. The whole point of a prototype is to learn what works and what does not work. The point of Prototyping is to learn from your mistakes and make things better the second time around. You learn by studying and doing, you improve by doing again and continuing to learn. This is a stage where people sometimes get lost. Give yourself a chance to make mistakes with out destroying your hope of getting better. Don’t lie to yourself; honesty is the bet policy. Be honest about what you can do and what you can improve. The only Good L.I.E. – Learn, Improve and Endure.
Now notice, there is a condition to this; you must commit yourself to a life of learning. If you are committed to learning and improving, you now must endure. Here are some definitions of what it means to endure: To carry on through, despite hardships; to continue in existence; to suffer patiently without yielding. Did someone tell you this was going to be easy? If you want to make a difference in this life you will have to learn to carry on despite hardships. Are you familiar with the term, Here Today – Gone Tomorrow? How about Here we go again? One last one, Here goes nothing? If you refuse to Learn, Improve and Endure; one of these statements will apply to you. Honesty is the bet policy, so again I say the only Good L.I.E. – Learn, Improve and Endure.
Hopefully each of us wants to achieve something in this life we have been given. Hopefully each of us wants to make our mark or build something that will live on after we are gone. Hopefully each of us wants to make a difference.
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, or Welcome Back to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. If I have done what I have come to do, you are fired up; you are ready to chase your dreams. You may have questions, I hope I have answers. I think the most basic question is “What Now?”
So I think it is best answered if I start from the beginning. First you have to reconnect with your childhood dreams. All of us had dreams as a child. God bless the children how have never lost their dreams. For the rest of us, who have been beaten down by life in general; we have to try to remember and reconnect with our childhood dreams. Once this connection is made the question is “What Now?” That answer is; Get around people who have the same dream as you!
Ok so maybe you are now around people whose dreams are in alignment with yours. “What Now?” Well that answer is easy also. Find out who has the same or higher level of values than you have and hang around them. Find out who will do things the right way for the right reasons. Find out who you can trust. No one wants their dreams derailed by a scam or a lie do they? Lot’s of people talk about doing the right thing, watch and find out who is actually doing the right thing.
Ok now you are around people you can trust who are doing the right thing. “What Now?” Easy; get involved. Get off the bench and get into the game. Put some action into those dreams you are chasing. You see to catch a dream you have to run it down. You have to chase your dream to catch your dream, so get in the game.
Alright, so now you are in the game. You back up your words with actions. “What Now?” Now never stop learning. Study the game you are playing. You see life is just a dream and life is just a game. But play the game the right way, follow the rules or change the game; but do it for the right reason. Don’t stop learning. Learn from the best! You have already surrounded yourself with people you can trust and people whose standards are as high or higher than your own; right?
So “What Now?” If you have committed to never stop learning, start teaching. Coach, Mentor, Train others to chase their dreams. You will continue to learn when you help others. You will be able to look at things you have done before in a whole new way. Things that are old can be new again, if you give yourself a chance to learn and teach with an open mind.
So “What Now?” Make a difference. Volunteer, become a leader in your community. Do the right things for the right reasons and set the best example you possible can set. Be the best that you can be, and help others become better at what they do. Work within a system and help grow that system. You will find that your dream is right around the corner. You may be living inside your dream in no time at all.
So “What Now?” Give it your all and never look back. There is a saying in sports. Leave it all on the field. Do your best with no regrets. No looking back, only look forward and leave it all on the field.
No more questions!
Soccer, Futeball, the Beautiful Game. So people say Soccer is the most exciting game in the world. Others say it is the most boring. I like watching Soccer, and I have come up with the absolute best way to watch Soccer. Well, really this is the Second best way. The best way is to watch Soccer Live in person in the Ultra Fan section of the Stadium. The second best way to watch Soccer is while running on a treadmill.
It is my belief that Soccer players work the hardest of any of the major pro sport athletes. The game is almost non stop and there is not a lot of room player substitution. Chances are if you start a Soccer game at the Professional Level, you have to be ready to play the entire game. So I say, if you want to really feel the game, get on a treadmill, set the pace at a decent trot, faster than walking but slower than running. See if you can last as long as those guys out on the Soccer Pitch or Soccer Field.
You see I also believe the best way to watch the Tour De France is on an exercise bike. See how long you can last riding an exercise bike while watching some of the Top Athletes in the world ride for hours on end. Even if you only watch a one hour highlight show, watch while riding an exercise bike. It will be fun and you may get caught up in the action. Imagine for a minute you are out there with them.
