So there’s something you want...
Maybe it’s a dream outcome – you want to change or transform your current career. Perhaps mastering something - a skill, a technique, a language. Maybe it’s an object, a possession or an amount of money you’d like to get. Whatever it is, as far as I can tell, the ‘universe’ has a very straightforward way of working. Let me explain.
But first -- let me be clear – I’m not talking about cosmic ordering or making vision boards or praying, although you’re most welcome to do all that if you want to. I’m saying that there seems to be immense power in knowing that there is absolutely nothing stopping you actually asking for exactly what you want. Just asking and seeing what happens. Maybe even asking again.
Here’s the thing most people do – they have an idea, or a dream or something that they’d love to have happen, but they either don’t ever speak to anyone about that dream or they don’t go all the way and tell anyone the full extent of what they’ve been dreaming about. As a result, all the people that might love to help you achieve what you want to have happen would never know. They’d never know how large scale your dream is. They’d never know how inspired your vision is. They’d never know how deep your passion goes.
Let me give you an example from my own life. It’s 2007. For a long time I’d always dreamt of having a great instrument – a vintage Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone – the instrument that lots of sax players salivate over. I always felt that my own sax, a Yanagisawa, was good enough, but I was secretly pining for a better horn. And 'secretly' was the operative word. I never told anyone. Why would I? I couldn’t afford one. For some reason I felt that there was no point sharing my dream of owning a vintage horn. This is where all the thoughts were getting in the way: ‘I’ll seem greedy’, ‘I’ll seem delusional’, ‘I’ll seem like I’m desperate’, ‘It’s uncouth to talk about money’, 'I'll look really shallow', 'people will think I don't know it's really about the practice, not the instrument', ‘I don’t want more debt – it’s not that important’, ‘I’m not a good enough player to own that kind of horn’. And so the list went on, still wanting the horn.
But for some reason, the way insights always do, a thought popped into my head out of nowhere: I really want to develop my sax sound and my playing and I just wanted a proper horn. It seemed timely. This was one of those feelings that let me know that I was serious this time. I remember writing it down on a piece of paper and working out how I could actually get a Mark VI. At that time they weren’t as expensive as they are now, so the list of things I would have to sell wasn’t as long as it would be today. I realized, looking at my list, that there was one thing that was missing. I realized that I was so serious about getting this horn that I was prepared to sell my violin, the instrument that I had had got me into university and music college. Something had definitely shifted inside, and I didn’t think much of it at the time, but then about a week later I found myself in a conversation with a close friend whom I started to finally tell about my plans. I mentioned that I was thinking of selling my violin and all the other ideas I had about getting my hands on a Mark VI. This stopped them in their tracks.
‘I’ll lend you the money’, she said. A million thoughts popped into my mind again. But this made sense. As my head cleared and we talked, it became obvious to me that it was the right thing to do. Now, I'm not advocating borrowing money or going begging to your friends, but at the time this conversation seemed to be the right thing to do. Her kindness gave me the chance to make my dream come true. Purely by telling the world about my dream of getting a better horn and expressing myself through music more fully (which is what it was really about), the right opportunity came forward to allow it to actually happen. Will there be times when you'll ask and you'll be told 'no'? Of course there will. Will asking people for money always work? Of course not. But there's something about the asking. Something about communicating your desires. Something about speaking about and acting on your dreams. As the old adage goes 'don't tell people about your dreams, show them'.
So what dreams do you have that remain unspoken? Perhaps you have only scratched the surface with what you’ve shown people.
For me it’s getting closer and closer to launch time for my book ‘Just Play: The Simple Truth Behind Musical Excellence’. I’ve been doing exactly what I’ve written about in this article – I’ve been asking for help and telling people about my dreams. I reached out to well-known musicians for help and support. They helped. I reached out to friends and colleagues for help with the editing and content. They helped. I asked for the backing of Help Musicians UK and the Musicians Union. They obliged. Now I’ve decided to reach out to the wider world and ask for your support in the run up to the book launch.
I’m lucky to have some amazing names supporting this project: Grammy winners Jacob Collier, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Bill Laurance (Snarky Puppy), Mikey Craig (Culture Club). I’ve also got support from jazz pianist Kenny Werner, David Lale (cellist in the London Philharmonic), Itchy Fingers saxophonist and top session musician Nigel Hithcock and a host of others including prize winners, Mercury nominees and coaches and pscyhologists.
Now it’s your turn.
In the next few days the Kickstarter campaign will be launching. I’m self publishing the book, but I want it to ooze professionalism and quality, so I’ve gone to professionals to help me with the production. That said, the main reason I’m crowdfunding is to help the project gain momentum among musicians. The changes I’ve seen when people discover the inside-out understanding are huge and as there is such a need in the music industry at the moment I have a dream….
My dream is to get ‘Just Play’ into the hands of every musician who is struggling, and every musician who knows that they are capable of far more than they’re managing to achieve at the moment. My dream is that every musician who is searching for something gets the opportunity to find out about the inside-out understanding of the mind and as a result, more and more people have a simpler relationship with music. To help reach as many people as possible I'll be aiming for a number one best seller on Amazon and it would be amazing to have you along for ride of making it happen. The more books we sell the more money will go to Help Musicians UK - 10% of sales will go to support their Music Minds Matter mental health campaign. Obviously, this will also mean more people learning about the inside-out understanding. Who knows – we might even make the music industry a happier and more productive sector...
There! I said it! The cat is out the bag!
The Kickstarter campaign will be going live in the next few days and I’ll really need all the help I can to get this book out into the world. Even if it’s sharing this article or talking to others about it, I would love to have your support. And let me know about your dreams too. If I can support you in any way, I’d love to help.
Thanks so much for reading this. It’s been one that’s particularly close to my heart.
Lots of love