Everybody On Top is a ten week installment helping independent artists identify alternative paths to a mega career destination. Previous articles were Path 1: Accountability – Take responsibility for your actions and Path 2: Discipline – Working for what you want. Path 3: Acceptance –Acknowledging the inevitable. Path 4: Humility – When you are wrong, you are wrong. Path 5 Forgiveness– Let it go or die unhappy.
This week’s article will focus on Path 6 Generosity – Putting others first moves you forward.
Putting others first moves you forward not backwards. The simple act of putting someone before your own forces you to act outside of self. It’s like paying it forward before you receive. Initially this might seem like it puts you at a disadvantage. It does not.
Let’s suppose you are part of a band. You decide to give the solo to a member that has been grinding just a little bit harder. It does not take the spotlight off of you. It opens up a source of energy for everyone involved. If you take the time to appreciate the solo, you just might discover a fresh note or two that leads to a new arrangement.
At first generosity can feel like an imposition bringing forth feelings of resentment. This is the time when your perseverance will be required. Generosity doesn’t happen without effort. The common definition of generosity is the willingness to give time or money. These are certainly nice things to receive. Being generous is a demanding challenge for all us. It doesn’t have to be. Money and time should not be factors to determine how generosity can be demonstrated. Sometimes a look, smile, or a few kind words spoken are more effective in someone’s life. Any of those gestures are a demonstration of generosity. Do not mistake this for a state of generosity.
Achieving a state of generosity does not happen without effort. Generosity requires a specific set of tools. The only tool we really need to be generous is our minds. Our minds are the most eloquent and powerful tool which allows us to make conscious choices which govern out lives. How we govern our lives is a process. This process is called priming.
Priming is the process of ignoring self-messages that do not fit our visions. Our visions are collective depositories of our beliefs and actions which forge those paths we travel to create our circumstances. This is not some new age advice. It’s the wisdom that has moved man forward since the beginning of time. Our world is so device driven that we forget to pay attention to our human instincts. Unplug and embrace the following:
1. Our path is forged by whatever we focus on. Focus on strife; you will get stress.
2. Focus on others and you will make friends. Those friends can become fans. Fans lead to gigs.
3. Consider what is happening around you. Engage your powers of observation. Acknowledge whatever is in your life.
Then step back and notice the energy that comes to you. That energy will bring you a fresh perspective. That new perspective becomes your state of generosity which moves you forward. Whether you are in sales or a band member, you have to give something to get something. A distressed band member doesn’t really want your spotlight. They want their efforts to be acknowledged. You aren’t asking your manager to give up other clients. You just want your manager to see your worth.
Be bold. Stretch yourself thin. Put yourself in the state where you can reach deep down inside to see what is inside of you. In the process you will be able to see value in others. Seeing the value in others creates opportunities to get you closer to your goals. Remember, being generous can happen overnight. Do more. Give more.