It’s a myth that reputation and credentials can provide easy access, at any time. Arguably those are useful, verifiable, assets to trust and verify. However, our life experience should not rely on any singular, myopic, path. Rather we should assume that another path can be pursued at any other time; a 2nd act in life, starting now.
It begins when we turn inwards to validate everything we have done, the work, the lessons learned, and the experience of so many different things. Your 2nd act becomes a story of your expertise and a drive to share something remarkable with the world.
Organizations and artists often face internal strife. Startups focus on proving out theories as to whom or what is of value and what should or should not be automated. Artists become distracted and debilitated by others’ ‘art’. When organizations observe their competition taking aggressive measures they respond in a similar fashion. Needless to say, these practices routinely erode morale, abrade loyalty, all while imposing a sense of disposable fungibility.
The intelligent, long term play, is to think forward. Not medially. Our work is best served when we compete for a better version of ourselves. We lose when we fight each other. We lose when we obsess over our competition. We lose when we scrape the barrel for extra cash. The bottom is a dead end. Consequently, individuals and organizations dissolve themselves for short term gains.
Focus forward and cultivate. Elimination is a zero-sum game. Looking ahead is more. It is exercising your art, in confidence, to create your best self.
When is the last time you keenly watched a turntable’s stylus careen around a vinyl record? Probably not recently, if ever.
However, at that microscopic level, magnified by an order of 1000x, you can witness the actual system at work. A delicate balance of weight, size, physics, precision, and style.
Similarly, our ‘true north’ compass comes equipped with a stylus to help track and navigate. Resilient but delicate, its’ subtle variance at all points, is in motion. Up down, and left to right all while moving forward.
As it ‘turns’ and processes reflexively, life is akin to that of the delicate stylus; anticipating, moving, and responding to maintain a balanced playback. Apply too much weight, the stylus distorts playback. Apply too little, the stylus jumps out of place. Balance the weight, tonearm, and anti-skid so it plays cleanly from start to finish is the art.
We have to recalibrate from time to time, from record to record. It can be a subtle change, but can make a world of difference. The experience, exposure, and intuition to reposition so that the symbiotic relationship between path and compass is ultimately a singular function. Working and learning but keeping you on course.
A decade has passed. 3650 days, 87600 hours, and 5.256e+6 seconds later, 2020 is here. But at any rate, this uniquely positions us to evaluate, analyze, understand, and create a better path forward. That is, a clearer perspective, allowing the past to inform the present, but not allowing the future to overwhelm the present. Easier said than done, but perhaps finding the connection and relationships made across our timeline is a way to better inform each incremental step forward. Incidentally, I often seek perspective through curiosity and application. Consider the following:
Take our current year, ‘2020’, and split it into 2 locations; a superposition if you will. The ’20’ (a) of our past’ informing the ’20’ (b) of our future, both connected by inference. We know each location to be different, and we know that (a) & (b) exhibit a relationship in their respective system. And for our understanding, we can assume that both remain entangled by cognition. Further, when we attempt to make sensible and sound decisions, we are continually referencing each, and using their summation to produce an outcome. Therefore, if we want our individual system’s to produce a desired outcome, you must be willing and be open to access each state. It can give way to effectively understanding the connection that our past state is bridged to our future state through our present ability to recognize both, simultaneously.
If we desire clarity through improved vision, we need to accept that hindsight is indeed ‘2020’; it is our past and future states in the present. Use it to see where you want to go.
A common knee jerk reaction when mixing down a record is to boost the equalisation of parts you want to emphasize. While that makes sense, in some cases, more often than not you end up boosting in other areas to compensate for level changes. However, many people fail to recognize that removing an unecessary element or reducing ‘problem’ areas is often more effective. Removing what we don’t want to help reveal what we want is a more efficient and balanced way to focus on what matters most, content wise.
We have to remember that adding is simply piling on; remove what we dont need to reveal the parts that matter most.