With every new day shining its light, newer opportunities and experiences have welcomed themselves. I’m grateful for the new faces that join me on the journey that started when I was 15. I’m also grateful for the new places that I get to see with my fellow musicians as we travel from stage to stage.
But as an independent musician trying to make a living, these opportunities are only as exciting and joyful as its potential to grow into something bigger; something more tangible than the meagre way of living that I choose to currently live.
It’s easy to get distracted from the task at hand in the midst of how exciting things can get. But the bigger purpose continues to lurk at the back, reminding you that there is still much to do.
When I quit my supposedly “stable” job in IT many years ago, I had to think very carefully about what I was doing. Music meant more than all the good things in the world.
It is my idea of fun, it is my escape from reality and it’s extremely gratifying for the soul.
Doing it full time meant that it would become my work, my expressway into the real world and a bittersweet ride of hardships and joy. The only way I could do it was to find balance through discipline.
I’m not using the term discipline in the stern context with which it is commonly used, at least not in this case. I’m speaking of the human quality, the rudimentary discipline in the way that you live life, control your actions and pursue your dreams. It is that which gives you clues of your true priorities every day. It is that which allows you to convert the need for instant gratification into a more valuable and worthwhile reward in the future.
And so I tell myself every day the same thing that I’ve said for the past 5 years :
“Work is fun when it ain’t hard. And you’ve gotta work hard to get there.”
I’m fortunate to have people around me who understand the value of this discipline and own it in their own way. As a result, our rehearsal sessions are met with great focus and the expectations from all of us on stage while performing is high. Does that mean we do not have fun in either situations? Not at all.
In fact, we can be quite the entertaining rascals in both; but it’s accompanied always with the need to grow. The need to be a better musician, a better human being and a better student of this circus called life.