Searching for Success: Have Faith and Never Give Up (4/4)

“Real success comes from those who have faith in themselves…”

Faith is a very powerful thing. Having faith in yourself will encourage your own success. Having faith will also allow you to be more understanding of the speed of which you may become successful. By this I mean that success does not happen in a split second overnight. Overnight success comes and goes; like a one hit wonder in the pop charts. Real success comes from those who have faith in themselves, work hard and continue to work hard; although we all need a break now and again.

“It’s easy to only focus on your own singular big goal and forget about all of the other achievements…”

It’s important to recognise your own work and success sometimes in order to restore faith. A good exercise is to simply sit and write down or review your previous work. Look at the planned goals you have achieved but also recognise the unplanned goals you have achieved. By this, I mean those unexpected achievements that you may have forgotten about or were offered to you by someone else. It’s easy to only focus on your own singular big goal and forget about all of the other achievements that may have been made possible by working on that goal. It’s also important to understand that in the process of reaching you goal, that it will often intertwine with others also searching for success in their field.

For myself, this is every single gig I have ever been offered by a promoter from a venue, every interview on radio or for a blog/website, each album sale or words of encouragement from a fan, or questions of advice from other budding creatives who may deem me as being successful. My creative success is the process of making music, this is where my personal goals and achievements and success lie, everything else is an amazing bonus, but also a nudge in the right direction of another future personal goal; to earn part of my living through chosen use of creativity.

Real success is a timeline of small successful achievements throughout life, and to add to this all of the bonus achievements that come with it. Success isn’t one singular moment or achievement, their may be one achievement that overshadows others or out-dates them, but it’s often those who give up after such an achievement who in the not too distant future will be met again by creative depression. Our drive as creatives is to continue to be successful with whatever big ideas or problems we put in front of ourselves, and by having faith that we will be successful will help us to keep moving forward, never give up and be successful.

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Searching for Success: Just Do It (2/4)

You’ve probably seen this cliched and probably copy written term used over and over, but it’s core meaning could never be more true. In order to be successful we need to come terms with the fact that we need to mentally and/or physically do something in order to achieve the goals we have planned to be achieved, but often we can allow other things to get in the way of our own success.

Personally I will often blame ‘life’ (See Life vs. Creativity), but I know that if I am going to consider life to be a hurdle that I must jump, then I also need to consider whether my goals are too unreasonable for myself if they do not take life into consideration. However, I still understand that a goal will not be achieved until I do something to aid it’s achievement.

Procrastination is easy to succumb to, and by giving into it we can encourage creative depression to creep in and take control over our own success. It’s often hard to believe that if we simply fight procrastination enough in order to just do something that the creative juices will start to flow and we will be one step closer to achieving our goal. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been sat binge watching box set series instead of working on my creativity; too easily allowing the next episode to play disregarding the time flying by. At the end of the day I ask myself where the time has gone wondering why I hadn’t gotten anything done, thus introducing a self loathing induced by my own self discipline.

Creativity is an exercise that when practised will naturally evolve and encourage us to take the next steps needed in order to achieve our goals, but until we just do it and get into the zone of acting on our goals, we won’t be successful. It’s not until you understand this and have the discipline to practise it that you will become successful.

Searching for Success: Setting Reasonable Goals (1/4)

“If we constantly increase our expectations we’ll never know when we’ve succeeded…”

Success to each person can have different meanings. It’s important that when we first set out to be successful in our chosen field that we set a goal; otherwise we may not accept our own success. If we constantly increase our expectations we’ll never know when we’ve succeeded in achieving our goals, and to begin with we shouldn’t set any goals that are too unreasonable or un-achievable. We need to start with a simple goal, map out what needs to be achieved (See Planning Creativity). and make sure to review our work and acknowledge our own success (see Creative Depression (3/4): Recognise Your Achievements, Overcome and Adapt)

Take this blog for example…

I set myself a goal to write a blog entitled ‘Searching for Success’. By beginning with the aim to write a blog to that subject matter I knew I could write a draft. I could then edit that draft to make sure it wasn’t too specific or too generic. I know that once I’ve finished writing it, I can hit publish. I know that by doing this I have been successful in achieving my initial goal. The goal wasn’t unreasonable or unachievable and I can now look back on it as an achievement.

Devil’s advocate might say however, “You’re only successful when 1000 people have read your blog”. I know that for myself, setting the goal of encouraging 1000 readers to read my blog wouldn’t be unachievable, but I would personally deem it as unreasonable. Setting such a goal would require a more time than I could justify dedicating to this project, yet simply writing a blog and publishing it can be justified.

