Everyone needs a creative outlet of some sort. Giuseppe Bianco said, “Find your creative outlet and plug into it. Otherwise, you may just short-circuit.”
When I’m not building marketing strategies, I’m building my piano skills. Recently, I decided that after playing for 24 years that it was time for me to get lessons again and build a new skill set. I had always wanted to learn to really play the Blues and now was the time!
It hasn’t been easy at all. After playing one way for so many years, I’ve had to unlearn things that are carved deep into my brain circuitry. It’s almost like learning a new dialect of the same language. If you are speaking to someone from England, they may be speaking English but, sometimes, they will say something to you that you just don’t understand. Sometimes its a phrase strung together with words you know but just doesn’t make sense to you. Your British friend might arrive to brunch and say “It’s brass monkeys outside!” and you might assume he means its really cold because you know it is but you’re really just not quite sure. Sometimes you’ll hear a whole new word and you have no idea what it means. For example your British friend might then proclaim “I’m a bit knackered today.” You may ask him, “Are you even speaking English!?”
I’m learning a whole new “dialect” of music and one of the biggest adjustments I’ve had to make has been is to my rhythm. I was writing a new song, testing out my new skills and it just wasn’t coming together. For the first time in many many years, I turned on the metronome. I used to HATE the metronome. To me it was like being cracked by a whip! I found it distracting and it made me anxious. However, it was exactly what I needed. As I played thought the song with the metronome ticking, It pulled everything together and helped me see where I needed to speed things up and slow things down. Where I needed to add more beats and where I needed to shave some off. By the end of my practice I had a song that I loved, that accurately reflected the rhythm and sound of blues, thanks to some help my metronome.
This experience showed me a few things.
- This same concept is precisely what I choose to work with the type of people I work with. Counselors, therapists, yoga instructors, etc. help you set the baseline of what is healthy and what isn’t. They help you to slow down, take a step back and really examine your life. What needs to stay? What needs to go? Where do things need to speed up? Where do you need to slow down? Sometimes it takes someone on the outside to help you identify that. It can take a little crack of the proverbial metronome’s whip to help you bring things together and live the life you want to live.
- The importance of a creative outlet is so much bigger than you think. They say that the most successful people are always learning. I think it’s because that time to unplug and get lost in something that is just for you changes you. It’s therapy. Creative outlets pull you back into yourself and gets you in touch with something you’re passionate about. When you let yourself be immersed in something you’re passionate about, it guides your steps differently. You think differently and you feel differently.
Find a good “metronome” for you. Yoga and mediation are fantastic tools for this and if you’re a beginner, go to a class! Like any skill, it gets easier with time. Find a counselor or therapist to talk to. Make time for your creative outlet. Get lost in it as much as you can.
Your future self will be very thankful for it. Trust me. A little “sacrifice” of time or money now will pay off in the long run. There’s nothing more important than the investments you make into yourself.