My Dad has a small tree in his front yard. Its a sapling at the moment. He takes especially good care of it because living in Southern Texas there really isn’t an alternate option if you want your tree to turn into anything but a shriveled up old twig. The other day my entire family went on a walk through the neighborhood, and I couldn’t help but notice that my Dad was admiring the trees we would come across in our neighbors yards. The way he would look up at the big ones, pause for just a moment before moving on was starting to catch my eye. I was so intrigued by the way he would examine the yards in his neighborhood, that I soon joined in. Now my dad Just before we got home he looks at his sapling and with a smile he says, “Cant wait until this one grows up”. Even though he wasn’t trying to say anything profound, I felt his heart as he spoke those words. Such hope without a trace of a covetous nature is not often found. But that’s my dad. He has such perspective that the wise are often challenged to secure their pride when he is around. Perhaps if there were more pastors like him, the American church wouldn’t be such a hostile place. Perhaps he wouldn’t have had to teach this to so many leaders who would later stab him in the back for his position. And perhaps I wouldn’t have had to learn this so many times. But also, perhaps I wouldn’t know it so well…
The Bible says in Eclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” In other words, Albert Einstein was once a student. The Ringling Brothers were once learning how to juggle, “The Edge” once had to learn his first chords, and the trees in my Dad’s neighborhood were once like his.
This past week I got the privilege of getting to know a lady who just started her own photography business. She has the same hopes, doubts, and fears that I do. She, like me has a dream. And also like me she has taken the first step into the dark. But the thing that identifies us together so uniquely is the fact that both of us have planted seeds. We both want to see Redwoods become of them, but how do we get there? By watering the ground. I refuse to let my desire for a Redwood stop or distract me from taking care of the sprout in the spot where I expect it will grow…
How tall is your tree? Is it Redwood size? Then climb the limbs and survey the land… Is it a sapling? then pick up your watering can… or is it a seed sitting in your palm? …..Then sew into the ground. Whatever the case may be today is your chance. Yes there is a time for everything but the only time for now, is now.
So this morning I did something I was afraid to do. I announced that I will be releasing an EP. Yea I know, “Isn’t that what artists are supposed to do?” you may ask. To be fair yes. So what’s the big deal you ask? ….well lets just have a moment of honesty shall we? ……RECORDING SCARES ME!!! *Hahaha* There are so many things that I know don’t matter but still come to mind. Fear can creep its way into ANYTHING these days. Its like a disease. the longer you don’t take care of it, the more it will take over.
To my disadvantage a big part of participating in the music industry is confidence. “Yea I got what it takes” & “I’m the best-a-the-best” are some attitudes that many labels and producers are looking for, along with ACTUAL talent of course. Combine the two and you really have a force to be reckoned with. This may come as new info to you but I am not exactly the most desperately cocky musician out there. I do believe in myself but I tend to focus on my limitations; a habit in which I am trying so hard to stop exercising. I am brave when I have to be, but this is one of those moments in life when your conscience tends to remind you, “You know you really don’t HAVE to do this”. But if there is anything I have found out in the first 5 months of doing this, it’s that great things can come from small beginnings. The first step to having success in ANYTHING is to try. And sometimes the only way to try is to be brave. So with my dear readers as my witnesses, in the hope that you might keep me accountable, I am picking up my sword and shield. I have never been ready to take on the giant….
Be careful what you wish for because you might end up getting it. 5 months ago when I decided to baton down the hatches and open a Facebook for Discovering Dimes, (A moment of which I had been terrified) I have to be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect. I discovered REALLY quickly that my insecurities were more than clear. Would anyone even care that I’m doing this? How stupid does it look when a guy my age throws caution to the wind in front of everyone? Is this going to make me or break me… or both? Today I noticed that Discovering Dimes hit 750 “likes”. My first thought was that I cant believe that Facebook “likes” are ACTUALLY a means by which so many measure success in our world today. *Rolls eyes* But my second though hit me a bit harder. In the light of what I considered to be a moment of accomplishment, I remembered every time I have felt the bitter taste failure in this adventure… I recently got to share “Discovering Dimes” in front of 100 people. Not in any way an indicator that I have “arrived” (far from it actually) but something I was proud of non-the-less considering this is a four month old project. I just couldn’t avoid the thought of another night in which no one bothered to show up… We all have an idea in our heads in regards to what it would be like to begin the pursuit of a dream. But what it feels like to actually do it is a completely different reality. This journey has been almost nothing like I expected; In a some bad ways, but also some good ways. I speculate that when my heroes first set their sails, they knew that the journey would be a lot of hard work. And I’m fine with that. I think most of us are. What I struggle to grasp is how they learned to deal with the battle inside. How can you be so certain that what you’re doing isn’t a complete waste of time? How can you believe for success after failure? How can you accept that cutting your losses is sometimes the only way? How do you tell your heart “go” when your head screams “give up”? I think the answer is, you just have to.
I doubt anyone has ever made their dreams come true being half courageous, half determined, or half-hearted. In my endeavor I have learned to decide for myself that the present has very little to do with the future. Winston Churchill said it best when he said: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Just because you have seen success, means nothing. It can be gone in an instant. Its happened to all of us. I know, inspiring right? lol But adversely the inspiring part comes after that; “Failure is not fatal”. I believe that failure does nothing but bring you a choice; Lay down and die, or get up and live to see another day. You want to focus on that part but I have to say, You really cant have one without the other. They are both going to happen. All of that to say that learning to see failure and success through the same eyes has been a huge step forward for me. If you want to be a success you have got to make a choice WHEN ANYTHING HAPPENS to die quietly or keep breathing… Let us all decide to choose the later.