Sunday, 30 April 2017

300 Words a Day - #28: Others Can't Provide You with Self-Belief

I’ve already gone into some detail about what I did to finally get a recording contract.

Like, for example, how I envisioned the end result, as if it had already come to pass, and how I shared my passion with the world. When people asked, “What do you want to do?” I would proudly answer, “Be a recording artist.” 

I was scoffed at by a lot of people, but I was never discouraged.

“It’s foolish to dream,” was basically what they were wanting to say.

As I got older, people would ask, “Got that recording contract yet?”

“I’m getting there,” I would say, smiling knowingly.

I really did believe I would one day sign along the dotted line of a recording contract. If I didn’t believe it then there wouldn’t have been any point in embarking on the quest in the first place.

My self-belief was paramount. I learned early on how I couldn’t expect others to provide that kind of stuff for me. It had to come from within.

If our closest friends don’t support us, then they don’t support us.

If our family don’t support us, then they don’t support us.

If our partners don’t support us…

You get the picture.

We need to support ourselves.

Of course, it’s super helpful and nice of them if they find it within themselves to offer support, but not everyone can, especially if they don’t know what it feels like to go for a creative endeavor. 

Anybody that mocks me for having a dream only spurs me on. Without knowing it they give me strength, and I thank them for it.

Expecting the whole world and our entire circle of friends and relatives to support us is expecting too much.

Try it and see what happens. 

But you’ve been forewarned.



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Saturday, 29 April 2017

300 Words a Day - #27: Your Very Own Show

Being stubborn might not be an attractive character trait, but it can prove invaluable to dreamers.

I was often told, “If everything got handed to you on a plate, it would lose its value.”

Being in hot pursuit of what we want, thinking about it on a regular basis, being unbelievably stubborn that we refuse to quit, even when it seems like the odds are stacked against us, often gives our lives added meaning, purpose and drive.

(We need to be aware, that if our dreams lose their meaning and attraction - which they might - that our lives maintain theirs. There is a very serious danger of that happening when we put all of our meaningful eggs in our dream basket.)

There’s something to be said for stubborn persistence.

It ignites a fire in the belly, and can get us through difficult legs of the journey we’ve embarked upon.

If we’re on our death bed and our persistence hasn’t paid off, then at least we know we tried. We still didn’t fail. It might become clear at that point, anyhow, that it was all about the process, the journey, not the destination.

I was told that the snail reached the arc through persistence. I would often remind myself of that when I felt like I was on a treadmill, putting all my effort into accomplishing my dream, but seemingly getting nowhere.  

Like a play, all the preparation gets done behind the scenes. Yet the audience knows the show will start sometime because that’s exactly why they bought a ticket. 

We find ourselves on stage and in the audience simultaneously. Getting our money back isn’t an option.

And why would you want to? You’ve got a VIP ticket to the best show on earth, and it’s got your name all over it.



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Friday, 28 April 2017

300 Words a Day - #26: Allow Your Dream to Leave the Nest

When we find the courage, the motivation and the inspiration to go for something, we need to protect these attributes from outer and inner influences.

It’s so easy to let them slip through our fingers, and when that happens there’s a danger of us turning our backs on our dreams and aspirations for good. 

When I was a postman, I delivered to a lady who knew I had just published my first book, due to an article that appeared in the local newspaper. 

She confessed to me she had written a book of her own. A novel. 

I was surprised. By this time I knew her pretty well, as I did most of my customers, and never once had she told me she was writing a book.

“Have you tried to get it published?” I asked.

She shook her head, almost with a childlike innocence.

“I daren’t,” she said. “It’s finished, but it’s just in the drawer, next to my bed.”

This whole wanting to keep our creative expression to ourself was new to me. When I was making music, I would send off demo CD after demo CD, hoping that a record label, one day, would bite the bait. 

“What worries you the most?” I asked her.

“Them not liking it. And if they tell me it’s a load of rubbish then… well… it’s just safer in my drawer.” She laughed uncomfortably.

By them she meant literary agents. 

I admit, it can be daunting sending off a manuscript.

Our piece of work, whatever it may be, is like our baby. We want to protect it.

But like an overprotective parent we can end up not allowing our children to experience the world, to have a life of their own.

Send them on their way with a smile and wave.



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Wednesday, 26 April 2017

300 Words a Day - #25: Don't Ever Be Discouraged

For as long as I can remember I shared with the world my desire to be a recording artist.

Was it scary?

At times, yes.

Did I get ridiculed?

You bet I did! 

I still do!

You think I don’t get laughed at, scoffed at, for writing this blog?

You don’t think people who know me, secretly (sometimes not so secretly) laugh at my attempts to be a writer?

You didn’t think when I showed people my music, back when I was a teenager, that everybody supported me, did you?

I was laughed at from day one - even by my closest friends.

Even teachers said I was wasting my time.

Did I continue to share my dream with anybody who was willing to listen?

Too right I did, because it was too important.

And guess what I noticed… most of those who didn’t support me were the ones who didn’t have a dream of their own to go for.

