Throughout our lifetime we often start things full of passion and excitement and then… what happens? Beginnings hold a sense of naivety that breeds confidence and boldness. Butterflies in the stomach lead to a careful thought out plan, trying your best to think out every possible thing that could happen.
Most of the time we’re only thinking about how amazing it will feel to finish!
But then the inevitable happens…you get to the middle.
Are you stuck right in the middle of your music?
Often times we can’t really foresee what the middle will bring until we get there. The middle is where you see what you’re made of. Because anyone can start something…and we all can judge a person by how they finish… but the middle?
No one really knows yet, including you.
Be it an Olympic race, a dance recital or a self-produced album, the lessons are all the same. Are you right in the middle? What do I mean by that? Well, our attitude in the ‘middle’ of things will determine how long we stay there. There have been countless writers ‘in the middle’ of their prized thesis for twenty something years now. There have been struggling actors ‘in the middle’ of their careers waiting for that big break. And there have been many an artist who fizzed out in the middle, not able to cut the long hours of studio work and enduring frustration of pressing in through life’s struggles..
Let’s face it the middle is where things get ugly. .
Let’s think about what the middle can bring: Crashed computers, glitches in software, gear that was working one minute and not the next, clipping on an otherwise perfect take, family issues, death, life, difficult clients, unexpected bills, missing samples and writer’s block.
Now what does the middle bring out of you?
Does it bring out competition, comparison, panic, fear, frustration, mistakes, and stress?
Or does it bring out determination, focus, cleverness, humility and creativity?
I don’t think there’s one person on this earth who gets away from the challenges of the middle. From doctors to pregnant mother, we all have to face ourselves in the middle. But is there a right way and a wrong way to be in the middle? Could our own attitudes keep us longer in the middle or put us on cruise control to the finish line? I think that ‘the middle’ is actually the most important part of any goal or commitment.
It is in the middle where you become who you need to be to make it to the finish.
So, it’s safe to say that the middle is more important than the beginning, and maybe even the finish. Are you right in the middle? Right meaning positive, courageous and patient? When you’re in the middle do you complain and whine to everyone who will listen or do you silently suffer intuitively knowing that you will get through your obstacles?
In my line of work, I’ve seen many people crash in the middle. But I’ve also seen many people transformed in the middle. It’s these courageous ones that keep me going every day, that inspire me and make me think that all my hard work is worth it.
If I could give everyone one small piece of advice it is this: Stay optimistic in the middle. Keep your head up and your eye on the goal. Ignore frustration and allow yourself to be challenged. As a matter of fact, give into it! Get out and stay out of your comfort zone.
Just knowing you’re in the season of being ‘in the middle’ will help you get through to the finish. Once you’re finished, you’ll look back and see who you became in the middle and you’ll be utterly amazed at what you are capable of.
It’s happened to me many, many times and I’ve witnessed it in others. It is truly a beautiful thing. Like the butterfly who has to spend a few weeks in its cocoon, there’s a reason the process is hidden: the transformation isn’t always pretty, but it’s necessary. So, to all my earth worms out there still crawling on your bellies in the middle of your project, keep your eyes on those butterfly wings. Stay rightly optimistic and focused in the middle.
As true as the sun rises every day, so there will be light at the end of every journey’s tunnel.
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