Lately, I've been reflecting on what my purpose is as a musician. With the extreme and sudden stop of performances, I've had time to think about what my role is in society. In moments of pause, I think it's important to reevaluate your path. Every summer, I ask myself a few questions: "What are my goals this season," "what went well for me last season," and "what can I improve?" I find that by asking myself these questions, I generally encounter new lines of thought not necessarily aligned with the answers to the questions I asked. Here's a short summary of what I've been meditating on the last few weeks.
I shouldn't rely on other people to decide when I perform.
I have a voice. My voice helps not only express myself but share other people's stories. Use it wisely.
Remember that the goal is not to practice, but to share and perform.
Think of yourself more like a business and a career, not school or a hobby.
My meditation primarily involves me asking myself, "what assumptions am I making?" and "where am I focusing my energy?" After I name some assumptions, I ask myself if I believe these to be true. After naming places where I'm focusing energy, I ask if it's providing value. This provides me guidance.
Whether or not you have an 'offseason' like me or are a musician, reflection is valuable. I encourage you to think about what value you're bringing into the world. Everyone in our society has influence and we all have a circle of influence; how we use this power defines our contributions to the world. My goal is to, in every interaction, help other people and give what I have to those that don't. Teaching is a clear representation of this message. Performing offers the same result.
My purpose is to give & share, & I plan on doing far more of that this year. I'll be trying to focus more on giving, & I pray that will give me more gratitude. I urge you to think about what your purpose is, how you can improve your circle of influence, and help others, too.