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: Don’t Make Excuses, Make Decisions (3/4)

If you find yourself making excuses for not having achieved a goal, take the following into consideration…

1. The goal you set was unreasonable
2. You don’t care enough about the goal in order to achieve it

If you you take statement 1, and have come to the terms that the goal you set was unreasonable, then all you need to do is simply rethink your goal. Take the goal and stretch the timeline to something that’s more reasonable, or reconsider the steps that you need to take in order to achieve your goal. By doing this you may find that reaching your original goal may come more easily. Perhaps you need to simplify what needs to be achieved first in order to ease yourself in to the larger picture. It’s easy for us to set ourselves too high an expectation, and setting such high expectations is another way that creative depression can creep in.

If you’ve come to the realisation that statement 2 is true, then this isn’t time to worry. Take it as a wake up call. Maybe you would like to be doing something different, or have said yes to a job that you should in fact have said no to in the first place. Maybe it’s too early to be focusing on this job, or maybe it’s too late. Find another goal that you feel passionate about now and focus on that. Perhaps you will come back to your original goal, perhaps not. Whatever you chose will be the best decision for you.

When I’m in the creative zone and writing music, I often find statement 2 to be more true than statement 1. The reason begin that I may have started writing a piece of music, but despite having spent a lot of time on it, I in fact don’t like it; which leads me to not caring about it enough to finish it. This is often a sign that I need to move on. I can spend hours, days, weeks, months or years working on said piece of music, but until I find that creative spark that leads to my fascination in the piece again, I know that my time can be better spent on something else.

Don’t be afraid to set projects aside, don’t make an excuse, make a decision. Ask yourself: Does this piece of work deserve anymore of my time as much as something else? Will I achieve more by doing something else? Will I be happier if I do something else which I will more likely succeed in?

These questions may not just relate to your creative decisions but also your life decisions. Think about everything you do in life. Does each thing deserve your time as much as your creative work? Will you achieve more if you stopped doing something in order to focus on your creative work? Will you be happier and more likely to succeed if you make these decisions?

The answer to the majority of these questions are likely to be yes. Make a decision to change rather than use anything as an excuse.

News: February

This month is a bit of a turning point in my life. I’ve made many decisions to move forward looking toward the future, and a lot of my days have been spent planning work, money, time, and of course what I want to do with all of it.

I’m hoping this year to focus on quality over quantity, I’d made plans previously about a few releases this year, but have decided that after the mishap and delay of my Human Imperfections EP that I need to spend more time on myself rather than stressing about getting things done, but at the same time I feel that I’d like to make sure whatever I do this year is to the best of my abilities.

To add to this, a wonderful new opportunity cropped up during January, in which I was asked to do music for a feature length film this year. This is something I’ve never done before, and I’m really excited. My efforts for the next month or so will be purely focused on material for that rather than another EP release over the summer; however I feel that throughout this process I may of course come up with some stuff that I think suitable for yourselves to hear, so anything I feel won’t be used in the film will be put together for yourselves.

A couple of things before I finish up…

NEXT GIG

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Also, please take some time to check out Bywyd Studios, some guys I’ve met through gigging have spent their hard earned money and time putting together a great little studio in Cardiff. The quality of their work is awesome, so please follow them on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram etc for regular updates and info on what they do.

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Life vs Creativity (4/4): Make a Decision

This feels to me to be the perfect time to write this. I’ve recently been finishing my Human Imperfections EP, and if you follow my posts you will notice that I’ve had to delay it’s official release due to illness; illness partly caused by stress. This illness lead to me not being able to sit down and do the final mixes comfortably, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t rushing the process for the sake of it… Thus begins the final blog post regarding ‘Life vs Creativity’.

“…consider which is more important.”

At the end of the day, in order to be creative we need to have the time to do so. In order to do this we may need to reconsider what’s more important; creativity or life? It’s a decision that I’ve made over and over again, and this can lead to some awkward situations. Perhaps work is getting in the way? Well then work needs to change. Perhaps social time with friends is getting in the way? True friends will be understanding and supportive. Perhaps you’ve been successful with creativity and it’s lead to being so busy being creative for someone else, that you can’t be creative for yourself perusing the true career you desire. Consider each thing, and consider which is more important.

“…you will benefit, and those around you will also benefit.”

Making the decision to allow time for your creativity will benefit you both creatively and emotionally. If creativity is important, and you’re not getting to be creative, you will likely dive into a pit of depression, possibly un-aware of the cause; and this could be it. If you make the decision of which is more important to you then you will benefit, and those around you will also benefit. I often find myself apologising if I’m in a mood, as often it’s down to not having the time to be creative and do the thing I really love. Without becoming too self-loathing, really think about how what you do affects the people around you, and what you should do to improve that affect.

“…allow yourself the downtime after the fact; otherwise you will burn out…”

To add to this, as I have learned you need to realise if you’re trying to do too much at once. We can all make the time, but are we allowing time for rest and de-stress from life? It is as important to rest as it is to do the things we love. Creativity is work. This obviously depends on your personal opinion of whether creativity is simply a hobby or your career, but despite the outcome it involves huge amounts of brain power to be creative, and you need to allow yourself the downtime after the fact; otherwise you will burn out and find you are unable to achieve the things you wanted to achieve originally. There is only so much the body can take.

“…we need to realise that sometimes we need to do what we want to do.”

Whenever you make these decisions, you will immediately see spikes in your creativity and productivity. Stress and anxiety can often hold us back from doing what we want to do as we don’t believe we need to do it. For our own mental health and well-being we need to realise that sometimes we need to do what we want to do. So it’s time to make a decision that counts, and follow through with it. We only have ourselves to blame for any dry spell in creativity, but don’t allow that blame to last and get you down or get in the way. Take action and move forward.