Instagram Is A Poetic Editor’s Reel

Internet and social media can be a powerful and positive tool. But, I don’t think humans were ready for it. I think of social media and cell phone cameras as the ultimate mirror for humanity to see themselves. It’s a big photo dump of where we are as a world population. It’s a way for the universe to turn the mirror onto us and show us what and who we are.

But, for today, perhaps on a less heavy note, I wanted to remind you that Instagram is like a big director’s reel. What you see is the best version of someone’s life, or “achievements” and it is full of poetic quotes from people who have no business posting anything of the sort. Not everyone is at the best party, not everyone is crushing it, not everyone … well, you get the idea. Enjoy the pages that bring good things into your life and don’t waste your time with the posers. Instagram, for the most part, is not real life.


Fear, Resilience & Doubt

This is a big post and one that resonates with me a lot. It has to do with the biggest dream killer of all – FEAR. Now, I have been on a quest dissecting fear and how humans react to it for a few years now. This subject took a lot of my attention. Today, I am going to make my findings simple.

Every human being experiences fear. Fear is primal and it is built into us so we can survive and not get into life threatening situations. Feelings of fear are there to protect you. We often think that professional musicians, athletes, dare devils, CEOs or celebrities don’t experience fear and that’s why they are able to do the things they do. That’s incorrect – everyone experiences fear. Here is the kicker – there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. You are supposed to feel it.

Read this again. Fear is natural. Expect to feel it. It shows up as a motherly word of caution. When you do anything outside of what’s comfortable to you right now – you will meet fear.

However, on the other side of fear in the same wrestling ring is doubt. This is where the business end comes in. Fear shows up to the party, but doubt lives in you. Doubt is where your sword is hidden. You have to decide whether you have the goods to perform so well that you have little “doubt” that you’ll do well at a task. It can be anything – playing a live show with a band, giving a speech, taking someone on a date.

When I perform live in front of many people, I have a fearful tingling in my stomach, but my doubt is very small in that I can perform well in front of an audience. This is because I have done the work to prepare. I showed up, worked, prepared and stayed the course that I outlined. I know that I won’t let myself down. I have done this successfully before and I’ll make sure that I will do it well, again. With this mental prep, I face any fear of standing in front of hundreds or thousands of people.

As a side note, I think it it important to know that people feel different levels of fear. For me, standing in front of people was never a nerve wracking issue and it isn’t for most rock musicians. But, I might experience deeper fear in areas that are easy to overcome for others. With that said, I never just get up there and play. I go through a small process.

Returning to our blog, please know that if you don’t keep your commitments to yourself, you saw doubt that lives deep inside you and you’re letting down the most important ally you might ever have. Having strong doubts makes fear impossible to face. You have to slay the doubt that you won’t come up short on yourself, and this can only be done by keeping your word and staying comitted to the things you feel are important to you.

Doubt gets squashed by self-dependence and by self-reassurance. In short, you must know and believe that you won’t let yourself down, and even if things don’t work out as planned, you can figure out a way to hang in there.

Now, between Fear and Doubt lies Resilience. Resilience is like an elastic band that will allow you to spring back into shape, to recover quickly. Resilience is the power to stay looking at the scary task while your fear is telling you to run away. It is the belief that you’ll get control back and survive the task. This is a huge part for people. It’s a big issue for humanity in general.

Fear is a bully with no friends. Your resilience comes with a new pal of no doubt.

See, we have to think of individual parts when we go face to face with something that scares us. Remember, fear is to be expected. It shows up, it is just a warning buzzer that everyone gets. It has no control. It is supposed to be there. Your doubt, on the other side of the table has to extinguished and you have feel self assured, self reliant and know that no matter what – you won’t let yourself down and won’t give up on yourself. Can you honestly feel that about yourself? If you show up for yourself, doubt will have no hold on you. I say you have to be armed with no doubt, sword in hand.

Resilience is the middle man. It’s the rubber band that pulls you back to face the initial fear while you are armed with no doubt that you will handle the task. Read the last sentence, again. Resilience is the glue. If you don’t have the glue of resilience in-between fear and doubt – you won’t cross the bridge to give fear the returning eye. Use it and remember it. That’s how you face the most powerful, yet, most powerless force in the world.

I believe we can say that when you are planted with resilience and armed with no doubt in you having your own back, you are utilizing Courage to face the fear. Sometimes even knowing these words helps us tremendously. It helps us frame what we need to call on. Most of us feel fear and just run away with hands in the air. But, we are not scared of the fear – we are scared of our self-doubt. Good news is that when aware of this we can work on fortifying our abilities, remember difficult situations we’ve overcome in the past and lessen the doubt – so we can combat what scares us. It might be a long road, but at least we can start taking the problem apart and make progress. Even armed with the info here it is not easy.

