Honest Truth Requires Humility
So I’m definitely “on one” right now, apologies in advance if it’s a little edgy. I’m thinking about all us artists and how, because we’re people, we tend to ignore truth and honesty. This is most certainly a byproduct of a lack of humility.
We ignore the honest truth our romantic relationships. (Ever catch yourself wanting to “win”?)
In our friendships.
In our relationship with our music.
Why do we do this?
I call these “protection rackets”.
We are so easily hurt and wounded by the slightest criticism that we resort to defense mechanisms to deflect the pain and put ourselves, albeit inaccurately, into a better light.
Why do we use these protection rackets?
Why do we so desperately need them?
They’re destructive to relationships which means they’re destructive to your music and potential as an artist.
Why are we so quick to bow up with a defense rather than absorbing what is being said and processing it intelligently?
Maybe the information is coming from a source with an agenda which makes it questionable at best.
Maybe the information is coming from a source that is currently hostile for whatever reason so we take it with a “grain of salt”
But how many of us really listen and process before we respond?
Even the most naïve consumer offering up an opinion can have something important to tell you. Granted, they may be serving it up poorly or naively with regards to lingo and understanding, but we shouldn’t dismiss what they are trying to communicate simply because they can’t articulate it as intelligently as you.
We should all understand that no matter what, we need to get better.
Then we’re always improving.
That means there is ALWAYS room for improvement, right? If this is in fact the credo we choose to live our lives by than why is it so intolerable when someone points out a flaw?
Why are we wired up to defend when someone is telling us we need to do more work?
I guess that’s where the humility comes in. I think humility is a muscle that gets stronger when flexed. I can actually feel more humility just by saying I have it out loud.
Say it out loud, “I HAVE HUMILITY!”
Humility means you have to listen with the intent to understand rather than the intent to reply.
That’s hard to do.
Have you ever met that obnoxious person who is constantly cutting you off with their reply? You can see them fidgeting, and feel the disruption in the energy flow because they’ve already tailored a response while you are still talking and simply cannot physically wait to bestow it upon you. Ugh.
This is rude for two reasons:
- The gesture is annoying as hell and completely disruptive to a train of thought. One wants to free the thought and finish the point. This is hard enough sometimes without having to battle for the proverbial conch and/or talk over someone.
- The gesture is proof positive that the person is NOT listening to damn thing you are saying, making the conversation futile which is extremely frustrating especially when you really care about the subject matter.
Are you that obnoxious person occasionally?
Maybe you’re more socially behaved, but are you that person inside your head when you’re supposed to be listening?
Most of us are, don’t feel bad.
I want you all to try to FOCUS on listening in the very next conversation that you have. Trust me, when the person is done talking you will formulate a response so STOP doing it while they are talking.
I’d be interested to hear back from y’all on that one. Was it really hard? Did you learn something from the communicator?
We need to be honest with ourselves.
We need the truth as it is what gets us closer to impeccability.
We need humility to accept the honest truth and refine the approach.
Somewhere in that message we want to deflect so bad, may lie the very key to creating something that is life changing or a step to life changing.
What if it’s a muse disguised as disapproval and hard work?
There are many of you that are phoning in your marketing and behaving like children who lost their ice cream cone because it isn’t working.
How can one really be frustrated when the marketing effort and budget equals 1% of the artistic effort?
That’s like spending a ton of money on a beautiful brand new car and being frustrated when you run out of gas because you refuse to spend money making it go. As simple as that metaphor is, I must say it is spot on.
No gas means it doesn’t run.
No gas means nobody sees and experiences your beautiful car unless they come over.
That’s a small market, man.
The major label deal some of you seek will drastically change that budget equation to look more like (at the very least) 80% of the capital budget and resources will be spent on marketing leaving only 20% for the product.
Think about that. I say it often but I want to get it in your heads.
Many of you are also not being honest with yourselves about the quality of your music.
It feels good to accomplish a recording no matter what the quality. I know the feeling, man, you just want to exercise the muse and get the creativity into some immediately tactile form so you can “hear what it sounds like”.
I seriously get that.
Instant gratification feels good.
That good feeling doesn’t matter to the world, they will judge you only on what you have done.
Using the car analogy, an engineer should feel excited when he’s created a killer blue print for that beautiful new car. Personally, as a consumer, I don’t give a shit; show me the car.
If you’re a novice that is just about making music for the sake of making music, God bless, move at your own speed.
If you aspire to be a professional then there is a level to which you must play at lest you be thrown into a gun fight armed with a butter knife.
You will lose.
The feeling of losing is frustrating, I don’t care who you are. So many of you are experiencing frustration because you have set yourself up to fail from the start.
The good news is that’s completely fixable once you find the humility to swallow that jagged little pill.
I’m not saying conform in any way, I named my company Daredevil Production for a reason.
I AM saying you can’t use “breaking the rules” or some kind of “outlaw” mentality as a defense for avoiding the honest truth; you always need to be working and learning.
The TRUTH is you need to know all the rules before you can break them. Breaking them is great, but you need to know WHY and HOW you’re breaking them or you’ll never have a clear project vision.
Without a clear vision it’s impossible to orchestrate the social movement towards your music and your brand you desire to create. Everything has to work together, the lyrics, the melodies, the instrumentation, the message, the image, the genre, the recording, the marketing, etc. It’s complicated and trust me you won’t hit anything throwing darts in the dark!
You need humility to be able to identify the people, places, and things that will make us better.
With humility we can more clearly see the honest truth.
With humility we listen better.
With humility we evaluate better.
With humility we operate better.
With humility we spend our precious resources better.
With humility we become better people, lovers, parents, and artists.
With humility we are open for improvement.
Without humility we believe we are perfect.
If you believe you are perfect then don’t change a thing.
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