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Past, Present And Future: Where Is Your Band’s Focus?

February 24, 2011

Many young artists I’ve worked with can only look into the future, their dreams filled with a hopeful abundance of new fans, stardom, fame and fortune. Yet very few artists have the insight to realize the decisions they choose now, in this very moment, are directly correlated to achieving their future goals and ambitions.

On the reverse, more seasoned, long-term artists are often stuck constantly looking in the rearview mirror recalling the glory days of the past. Dwelling on days past of bigger guarantees and CDs selling like proverbial $20 “hot-cakes”. The truth is that dwelling on the “how things could have gone” or “What might have happened if…” will achieve nothing for your vision and instead will consume your current time with regret and longing.

The ultimate problem with putting too much focus on your band’s ‘past’ or ‘future’ is that you neglect the ‘present’. The present is the moment you are in right now, this very second as you read this. Often while day dreaming of the perceived future or focusing on the memories of the past you are blinded to present opportunities which will pass you by.

This creates a vicious time-cycle for artists where very little is actually achieved as all creative energy is misdirected by dwelling or day dreaming. The only way to properly combat this is to be conscious of it and then move on and focus on what is current and at the moment.

Although it is ok to learn lessons from the past (and so you should) it is not acceptable to dwell. Why waste time and energy thinking of how things could have been different, because unless you’ve have a flux capacitor and a delorean all geared up it is unlikely you’ll be changing anything. Simply take the ‘lesson learned’ and move on. As for day dreaming of the future, there is no conceivable good that can come from that. After all the future has not yet happened. Any time spent dreaming of the future is a waste of energy which could be spend creating something special in the present.

So ask yourself: what, at this very moment, can you do to help your artistic vision? And then when you have your answer, put it into action. After all, there is no time like present.

-Josh

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