Everyone’s got an opinion, their own version of the story, their completely subjective take on what’s going on in the world. And then of course, there are straight facts. What I’ve been noticing lately in my own experience is that the lines between the two can easily get blurred.
I just spent five days at a big international music conference in France. There were industry people and artists from all over the world there to network, talk shop, learn and do business. I was amazed at the number of people and conversations I came across that were focused on how bad things are in the industry, how difficult it is to have success these days, how it’s all messed up and how the opportunities of the past are gone.
Now there is no question that the music business has dramatically shifted and that it continues to be in flux. And yes, the numbers don’t lie and the facts are indisputable. Music sales are down. It’s true… But the consumption of music is at an all-time high and there are more opportunities than ever before for artists to reach a global audience. Just a few weeks ago, a band I know posted a video of a cover song on YouTube and within a week, they got 22 million views and within two weeks, they were on the Ellen Show.
Depending on how you look at it, you could argue that things have never been better or that things are the worst they’ve ever been. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people going with the latter interpretation. That’s the story they’re choosing to buy into, whether they realize it or not. Their experience might even be validating that view, which is to say there could even be some facts supporting their perspective. As conscious as I was of not wanting to let those conversations influence my own thinking, and despite having a great overall experience at the conference, I left with a subtle feeling of discouragement and found myself questioning my own career. The negative talk and cynical stories had seeped into my thinking and affected my outlook.
So, what’s the point? Well, in any endeavor, regardless of what facts are at play, I believe that we each get to write our own story. There is no question that someone who is focused on what’s possible and who has faith even in the face of uncertainty is much more likely to succeed (and be happy) than someone focused on the obstacles and the failures. In fact, I would argue that maintaining a positive mindset is more than half the battle. It comes down to choosing a mentality of faith instead of fear, of abundance instead of lack and realizing that this variable alone plays a huge part in shaping our reality and in determining whether or not we realize our goals.
This happens everywhere in our lives. We are constantly being bombarded with other peoples’ views and stories about love, about money, about life, about health. These opinions and messages come in conversation, in what we read, in what we watch and in what we hear. So the question is…Who are we listening to? What stories are we believing? What views are we buying into and how are they affecting our own experience?
The bottom line is this…Don’t let anyone else tell you it’s too hard or too late. You get to decide how it goes for you. You get to choose what lens you are going to look through and that choice will impact your experience. So be selective about whose views and opinions you listen to and consume. More importantly, remember that your life is yours to create and anything is truly possible if you believe in it and keep faith. Rather than let someone else’s experience tell you what’s out there, find out for yourself!
Written for The Daily Love (February 6th, 2012)