Interesting, right?

Share your dream.

You’ve got nothing to be afraid of. 

If you have something to go for you have to be willing to take hits for it - and you will get hit.

It just proves you’re in the ring, fighting for what you believe in.

Kudos to you. 

You’re gaining strength.

To quote Happiness & Honey, “A dream has the power to put the fear of God in an idle heart.”

When you share with the world your dreams, you remind the non-dreamers of what they’re afraid of. But by bravely stepping forward and saying, “Think what you like, I’m doing this,” you light a torch and attract to you people and circumstances that will help you move forward.

Don’t ever be discouraged by the words or actions of those who don’t have the courage to live a dream.




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300 Words a Day - #24: The Way of Visualization - Part 4

Continuing on from the previous three posts…

Throughout the period of wanting to be a recording artist, I was given clear signs that my visualization practice was working.

After finishing high school I went off to college for two years, where I did courses I didn’t enjoy, and can’t remember anything at all about them, however, I do remember, at this time, falling in love with a synthesizer called a Roland EG-101. I was drawn to this keyboard like a moth to a flame. 

The Roland EG-101 

On my computer at home and at college, I used a picture of this keyboard as my desktop wallpaper, so I would see this image several times a day, every day. I would gaze at it and imagine myself playing it. I would feel the cool keys beneath my fingers and imagine turning the dials.

At risk of repeating myself from previous posts, I hadn’t read anything on the law of attraction at this point.

I was like a kid who looks through a catalogue at Christmas, saying, “I want that, and that and that… and that.”

One day, when I was at college, I was fantasizing about having the Roland EG-101, when my brick of a mobile phone rang.

“What’s up, Dad?”

“You know that keyboard you want?”

“Yeah. I’m staring at it, right now.” (Because it was on my desktop.)

“So am I.”


“I was just walking past the music shop, in town, and it’s in the window.”

“What? Are you serious?”

“They’ve just told me somebody returned it because it wasn’t the one they ordered. It’s on discount, too. Do you want me to get it, whilst it’s here? You can pay me back.”

And that’s how I obtained my first piece of kit for my music studio.

Cool, right?

This stuff really works.




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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

300 Words a Day - #23: The Way of Visualisation - Part 3

In the previous post, I went through some of the things I did to make my dream of becoming a recording artist a reality. How I used to sit up in bed, every night, hands together as if I was praying, and picture in my mind what I wanted my future to look like, as if the goal had already been accomplished.

There was something within, an innate knowing, that told me that by repeating this exercise, I would be hooking my dream and reeling it into my experience.

Even in my late teens, when I started to come home under the influence, I would still sit up in bed and do my visualising.

As my bedroom was spinning and all I wanted was to sink into my cold pillow, I can remember a sober part of me asking, “How badly do you want it?”  

I would hurl myself up, clasp those hands, go through the routine and then finally collapse into a drunken stupor.

This dream meant the world to me. 

I was obsessed with it.

I would listen to the music of the artists I wanted to be like as much as I possibly could.

I would go to sleep with my headphones on.

At the cinema I was told to turn my music down - “Off would be better!”

Having a meal with family, I would have at least one earphone in.

I earned £6 a week from a paper round I had. I saved the money to buy albums and singles (it took two weeks, sometimes three, to buy one album.) 

When I got to college, I would spend my lunch money on music. 

My dad was once frustrated at this. I can remember saying, “Would you rather I bought cigarettes?”

That kept him quiet for a bit.



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Monday, 24 April 2017

300 Words a Day - #22: The Way of Visualisation - Part 2

Continuing on with how I turned my teenage dream of becoming a recording artist into a reality…

Every night, from the age of fourteen, I would sit up in bed, hands clasped, eyes closed, and envision the following, in as much detail as possible:

> Performing my music on stage (hundreds, if not thousands of people in front of me.)

> The smell of the venue; the sweat, the smoke, the alcohol. 

(In the previous post I said how my science teacher took me and several other students to go and see The Prodigy, live in concert, in 1997. All I had to do was imagine myself on that exact stage.)

I would also imagine:

> Walking into music shops and seeing my CDs there - and people buying them!

> Being on the front cover of all the major music magazines.

> Doing TV and radio interviews.

> Filming a documentary about my music.

> Winning awards.

> Having my own recording studio, and being surrounded by equipment. 

Some of these were added to the mix later, maybe even years later. For instance, I can remember seeing myself being handed a piece of paper and signing along a dotted line, signifying a record-deal being dealt. I definitely wasn’t imagining that when I was fourteen.

Not only was I seeing these images every night in my mind’s eye, but I would try my best to smell the smells, hear the sounds, feel the heat, feel the equipment etc, just to make it as real as possible.

Every night I was filled with hope.

I knew my dream could come true. 

Once I had finished my nightly routine, I would go to sleep with a smile on my face and say, 

“Thank you.”

All this seemed to be an inherent technique to bring a dream to fruition. 

Nobody taught me.



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