Volume 3, Issue 51
Kids setting out in life are best advised to have a two-level plan: the longterm plan to do only what they want and get paid enough for it, and the immediate plan of having a job in a field that pertains to that longterm goal.
First of course they have to know what they want. Intention is a powerful thing, with effects across one’s entire lifespan. Setting out without a strong intention i.e. a concrete two-level plan, is like driving blind. The Universe will still get you there unless you make it impossible with some point you’re stuck on, but it will take longer and involve more pain.
If you do what makes you happy, you are more likely by an order of magnitude to get into Flow state. Your performance will be Flow state, which will cause your natural audience to be attracted to you.
During my life I got to meet a lot of musicians, performers, artists of all kinds. I liked that. My father Ned was probably the last orchestra leader/master of ceremonies whose band backed the biggest acts in the world in nightclub and hotel venues as the Big Band era transitioned into a memory. He established a school that taught performers. My mother Sandy was a painter and paint sculptor.
I met so many whose talents far exceeded their success. Some even knew how to jump into the game, meaning they followed the advice of the plan above — find a way that pays to get into the field you want to be in. They taught me that lesson. For example, Bill Heyer, a multitalented genius who made the leap into big industrial shows with Harold Beebe, bringing Broadway to the corporate stage — great plan and inestimable talents. He was on his way to stardom when he lost his way.
For a decade I saw him in Flow state a large part of the time, and he exuded love. Later on, when he had lost his way, he hurt my feelings by pointing out that he was not really my adopted older brother, it was just an inside joke Ned and Sandy had and we’ve been humoring them all our lives.
“You mean you were humoring me,” I said.
Sometime later the police asked me if I knew a man about 6 feet tall, moustache, well built, who would have my phone number in his wallet along with nothing else. Bill had apparently been doing a Norman Mailer on the parapets of the Gotham and fell to his death. I see him dancing off the ledge.
Before the Internet, lots of artists of all kinds, including showbiz, photographers, authors, creative of whatever stripe, had a good excuse when they caved to their inner cowardice and refused to market themselves, waiting for the mountain to come to Mohammed. Now we live in the ideal era for artists, when the Internet allows them to do whatever makes them happy, and simply requires having a decent available presence on the Web. They will in time attract their natural audience if they are projecting positive energy, which is the real joy of Flow state — you don’t have to fake love, just get a good night’s sleep.
Do what you want artistically, and by that I include whatever turns you on — writing code, inventing things, whatever. It’s all art if it makes you happy.
And remember the two-level plan when you advise young people in their teens and younger. This is in all of our best interests!
Remind them too about the second half of the title of this post — you yourself have to market yourself, you can’t depend on anyone else any more.
Ned would have changed one thing in the world if he could have. Talented people would always be found. They wouldn’t perish like a beautiful flower in a desert, and waste one’s spirit on the air — allusions he used in his writing, echoing the poet whose line he quoted in his memoirs:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
You’ve got to do it for yourself. Nowadays the way to do that is available and affordable to everyone. It’s Facebook, Twitter, having a website, having a Youtube channel of your own. Whether you’re an inspired carpenter or calligrapher or therapist or tuner of instruments, whatever gives you joy and so gets you into Flow, open these windows so people can see you doing it.
That’s the advice I would give a kid. Or a performer. Or anyone that needs to hear it.
Best to all,
PS — P&G’s Olympiad series on Youtube will be remembered as the start of the age of Custom Content Takes Over Advertising.
Watch for my new book, You Are the Universe. Imagine That, coming soon.
Follow my regular blog contribution at Jack Myers Media Network: In Terms of ROI. It is in the free section of the website at Bill Harvey at MediaBizBloggers.com.