Sing Your Song

microphone

There are a number of things I’ve learned in my few decades on this big blue planet. Aside from the important things, like the benefits of making friends with the local baristas, that Sydney traffic is insane and dogs are the most incredible source of unconditional love, I am learning the significance of my voice.

It doesn’t matter what field or sector is your arena – you bring a unique (yes, that word again) vision and perspective. All of your life experience gives you a take on the world that no one else possesses, even if they’ve had a similar upbringing and training to your own. And not one person knows it all. No matter how shiny and brilliant your particular mentor or inspiration may seem, they are flawed and limited, just as we all are. And that, my friends, is fantastic.

It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I agree. It boosts your confidence to know that someone sees what you do or how you do something as worth emulating. It can inspire you to keep your own bar high and cause you to aim higher. Or, it can lull you into believing that you can just ‘maintain’ your level and that will be enough. But if you’re not constantly seeking to move forward, then a maintenance mentality is effectively a backwards slide into mediocrity.

I’ve learned that the pursuit of excellence can’t be just a slogan or tagline but needs to become a reality if I’m ever to explore the potential that resides within me. Success and fulfilment do not arrive with imitation.

What do we do? Learn to sing your own song. When I look at those who inspire me – no matter what arena – I see a common thread. These people know the value of their voice and follow the courage of their convictions. They’re not constantly looking at everyone else and trying to copy them. They focus on where they’re going and how to get there, taking note of and applying only what is useful. Of course, there are conventions and boundaries which are good to keep, because these benefit others overall. And while we follow our passion firstly for ourselves – we’re good at something, we enjoy it or we see results – ultimately what we do affects others.

We don’t all travel the same path. Some will follow the more traditional route, while others will carve their own trail to reach their potential. It all depends on what works for you. A good example is the art of filmmaking. Some will graduate from film school with diplomas and degrees, others will learn by picking up a camera and just making films. And yet both can produce something that not only makes the screen but also impacts audiences.

And remember, not everyone will like your voice or what you’re singing. There will be critics, those who are jealous or those who just don’t ‘get you’. No problem. Not everyone likes jazz music either. There would never be diversity if we relied on only what was popular.

So, sing your song. You don’t know who you’re influencing or who is listening. Your voice might just be the one someone needs to hear.

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Closer to Home

Remember the glamour and wonder of old Hollywood? When the personal lives of the silver screen stars were a mystery and the glitz and glitter seemed a world away from our mundane lounge room existence.

Now, we are treated to celebrities and their lives – in glossy detail – on social media platforms, websites and newsfeeds, whether we’re looking for it or not. This generation of entertainment consumers seems to aspire to the dizzying heights of fame and followers, rather than being inspired by talent and character. Although there are plenty of artists in all areas of the entertainment industry who offer both in bucketloads.

So what makes those celebrities so popular whose main claim to fame is, well, being famous? Are we so destitute of our own dreams and purpose that we begin to live vicariously through these people who seem to ‘have it all’? Or is it that the fear of failure halts us in our tracks before we even begin to try?

No matter our position in life, perceived or otherwise, those dreams we harbour deep in our souls are the keys to our fulfilled lives – not just existence. While I am seen to work in the creative industries, I believe that we all operate in a level of creativity no matter in what field or profession we are employed.

So take a look closer to home. What are your passions? Where do you excel? Make your life count by pursuing those things that make your heart beat faster, stir your energy and put a smile on your face. You will find meaning and purpose in your own life and in the lives around you, and look less to the shooting stars of fame whose light glimmers for a moment until the next one comes along. And the people who matter will cheer you on.

Invest in yourself. You’re the only one we have.

 

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