As a book mark to end this post, when someone goes through the process outlined above time and time again successfully, you can say the person has developed Confidence. They have a good track record by now, and are confident that they’ll do it again. This is a true confidence built on tangible results and personal wins and not a cocky attitude of all looks and no hooks. Big difference.

Disaster, Or Inconvenience?

I came across a very useful way of thinking about an issue that might arise.

When something comes up that is troubling, I think it is very useful to decide whether the new situation is a disaster, or an inconvenience. As humas, we tend to react harshly to anything that is troubling and disrupts our day. But, I don’t think everything warrants the same level of attention, or upset.

When you get a flat tire – ask yourself whether it is a disaster, or an inconvenience. When you go to the store and they run out of milk – ask yourself whether it is a disaster, or an inconvenience. When someone forgets to call you back with information you are waiting for – ask yourself whether it is a disaster, or an inconvenience. You will see that most of the things that happen to us are just inconveniences that we have to take care off – they are not disasters that you have to lose your mind over. I think it is super helpful to keep things in perspective.

Put Fear Behind Instead Of In Front Of You

I would like to share a very powerful exercise on reframing fear. As I say, fear is “imaginary” until it appears and paralizes you. It can, and often does, happen to everyone at one point or another.

Now, for most, fear is something that looms ahead that is the “scary boogieman” that stops you from doing somethig. We all felt it. But, what “if” you take that fear of not doing the thing you are scared off and imagine the worst case scenario if you do NOT do it.

Let’s say, you’re afraid of joining the gym because you are afraid of commitment of going regularly, having to change your lifestyle, not knowing what you’re doing and having people stare at you while you figure out what exercise to start with. Now, all of these things can be worked on and changed, I guarantee you, but while they loom in the distance, they can appear difficult and scary.

Now, let’s put that fear behind you. Take a piece of paper out and write the things are can happen while you do not follow through and stay where you are.

Here are some examples.

  1. You stay sedentary and inactive.
  2. Your health suffers.
  3. You feel bad about yourself.
  4. Because you feel bad about yourself, you go out less and your diet is terrible.
  5. You are burdened by regret for not starting and feel terrible about the place you’re in.

Now, if you take this list and put it behind you to drive you – this can be very powerful. If you do at some level would like to join a gym, then you are also adding a “want” to this list. Now, we have a fear behind us driving us and a want pulling us forward. These are 2 great allies that when joined together can really provide some serious breakthrough power. I hope you’ll find this helpful.

It’s Easy To Love (Or, Hate) Someone When You Have Never Met Them


Constantly I hear people saying they love this person, or this and that celebrity without ever even meeting, or knowing, them in person. It is easy to love and it is easy to hate someone you have never met. People are enthralled with complete strangers that do not know you exist. But, we do not know the names of our neighbors. When we take a walk and see someone walking towards us on the same side of the street we cross to the other side. Maybe we should start there, first.

You Won’t Know How Anything Will Be Until You Try It



Well, that is it in a nutshell. We just do not know how anything will go, or be, unless we try it, first. You see, our mind has a wonderful and very colorful mechanism of protecting us from new experiences because it wants us to stay safe and survive. Anything new is often filed under a big no. This is why we talk ourselves out of trying things that happen to be new experiences.

One amazing thing I have learned is that we have no idea whatsoever how the new experience will really make us feel. Sometimes you think hiking for an hour will suck, but you end up loving it. Sometimes going out to jam with new musicians feels very akward when you are home thinking about it, yet it proves to be one of your favorite experiences, ever.

This also goes towards people. Some of the people I did not really like from afar turned out to very cool people after all. And, the opposite proved true many times as well.

In the end, I just want you to consider that experiencing something is so much different than listening to your own voice of how things will be.

When You Start Something, Early Motivation Is Easy


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When you pick up a new hobby, start an exercise program or begin anything that is new, the early stage of motivation is built in. After all, there was “something” that made you want to start something new. It’s the honeymoon and you are excited. This period works for a few days, a week, couple of weeks, perhaps even longer and then it cools off. And, then it gets harder to progress.

This is where most people quit.

This is where most people start another project, another idea, or buy another guitar instructional program.

You have to realize that where most fail is the exact moment that you have to continue the daily progress to get better.