A lot of people, when they watch sports get caught up in the 3-B’s: Beer, Barbecue and Big Screen Televisions. In America nearly every shopping mall has a Sports Bar and Grill. It is just the America way. A long time ago, I challenged myself to do as many push-ups as possible every time my favorite college football team scored a touchdown. I guess I should call it American Football as not to confuse the Soccer or Futeball Fans. I used do these fitness challenges while watching sports on s regular basis. Then I got lazy. Now I am getting back into it. I have to challenge myself to not just watch other people run around for 90 minutes, but to get up and see if I can run around for 90 minutes.
You can make up different challenges for every game. Baseball, Basketball, or Hockey, why not break out and do some calisthenics every time your team scores, or gets scored upon, or after each period ends? What do you have to lose except for a few extra pounds?
Even if you only keep a steady pace on a regular basis, if you challenge yourself to exercise while watching you favorite sports teams you will get a fun work out, and you will be in better shape than if you are eating and drinking instead. Small changes to our weekly habits lead to big changes in our health and well-being. No I do think I will put sports bars out of business. But instead of watching three games in a single day from a couch, easy chair or bar stool, why not watch the first game while working out?
This may sound simple, but I will ask you again. Are you ready for your dreams to come true? What would it take for you to leave the life you are currently leading and pursue your dreams on a full-time basis? Let’s face it. For most of us the questions and answer center around money, time, family and local commitments and pressure to perform at a level that will guarantee success.
These are the questions you have to answer. I have heard it said many times that Overnight successes are Ten Years in the making. What if you were Nine Years and Three Hundred and Sixty Fours Days into chasing your dream? What would you do if you woke up tomorrow to a life changing phone call or knock on the door? Would you be ready?
I like watching movies about people who rose to fame in the music business, two of my favorites are about overnight success: That Thing You Do, and The Idolmaker. “That Thing You Do” tells the story of the quick rise and fall of a one-hit wonder pop band. “The Idolmaker” is based on the life of a rock promoter and manager. You can read more about each movie, or better yet watch them if you get the chance. Now all that being said; if someone approached you with the offer of a life time, would you be ready to take it?
For most of us the answer is “No,” we would not be ready. The answer is because we have not thought about what we would need to walk away from the life we are currently leading. For some of us the answer is “I don’t know.” Which is honest but it leads right back to we have not though about what we would need to walk away from the life we are currently leading. Now for some of us the answer is “Yes, where do I sign?” Again, have you clearly thought through what you would need to walk away from the live you are currently leading? If you don’t you may find out that “All the glitters is not gold.”
What is my point? My only purpose is to get you to think about what it would take for you to walk away from your current life; not just the money, but what would you need to make sure the people you care about are ready for you to chase your dream? If you have not thought about it, you have not talked about it to the people who may be affected by your choice. If you have not talked about it, you definitely have not prepared for it. And if you have not prepared for it, you have not gotten advice from people you can trust who can steer you clear of a bad deal and make sure you land on solid ground no matter which way it goes.
I have dreamed about what it would take to be a professional musician. I often wonder if anyone could guarantee me anything more than a chance. The chance and the grind that comes with it would tear my family apart, if a lot of terms and conditions we not spelled out in advance. They say “Careful what you wish for:” who are they anyway? I am asking you, have you at least ran the numbers. What is the bare minimum guarantee you would need to get out there and try to make your dreams come true? Is it 90 Days pay in advance? Is it enough to cover one year’s worth of your bills? Is it total payment of all your debt plus more? The bigger the number is, the less likely it is to happen.
Now, please keep in mind I am not here to burst you bubble. I am also not here to tell you your number. I am here to get you to at least think it over. Think it through from start to finish. Maybe you will see to take small steps and the right steps to make sure you are on solid ground. Your dream can come true, but it is much more likely to come true if you are ready for it to come true. Does that make sense? It did to me when I was typing it.
Let me ask it one last time: What would it take for you to leave the life you are currently leading and pursue your dreams on a full-time basis? Are you ready for your dreams to come true? If you have not thought about it, you are not ready.
Ok I got 60 Seconds to convince you that you can be in the best shape of your life in no time. Really I am convincing myself and sharing my thoughts with you. I have noticed some people around me who have lost weight, or are in great shape; so I just ask them. What works for you? I then take what works for them and I apply it to what works for me. So I have a goal to be in the best shape of my life by the Holidays, and then stay in that shape for the rest of my life. Here is my 60 Second Super Simple Guide to Fitness.
1: Drink lots of water; the more the better.
2: Take a vitamin everyday. Make it a habit, right after breakfast or lunch.
3: Eat Fruits and Vegetables first.
4: Eat light at night
5: One Set of Pushups everyday or every other day, as many as you can.
6: Walk more, run more, swim more, roller blade or roller skate more or bike more.
7: Break a sweat everyday.
