What is the goal of every musician? What are we working so hard for? Why do we sacrifice and put so much time and energy into building the career of our dreams?
It could be said that we all have different goals – creative expression, financial independence, fun and recreation…
But what about happiness? When’s the last time you thought about how happy you are doing what you’re doing?
Accomplishment vs. Fulfillment
I recently heard Tony Robbins talk about Robin Williams. Now here’s someone who, against all odds, accomplished monolithic, seemingly impossible goals in his life and career.
But was he happy? Well…
Maybe it wasn’t the depression that killed him, but it doesn’t change the fact that he took his own life.
Appearances are deceiving. Here’s someone who, in effect, had it all. But he wasn’t happy (even if it was because of a variety of factors).
Robbins’ point is that we shouldn’t mistake accomplishment for fulfillment. They are two very different things!
Sacrifice & Balance
At times, I know that I have sacrificed fulfillment for accomplishment. I’ve sacrificed recreation and social events for money. I’ve sacrificed my diet and fitness to build my business.
Contrary to popular belief, massive achievement and balance do not go together. Tiger Woods didn’t get to where he was as a professional golfer living a balanced life. Neither did Michael Jordan or Gary Vaynerchuk. They worked hard for what they’ve got!
But as I continue to gain experience and knowledge, I believe less and less in long-term compromise. Short-term sacrifice? Sure. But if you keep it up for too long, you’ll burn out, lose your momentum, and you may even lose relationships, your health, and other things that are important to you. Plus, if you’re always grinding and taking on the world by yourself, you’re not seeing the big picture – the fact that there are people around you willing to help!
Should you test your limits? Yes, so long as you do it in a healthy, productive manner. But don’t kill yourself seeing how hard you can push yourself.
Thinking About Your Goals
This is what it all comes down to. What are your goals?
If happiness is your goal, then you need to read this blog post by Derek Sivers now, follow his advice, and shut out all outside distractions.
The blog post is called How to do what you love and make good money. It’s one of the best things I’ve read recently. Sivers suggests splitting your time 50/50. He encourages us to use 50% of our time earning the funds we need to live, and the other 50% of our time doing the creative work we love to do without placing any financial obligations on it.
But what if your goal is connected to your future, your legacy, your kids and their kids? Well, that’s a different trajectory altogether, and you might have to sacrifice happiness, at least for a time, to get to where you want to go. But that must be a conscious choice, not a decision you make on autopilot.
How important is your happiness to you? What do you envision for your future? Where do you want your music career to take you?
Because, depending on what you’d like to accomplish, happiness might be a better goal than financial independence or massive commercial success.
What do you think?