“Understanding what success means to you personally is important…”

Your own opinion of success is personal. For me success is achieving what I’ve set out to do in the first place; not successful recognition by somebody else’s opinion. Understanding what success means to you personally is important, and having sensible goals in order to allow for success aid in the fight against ‘Creative Depression’.

Lastly, I’d like to just link you to a video that inspired this subject. Disregarding any of the stigma around the speaker, his words are valid to any creative. He talks about defining your expectations in relating to success in the music industry. (starting around 30s in, and lasting for around 5 minutes)

NEWS: Looking back on 2014

2014 has probably been one of my most productive years so far. It started off Christmas Eve of 2013, which involved staying up all night writing a track whilst my partner (Clare) was putting together some Christmas hampers for the family.

Since then I’ve become pretty happy with the music that I’ve been making, and lucky enough to have kept on making it. My workflow has improved so much since the 2013, which has allowed me to make music around the day job (which unfortunately can be really tough sometimes. I image some of you can relate).

So, ‘Year One’ is basically my personal favourite tracks from 2014. I felt that my Soundcloud page had become cluttered with the 40+ tracks made over the year, so I’ve dumped all but a few, obviously with the intention to create space for 2015. The artworks a little basic, but I like it 🙂

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I’m still a little unsure as to where to put all of this music I create. Soundcloud is such a noisey place. Everyone fights for the same thing. A little bit of recognition. When I was 16 and spending the majority of my time glued to MySpace, this never used to be such an issue. Somehow people would come across your page through others a lot more easily, you’d start a conversation and form a relationship EASILY, where with SC everyone just seems to be a robot! (Often in the literal sense)

If anyone has any suggestions for an alternative then please do comment.

So anyway… This year I’m hoping to find a way of performing my material live. There’s a small community here in Cardiff dedicated to finding Electronic acts that perform rather than ‘just DJ’, the go under the name ‘Dragon Era’. I attended their previous compilation release at a bar called Gwdihw where I was pretty jaw droppingly suprised by some of the raw talent that was there. I was then lucky enough to get one of my tracks onto their compilation in March 2014. You can check it out here

Speaking of compilations, I also appeared in ‘AEP 3.1: Picking up the Pieces’ released in April 2014. A competition that took part on the IDMForums (and others) where you get the chance to use stems of tracks by particular artist (In this case it was ‘GrainBastard’) in order to create something completely brand new. Not just a remix. These competitions run sporadically and are certainly worth checking out.

So all in all, this year has actually been a little more productive than I though it had been. Probably why I don’t update the blog more often 😉

Lastly, I got to see some great shows last year. I had the chance to see Daedelus here in Cardiff, and even bought him a shot at the bar, followed by a short chat about record label experiences, taking some Caerphilly Cheese back for Shigeto to try, and where to find the best coffee in Cardiff (Waterloo Tea of course). It was such a surreal night though. A show that if back in LA (I believe) would be sold out and packed, where as here in Cardiff there were only around 20 people who attended. I was getting quite worried that this would ruin the night, but once he got up on stage (or should I say moved behind his equipment) it quickly became one of the best gigs I’ve been too.

These guys were going nuts to anything trap orientated. Tbf, I did eventually join in.

The end of the night felt very special indeed. (Sorry for the low quality videos. To be honest I don’t actually care, I remember the night way better than these videos)

I also had the chance to see Flying Lotus doing his final run with Thundercat and Captain Murphy before he released his amazing album ‘Your Dead’. This was a must, so I made sure to get my butt down to Bristol to see this phenomenon. I was too engrossed with the visuals to take any videos so here’s a link to someone who did.

I found it hilarious that the techs were getting so fed up of Flylo clipping the system, that instead of talking to him about it, proceeded to move onto the stage and mess around with his gear. Let’s just say that he wasn’t happy about this and made some mild threats.

Oh, and I shouldn’t forget that I also went to see Lapalux at ‘Start the Bus’ in Bristol later in the year too. No videos of that gig so here’s one of his more recent releases (if you haven’t already heard it). A wonderful 3 part track showing off some his different characters in production.

Well here’s to a new year anyway. This post ended up being way longer than I had originally planned. Hopefully just as productive as the last. Don’t forget to check out ‘Year One’, download it, share it, and have a good 2015. x