So what is the right thing to do when you start to lose interest in whatever you started to do? Foremost, you have to understand that unless you find a way to continue chieseling away day after day consistenly, you will never achieve great results in anything. Secondly, go back to why you wanted to start the new project in the first place. There had to be a reason for it. Did you buy a new guitar book because you wanted to be better, polish up your technique and be happier? As a side note, most of the things we do in life is beacuse at the end of it all we want happiness. And if that was your starting reason, don’t you still want that today? If so, then you simply have to tell the quitting voice to sit down. You continue to work. By doing this, you will see that your confidence in yourself will rise and it becomes easier and easier to stay on task in whatever you are doing.

Your Friends Won’t Give You A Record Deal



An interesting occurence happens in the music business. And, I am sure this applies to several other industries as well. I see many younger musicians trying to befriend and “get in” with anyone in the music business that they think can help them further their career. For the sake of clarity, it’s awesome to be genuinely friendly with people. It’s good for everyone around and true friends you can usually count on one hand, if you’re lucky. But, it is not awesome when being friends with someone is used as a means so you might get somewhere further.

It is important to remember that no one will give you a record deal or put you on the radio, or get you a gig simply because you are supposed to be some sort of friends. Reason is that you need to have something to offer first – a reason why you should be awared such thing. Friendship is not enough. As a matter of fact, I’d be much more interested in working on something that someone might want, see value in and want first and foremost. Then opportunities will come whether you are friends with someone in position to help you, or not. When people want something you provide, you’ll know.

Above is a simple advice, or observation. I write about it today because I see this scenario play out all the time.

Punctuality For Musicians

I recently read an article about punctuality and how a lack off has disbanded a cool Heavy Metal band. I just want to give you guys another reminder that being punctual is step-one to a successful functoning band, or organization. It is impossible to schedule your day successfully if you can not keep time. Being late also ruins others’ plans. The only people that will tolerate it in others, or amazingly enough sometimes even not, are other people who are never on time themselves. Truth is people are busy, they have things to do, and people with agendas have no time to sit around while twimbling their thumbs waiting for other musicians to show up.

If you are committed to a band, or task, this also goes to promp e-mail, text replies, etc.

The best way to work your time management on-point is work it backwards. By that, I mean you start with the arrival time that you need to be somewhere and deduct how long it will take you to get there. Then you add 15 minutes to travel for “un-usual” stuff that comes such as traffic, road work, flat tires.

Additional step, which is very overlooked and important, is to also give yourself time before your travel to get your “stuff” together. Need your guitar, cables, directions, coffee? Build whatever time you need to prep these things to go, or get them done the night before. What I often see is players knowing they got to be somewhere at 3’clock and they just rush like hell collecting their gear and hauling to the location in panic. Don’t do that. You crate a frenzy and when you show up, you bring a scattered energy to the people who are waiting for you. Don’t be that person.

Is every mega-rockstar super punctual? Suprising to you, most are! Some are not, but when we both sell gazillion records and employ 120 people, then you and I can rethink it then. Untill that time – know what’s important!

$3 Part That Threatened Life

My dad used to own a 16 foot long Tracker boat. Tracker is a company that makes pretty cool fishing boats. The Tracker was his pride and joy.

One day, while going for a boat ride/fishing trip we put the boat onto the water from a trailer. As the trailer dropped off the boat in the water, I noticed that the boat was floating a little too low above the water line. My dad shrugged it off and said all bass boats flow low. Okay, good enough. Or, so I thought.

As we take the boat out to the lake through the crates in the bottom of the floor I see a puddle of water creeping in. Then the realization – we got water all the way up underneath the boat! I tell my dad that we got water and he screams – Oh, shit, I forgot to put the cork in! So, I’m thinking to myself that a $3 dollar part can have us swim for our life if the boat submerges.

The story turned out ok as we just sprinted using the motor back to the shore, but you bet the boat was filled with water. Close call! And, my uncle’s phone fell into the lake while he jumped out trying to tie us onto something safe by the dropping dock.

Upon getting all the water out, my dad put the cork in and we went out onto the lake later that day. I never felt at ease in that boat ever again. Truth is, it was never the boat’s fault, but someone forgetting a small detail. What a lesson! Needless to say, this story lived with us in our family for a long time, lol.

How does this story relate? It’s in the small details! It is easy to get the big picture, while forgetting all the intricate small parts that are a part of it. This is the same as the guitarist who sets up his rig for a show and has a dead battery in the tuner and no spare. Or a pedal board that uses $250 guitar pedals that are connected with cheap connector patches that destroy the sound of the guitar rig. Examples are countless. You often see a local band that plays live and the banner is 3 feet wide with the corners are folding in. Or, how about the time when you car battery dies and you realize you have no jumping cable. It’s the small parts in big movements that destroy the goal – no matter how big the goal is. Remember the details.