Most successful musicians who “make it,” usually spend years playing in local pubs and clubs, sometimes paid, but mostly for free before they catch their break.
The Allman Brothers, Duane, and Gregg, both dropped out of school to practice music constantly. They bounced around playing wherever they could, going through several band name changes and even cutting two unsuccessful albums in the late 60’s as the band, Hour Glass.
Duane eventually ended up moving back to Muscle Shoals to be a session guitarist at FAME Studios. This led to recording contracts that produced two more commercial albums that fared poorly at FAME. It wasn’t until 1971, almost 10 years after The Allman Brothers dropped out of school to play music full-time, that they had their first highly successful album, “At Fillmore East,” which was a live release.
What you rarely hear about though is the struggle. They probably wouldn’t have called it that at the time. The 6 of them did everything together in those first few years, writing music, forming a brotherhood, and loving what they were doing because they were so passionate about it. Not because they were trying to make millions of dollars right out of the gate.
They played, wrote, and performed their music because it’s what they loved to do.
Paid or not. They played.
In my opinion, passion has been overly romanticized and sexualized by our culture.
The word passion comes from the Latin word passiō meaningthe Latin passus
It can be defined as
Therefore, if you have a compelling feeling, enthusiasm, or desire for something, and you are willing to suffer for it, you have passion.
When it comes to your gifts, artistic or not, you will “suffer” to do it, because you love doing it so much. It gives you life!
You have a purpose. You have a sense of direction. And your soul resonates when you offer it to the world.
The Inner Artist
You may, or may not, be a musician. But you are definitely an Artist.
There is something you’d love doing even if you didn’t get paid for it. Perhaps you already know what that is. Or maybe it’s difficult for you to connect with what that is for you.
Either way, it’s there.
Most of you aren’t even aware of who you are and what gifts you innately possess.
You’ve never met your inner artist.
However, you can find your inner artist with inward discovery.
Discover Your Artist
Taking action is critical for you to discover who you are. This isn’t something you can contemplate and, voila, you know your life’s purpose.
You must be proactive.
The three things you can actively do to move you forward on your inward journey are journaling, taking and analyzing personal assessments, and doing something creative.
The most readily available method for diving into yourself and discovering your passion/purpose/gifts is journaling. Physically taking pen to paper.
And I stress the physical act of writing because research shows it connects the emotional and analytical processes in your brain.
So, one way I find a great way to journal is by asking really good questions.
To get started on your journey to discovering the artist in you, try answering these questions:
- Where are you? (not a location, obviously)
- What are you afraid of?
- What do you desire?
- How would you create your perfect day?
- What do you avoid?
- What makes you come alive?
- Talk about a past life event that brought you fulfillment and joy…
- What are some examples of things that happen in the course of a day that makes you proud of who you are?
- What is the best possible outcome you envision for your life?
There’s self-awareness “Gold” in your answers to those questions. And these are just a small sample.
You can never grow beyond your questions, so ask good ones.
Taking and analyzing personal assessments is a great way to discover things about yourself.
And there are a lot of them out there, but they’re not all created equal.
So I’d recommend the following:
- The Birkman Method – this is a behavioral and occupational assessment. It delivers the highest amount of feedback for all the assessments I’ve experienced. Everything from what your areas of interest are, to your preferred work style, to the needs you have and the behaviors exhibited when those needs are met or unmet. You learn how you work with others, your communication preferences, and the environment that brings out the best in you. It’s all there for you to consume in a colorful 70-page report describing you.
- The Myers-Briggs – this is a personality assessment that helps you understand your strengths and where/how to apply them. It’s not as in-depth as Birkman, but it does reveal your relative leanings when interacting with others.
- DISC Personality Test – The DISC, which stands for Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Compliance, is a behavioral model to examine the behavior of individuals in their environment or within a specific situation. It, therefore, focuses on the styles and preferences of such behavior. It’s been administered more than 50 Million times by psychologists and HR professionals throughout the world to help select and develop people.
Do Something Creative
Question: How do you know you can’t do something if you’ve never tried doing it before?
Trying and doing new things can reveal a lot about you.
Build a piece of furniture. Make some art out of metal. Write poetry. Plant a garden. Color some adult coloring books. Throw pottery. Paint. Draw. Sing. Dance.
Whatever it is, just get creative. You may not be “good” at any of the activities you indulge, but the creative process can really open you up to possibilities about yourself.
However, you might just discover something that you absolutely enjoy doing, and would embrace doing, even if you never got paid to do it.
Embracing Your Struggle
When you discover your passion, embrace it even if it doesn’t produce “fruit” right away.
Those of you currently doing what you love, and know what you’re doing is your purpose in life, embrace it.
You are the struggling artist.
You are the street performer who hasn’t been discovered yet but brings joy to the passers-by when they hear “your sound.”
Eventually, you too will have your “At Fillmore East” moment that completely changes your personal and financial life trajectory.
To Your Freedom and Fulfillment,
P.S. As a coach, who has a coach, I fully endorse the positive actions described above. And I’d also add that having an unbiased partner on your journey to provide feedback and direction is the critical final ingredient to discovering your life’s passion.
Click on the button below and let’s get on a call together so I can help you discover your inner artist and develop a way for you to build that into a promising and fruitful career path.