Events and What They Mean

Hi, fellow singers!

The topic i’m discussing today deals with the part of our mind that wants to make sense of the world. Beginning singers are often hung up by a lot of things – my voice isn’t nice sounding, my voice can’t go very high, i’m not able to sing in key, etc.

I think it’s obvious that if these tapes play in your mind all the time, you won’t make a lot of progress as a singer and musician in general. But we all know how hard it is to actually get rid of these voices playing in our mind. Have you ever tried to break free from a habit? Who hasn’t? We all know the sense of futility that comes from trying to fight our own impulses.

Hard as it is, if you want to develop not only as a musician, but as a personable musician that music lovers can relate to, you will need to develop your character. And the most direct way to do that is to get rid of the habits that get in your way.

So how do you do it? How would you get rid of a habit that you don’t like? Read that question again.. You know you don’t like the habit, but somehow you cant help yourself and still need to keep it. That’s one of the curiosities of the human mind. The mind likes to hand over control to outside stuff. That way, if something goes wrong, the mind would be able to blame it on the thing it surrendered control to in the first place.

Notice a something here? I said “the mind”. This is to emphasize that the mind is not you. What you are contains the mind. We are the only creatures who are aware outside of our minds. We can actually get out of our minds and watch it do things.

So since the mind is the one that gives control to other things, we need to work out how to get the mind to cooperate the way we want it to. The mind is only trying to protect our egos in doing this whole give-away-control thing. The most painful thing for us to do as human beings is to look ourselves in the mirror and be responsible for our actions. That’s why not many people succeed.

The way to do this while being as pain-free as possible is by not giving meanings to events. An example would be if you first started singing, and you tried to reach a high note and your voice breaks. On your part you know that that was not the sound to intended to do. That’s ok, because, hey, let’s try again, right?

Except that people around you start laughing at you. Depending on your life perspective at the time, your reaction would be:

  1. Wow! I’m actually able to entertain people! Right, i’m gonna milk this thing and get a few more laughs out of it! =)
  2. Hmm.. People laughing usually means I made an absolute fool of myself. Hope they don’t think less of me because of this mistake..

Personally, I’m more from the second example. It’s just my personality. Nothing wrong with either of these, but if left unchecked, they add up in the long term.

The first example might be seen in the reality shows like American Idol. They’re just there to provide a few laughs, and they’re off. 15 minutes of fame. They’ve given control to the situation: I’ll never be good at any form of art, but at least I’ll be able to make people laugh. This is a great thing to have, because the world is taking itself way to seriously nowadays.

On the other hand, you might want to get to know the part of you who’s able to take an ordinary craft such as singing, and master it to the degree where other people feel a deep connection to you and are inspired by the meaning your art adds to their lives.

The second example probably will never be seen by the world. They decide that making the mistake again would be too painful and quit pursuing it altogether. Or they’ll lock themselves in their own world, perfect their craft alone, but in the process become too much of a perfectionist to ever present their work to the world.

In between these two extremes there are a lot of sub categories, but you get the point. Their whole music career (or lack thereof) was determined by that one meaning they gave to that one event. In other words, if we can see events in our lives as what they are – only events –  then we can make more progress faster. The things that happen to us are part of our experiences that make us unique, but they do not define us as human beings.

Whether you want to be a professional singer or not, the most important thing is to know that you are capable of getting good at this art form, and you are also worthy enough to present your art to the world, and by doing so you do in fact add colour to the world we live in. If you have any recordings you feel like sharing, please leave a comment below; I would love to hear what you have. Let’s compare notes! =)


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