8: Make your MP3 Player your work out partner
9: Less Weight, More Reps
10: Stop making excuses
Now notice I did not tell you to stop doing anything until I hit item Number Ten. That is it, plain and simple. My 60 Second Super Simple Guide to Fitness, just start at Number One and work your way to Number Ten. Take it one step at a time until it comes naturally.
Now I can go more in-depth into each of the step, but really what is the point? You can Search out each of these items for yourself. I know there are thousands of workout tips out there. So these are mine. I just kept it really simple. You have to make up your own mid if you will give them a try or ignore them.
This is what I am going to do. This is what seems to work for me and a lot of people I asked the simple questions like “How did you lose weight?” or “How do you stay in shape?” This is my 60 Second Super Simple Guide to Fitness. Maybe one day I will write a book, for now it is a free blog post.
State your intentions. Leave your mark upon the world. Dare to dream big and then shout it from the top of the mountain, or the largest hill your can find; or even the top of the tallest building. Go boldly into today and tomorrow by declaring your dream with a loud and confident voice.
Now that should be enough for you readers of 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. That should be enough for those of you whom have read my blog before. So this is for the new people, and the readers who can’t get enough. Greatness will not chase you, you must chase it. Your dreams will not fall from the sky; you have to build upon your ideas with actions and goals. First and foremost you must believe in your dreams. Second you must have the guts to declare your dream to the world.
How many times have you had a great idea and then found out some one else has made your idea a reality? Now you may think someone is stealing your idea so you have to keep them secret. In fact it is just the opposite. You have to declare your idea to the world, and you will find out you are surrounded by 4 types of people. People who will steal your ideas, people who will try to kill your dreams, people who will help you and people who will do nothing. You will never know who is who if you never speak up and then act. Notice I said speak up and act.
If you declare your dream, someone might try to steal it. Someone may agree with you. Someone may disagree with you and someone may say nothing at all. Now if you act on your idea, forget about what people have said, watch their actions very closely. Some people who claimed they would help you won’t help you. Some people who say they will steal your idea, actually will steal your idea. There is an old saying, talk is cheap. People flip-flop on what they say all the time. Watch what people do. Learn to attract the people you can trust, and the people who will actually help you.
Now by stating you idea to the world, you may just become known for having good ideas. By acting on your ideas, you may become known as the person who made it happen. Either way, it is your idea, it is your dream. Declare your dream to the world!
Jaco Pastorius was an influential jazz bass player. He burst on the jazz music scene stating he was the best in the world. By the time he died, many agreed with him. Jaco did not shy around, he declared his dream to the world. It is OK to brag if you can back it up. Jaco said it long before Kid Rock ever did.
I am telling you it is OK to brag, but you have to act to back it up! Declare your dream to the world. You will find out more about the people around you when you act upon your dream. Some people will support you, some will take credit for your work, some will try to use you and some will do nothing to help you. Do not listen to what people say, watch very closely what they do. You may be surprised to find some of the people your thought you can trust will not help you; and some people who say almost nothing will help you once they see your actions back up your words.
Get out there and make it happen!
I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day. Todd Rundgren
This is my continuing story of being a drummer, and trying to be a leader even though it does not always seem like a drummer would be a leader. Or how I am a drummer and how I can serve and follow and how that impacts leadership.
I play the drums in a Praise Band. No I am not a lead singer or even a lead instrument. I am a guy who has been in and out of a lot of bands playing various instruments and various styles of music. I have been playing the drums lately and it is a lot of fun. I actually don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
Are we the best musicians? No, but we are having fun, and we are serving others. A lot of the music we play have more parts or instruments than we have people in our band. We have a keyboard player who sings, a guitar player, a bass player and I am on the drums. Some of the songs we play have multiple guitar and keyboard parts. We have to scale things down because we do not have enough people to cover all the parts.
I have one message when we play. I tell everyone to play with confidence. You do not have to try to cover a lot of parts, but you must be confident in the parts you are playing. I listen to some of the songs we play and the drummers are full-time musicians who are playing at a very high level of musicianship. I am a Bass Player who is playing the drums part-time, a couple of times a week if I am lucky. I may only get to play a couple of times a month if my day job gets in the way. I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
I can not play at the level of the drummers who are on the recordings we are copying, but I can play based on my own experience. My experience tells me to keep it simple, play with confidence and have fun. When a musician is having fun, people can tell. It rubs off on the audience. When a musician is playing with confidence, people can tell. You can see it and hear it in the performance. When a musician is playing with confidence the audience can feel it in the performance. The best way to be confident and have fun is to stick to the basics.
