how do you feel when you realize the day’s work is done? there are a range of valid emotions, from elated to guilty to stressed. out of those three, the feeling that i let someone down is most prominent in my life. like by waiting until tomorrow to write lyrics to a beat i produced today, i’m falling behind other musicians and consequently disappointing my audience, which couldn’t even fill a coffee shop.
what’s intriguing is pressure isn’t coming from those i feel obligated to. no one direct messages me with an interrogation geared toward discovering the root cause of complacency. the intensive mentorship is closer than my phone or even a confidant whispering in my ear; it’s inside my head, poking and prodding a sleeping bear in hopes of breaking what’s been fractured before — confidence.
if i’m uncertain about my accomplishments in one twenty-four hour period, then the drive to work for an envisioned future stalls. ever since i’ve read michael connelly, his concept of momentum has permeated into my own habits and actions. he explains momentum as the sequence of events occurring in alignment with your goals. the most common case is a detective continuously acquiring clues to eventually solve a case. the concept, however, extends far beyond the confines of murder-mystery fiction.
on a typical road trip, you wouldn’t pull over at random intervals for no reason just to have a break. you stop to use the bathroom, grab a bite to eat, take pictures, or stretch your legs. therefore, we can conclude that on a journey of the utmost importance, our destiny, each break in forward motion merits relentless scrutiny. who doesn’t want to reach a destination where waking moments are tethered to a spring of energizing purpose?
returning to the last call, then, it can be frustrating to grasp the inevitability of exhaustion. if i truly believe in my mission, nothing should have the right to hinder my progress. yet, fatigue is vested with a reign of absolute power. i’m nothing short of its peasant, succumbing to the rules and bowing my head when it enters.
obviously, this train of thought is flawed. we are all humans in need of designated resting sessions and schedules to maintain a healthy status. i can ignore sleep no more than the next musician looking to succeed in a toxic industry for some unknown search of worldly gain. if my reality were grounded, i’d comprehend the worth of a steady, consistent workflow ranging years, not weeks.
once i accept factors out of my control, the energy dissolved in that debate can be reallocated to the positive reinforcement of simpler milestones. it’s unnecessary to write a new song every day. instead, i should open the possibility of polishing a draft written two days ago. as long as the process is efficient, the final outcome becomes a byproduct of hard work and time spent.
the benefits of gritty determination are fruitful. however, we don’t need to suffer again and again before we eat from the tree. when your eardrums vibrate from effort’s dinner bell, do not hesitate in your travel to the table nor the consumption of pridefully-displayed achievements. let it store in your cells for the next time adversity conquers stability in an attempt to imprison your mindset.
we are at our best when we are free.
– D K T