Monday, August 23, 2010

Opportunity Knocks - Will you hear it ?

Jimmy Buffett was asked in a recent interview what he attributed his success to. He responded:"You gotta have all 3, talent, persistence, and luck" . He went on to say:"Talent is often the least important of the 3".

In 2002 I met a very influential artist and had uninterrupted 1 on 1 time with him.

Neil Young.

I met Neil and shared a beer with him about 9 months prior to releasing my 1st album, Cowboy Hat Blues. At the time I had spent a lot of time in the music field as a performer and I had done some insignificant recording but I didn't have the recording experience that I have today. So my conversation with Neil was shorter than It would have been today; and humble, very humble. The timing was very poor.

Much of what I believe about success has to do with what I call the FOUR T's.

1. TIMING (Some refer to that as luck) I mean how valuable is meeting Spielberg if you've just registered for acting classes at the local JC?
How valuable is meeting Spielberg if you just co-starred in a semi popular sci-fi movie?
Do you see the difference timing makes? The other single most important part of timing and opportunity is the ability to recognize it as a chance to plant some seeds if not close a deal.

2. TALENT This doesn't mean you need to be a virtuoso; however it means you need to be confident in your own personal abilities to achieve the success you are pursuing. It means you've invested time in developing really good communication skills or "People skills". A major part of being talented is being grounded in solid principles. To be honest; I feel talent is the easy part. If it means you need to practice or exercise or rehearse 10 hours a day; then do it. It's something that is within your circle of control. (as opposed to a circle of concern)

3. TENACITYSome call this Passion or Drive or Persistence. The meaning of the root word TENACIOUS means to "hold firm, not easily pulled apart or persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired". Tenacity requires passion or Drive. You CAN NOT be tenacious without Passion and Drive. You can be passionate without Drive, but unless you are both passionate and driven, you'll not possess the tenacity required to recognize opportunity.

Finally I believe you need 4. TRUTH. Truth is connected to faith. You can not have faith without truth. This is when you ask yourself the really hard questions: "Am I as good as I think I am"? "Am I really passionate about reaching the finish line"? "Was it just poor timing"? "Is my faith strong"?

Truth is what convinces a 40 year old minor leaguer to re-evaluate his talent. Truth is what makes an under achieving virtuoso re-evaluate their passion.

TRUTH makes you ask yourself if what you want to succeed in is the result of a higher calling. Or is it a means to an end? I know many medical doctors that became doctors for the money. Many doctors become doctors because they come from a family of doctors. Many nurses become nurses because they believe it's a noble profession for females.

And then there are those rare doctors that I meet that get true satisfaction in healing people. They're hard to find but they're out there. I've met a lot of people that just don't belong in the medical surgical field. Does all success have to be altruistic? No ! (emphatically) If you're in a field or industry for the money or the praise or the status, you're not in alignment with universal principles.


A comedian wants to be a comedian to make people laugh. (not to get the movie contract and a house in Brentwood)

An Actor wants to be believable on the stage. He wants to give the audience a chance to live through him in his performance. (not the contract and an Oscar)

A Musician wants to touch the deepest part of another's soul. Music is very powerful. (not for the fame or groupies)

An Athlete wants to be the best he can be and/or show what a great team mate he is. (not put on a great show the season of his free agency)

A Baker wants his customer to have a memorable celebration. (not necessarily become Mrs.Fields)

A Janitor is proud of what a clean environment they provide for their clients. (not waiting for the next opening up the corporate ladder)

Does this make sense?

The Universe, source Energy, the Divine, the entity I refer to as God controls timing. You control your tenacity and to a great degree your talent. When you start to give is when you will receive. When you're doing the right thing, in the right way, for the right reason; You'll be successful. Be true to yourself.


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