I often find myself playing basic drum beats. I keep basic patterns but I switch the combinations of what drums and cymbals I am using. I keep this simple, but I play with power. I call it my Big Lazy Rock Drummer imitation. Sometimes when I play I miss a beat or miss hitting a cymbal. I make a mistake, but it makes me laugh. It makes me laugh because I am having fun. I do not have to be drinking or taking anything to have fun. I am having fun because I am making music and I can tell other people can feel the performance. It makes me laugh because I wonder what it is like to be on a big stage playing for a big crowd. I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
In my own mind I am one of the Top Ten Bass Players in the world. In my own mind I am the greatest Non-Famous Bass Player you have never heard about in a magazine or have never seen on television. I am not the world’s greatest drummer. I am a bass player playing drums who is having fun. I am having fun and playing with confidence and it rubs off on the people around me. I miss playing the bass guitar, and people tell me they miss me when I am not able to pay the drums. They miss the feeling that a simple, confident and fun performance brings to the table. A good drummer keeps a good foundation not matter how simple or complicated the parts they are playing. A good leader can stick to the basics and keep things simple and make sure everyone is confident in their part.
The best leaders in my mind are servant leaders. The best leaders prepare others to take the lead. The best leaders can follow others. The best leaders provide a solid foundation and know how to keep things simple and fun. This is my approach to playing the drums. I want to be a better leader. I want to be a better musician. I know there are more and better drummers out there. I hope I can help teach others and I hope other drummers will come forward so I can switch to guitar or bass or keyboards and help add more parts to our music. I hope more drummers will come forward so nothing is missing if I can not be there one week because of work. Until then, I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day!
Welcome to 60 Seconds Of Motivational Mojo. Once again, I will try to encourage you. Once again I will confirm to you and to myself the importance of chasing your life long dream. Your Self Esteem Matters: How you see and value yourself will go a long way in where you end up in life.
Do you want to be happy? I think almost everyone wants to be happy, but some people find fun in making fun of other people. Do not believe for one minute that you are not as good as someone else. Now that being said, no one is going to hand you your dreams on a silver platter. If that was going to happen you would not have searched out post. Do not let people making fun of you bother you. Do not let other people decide your self-worth. See it for yourself. Find a quite place and pray, and listen to your inner voice.
Let me say this again; Your Self Esteem Matters! I can sit here and read you the story of “The little engine that could” but it will make no difference to you if you have low self-esteem. You will make excuses for yourself and say that it is just a fairy tale. Search out Self Esteem and Happiness and Success and you will find many different ideas on where each one comes from, and which ones you need. I am not looking for a bunch of buzz words or to make a sales pitch for my new book. Self Esteem, Self Worth has been a major driving force for a long time. Being able to admit that you are human and give yourself a break is a great idea, but I hear to many people who are not striving to be better than they are; they think that everything is good enough, or an accident, or that this is all there is in life. I am here to challenge that.
Give yourself a break yes; then get back to work. You are human; you will make mistakes, learn from the mistakes and get better. Call it what you will, I call it having Self Worth. You have to believe that you are here to do something great. You have to find out the what, where and how of your own greatness. You have to figure it out. Not with pride or malice intent, but in a context of love for you fellow mankind.
Do you believe that you are Star Dust? Why not? Why believe that other people are great, while you being made of the same material in the same image as those who you consider great; can’t see your own greatness? I am confused, I do not understand. Politicians and religious leaders say every life is precious, and then send people off to die in war. We say the every life is precious, yet everyday the value of your life is measured by insurance companies and employers. You have to see your own Self Worth before any else will.
Your Self Esteem Matters!
I am the kind of person who leaves a penny at the counter in the little dish. You can be that kind of person also. All you have to do is leave a penny.
I am the kind of person who puts my spare change in the charity jars. Maybe a dollar here and a dollar there won’t make much of a difference, but it doesn’t hurt to try. One day I hope to do more, but in the mean time I will do what I can.
I am the kind of person who likes to volunteer one day a month to help feed the homeless. I also like to volunteer at food banks and soup kitchens. My wife and I also like to organize and host charity fundraisers and try to get people to come together and work as a team. Why not, even if we can only make things a little better we are still making things better than they were before we got there. You can be that kind of person also.
I am the kind of person who likes to leave a good tip when ever we go out to eat. Why not be the person that appreciates other people who are working hard for the money they make? Why not be the person that people like to see coming? Why not be that regular customer that people want to wait on?
I am the kind of person who believes in something bigger than myself. I have faith, I believe in trying to be a part of something that will live on after I am gone. You can be that person also; it just takes faith and hope that you can make a difference. You can be that person also.
Leave a penny. Donate your spare change. Volunteer once a month. Be a good tipper. Have Faith. Believe in something bigger than yourself. Be that kind of person. I am that kind of person.