How perfect is that? Oh Mayan calendar ~ apparently it is the year the world is going to end, and after all this time spent in the music biz (three albums worth to be precise) *only now* am I getting around to writing down professional goals for myself. As I mentioned in my last blog entry, I have embarked on an online blogging challenge called Music Success in Nine Weeks based on Ariel Hyatt’s book of the same name. Twenty-twelve *might* be the year the world ends; it is also the year that I am taking reign of my music career and allowing myself to be a successful musician.
To kick off the challenge, this week (number one) is all about setting goals. Write them down, so the wisdom goes, and you’ll be way more likely to achieve them. Which got me thinking about why I have never done it before now.
Goals – sigh – why bother?
According to the doomsayers – the Mayan Long Count calendar ends on December 21st 2012 and therefore, they conclude, humankind will be toast too. *cue ominous music* Uneasiness is sweeping the general population like the flu: freaky weather, volcanos and earthquakes, oil spills in the ocean, economic struggles in Europe, full body scanners at airports, newsfeeds describing unending tragedy and mistrust between fellow human beings. Doesn’t that list just go on and on…
In the face of all this doom ‘n gloom, I’m sitting down to write out my goals for the next 3-months, 6-months, 1-year, 5-year and lifetime, and I’m thinking… geez, December 21st is less than a year away. Does that mean I shouldn’t bother with anything beyond the 6-month plan?
But wait a minute, I thought Y2K was supposed to be the doozy that would knock us all out with errant missiles and misbehaving computers. And, wasn’t last year home to a couple of rapture ascension dates that never came to pass? In fact, a quick look at Wikipedia tells me that there have been over a hundred apocalyptic dates throughout history, and more to come (assuming we make it through this year.)
So you can see why when it comes to setting goals – just like quitting smoking – there has never really been a good time.
Okay, sure. Consciously I do not actually buy into the doom ‘n gloom model. Quite the contrary. My worldview can be summed up by this quote: “I cannot believe that the inscrutable universe turns on an axis of suffering; surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy!” (Louise Bogan)
This week, however, I was embarrassed to discover what has been stopping me from expressing my goals all these years. Somewhere along the way my hope fell out of favour, and hopelessness gained entry into my subconscious. I have been worn down by the barrage of bad news and numbed by it.
Crazy Little Thing Called Hope
Well damn you, doom! The reason I became an artist in the first place was to hang on to this little spark called hope. Even in this time of winter, I call forth music like spring calls forth poppies. I will sing and write songs like blooms waving freely across a field.
Yes, what I have realized this week is that it is no small act – writing down one’s goals (aka dreams.) It goes beyond mine or anyone’s personal aspirations; I see expressing them as an act of hope. By affixing goals/dreams into concrete form, I am saying to the world I trust that you are going to be here with me on December 22, 2012 and as far into the future as life takes me.
So Don’t Blame the Mayans
If anything, let’s applaud them for their incredible forward thinking and rich civilization. After all, they created a calendar cycle 5,126 years long, setting their sights well beyond any single lifetime. That’s advanced goal setting if I’ve ever seen it. The fact that the calendar runs out this year means it’s more than overdue for me… for us… to take it from here, thanks.
This week I have created a number of pretty 8 ½ x 11s describing my goals for the upcoming year, and I have placed them in my newly created “Goals Book”, a document I will refer to again and again throughout the coming months and years.
For the record (and in honour of the Mayan long count calendar,) let me add one here too. “It is December 22nd, 2012. Happy solstice! It’s good to be alive! To celebrate the returning sun, today I am sharing my homemade video for “Winter Song” (one of my new songs from my new album recorded this year) online through my newsletter, website, various online social media sites, etc. Enjoy!”
What are you doing December 22nd?
Next week: “Creating The Perfect Pitch”.
Look for my next blog update Monday January 23rd.
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