“We shall neither fail nor falter; we shall not weaken or tire… give us the tools and we will finish the job.”
So what do you have to finish? Do you have a long list of unfinished projects? Have you allowed yourself to begin other tasks before finishing the ones already on your plate? I think we’re all guilty of this at one time or another but there always comes a time where we stop and say, “Enough! I have to finish these other things first before I commit to anything else!” Sometimes we have to overwhelm ourselves before we finally admit that we’ve been slacking off with finishing. Let’s face it, finishing is hard – that’s why so many people have problems doing it. But finishing is rewarding and if you keep your eye on the prize you’ll finish things left and right and be ready for more in no time!
“We rate ability in men by what they finish, not by what they attempt”
It’s a hard truth I try and remind myself of often. When you are long gone and someone is reading your obituary, they will not comment on what you tried to do. They will only document your achievements and successes. Maybe that’s a good thing I mean, who wants to be known for failing. “Here lies Johnny, he was an average baseball player, pretty mediocre actually, well, at least he tried!”
No, that’s not what we want to be known for. Everyone wants to do something great and the secret lies in finishing. Anyone can start something but it takes determination, drive and a deep inner commitment to finish.
Tutorial: How to Finish the Music you Start:
1) Create a Deadline
Nothing puts a fire under you better than a deadline. Now, be realistic when you set this date. Don’t be a hero but don’t be a wimp. Set a date that is both challenging and doable. You will surprise yourself on how good this works and take joy in the fact that it’s a deadline you created for yourself. Create a deadline and stick to it.
2) Keep a Momentum
Once you start working towards finishing your project, you’ll need to keep the juices flowing. If you work better during a certain time, stick to it. Make yourself a schedule and alert everyone around you not to disturb you. Tell friends and family about your deadline so everyone knows about it. Be on guard with distractions via phone calls, TV, family drama or plain laziness. Discipline yourself to stay motivated and you will reap the benefits by looking in the mirror and seeing a strong individual that has self control when it comes to his/her life dreams.
3) Know Your #1 Enemy : Procrastination
Don’t we know this guy all too well? You miss one day of studio work or music production and then another day goes by and then another and then another. Then you wake up a week later and you’ve sabotaged yourself. Be real with yourself. You can tell when your beginning to procrastinate. There’s no genie over your shoulder that’s going to tap you when you’re procrastinating so you have to have some sort of self awareness. Watch yourself and your actions and when you see this guy start to come up with excuses of why not to work today – squelch it! Push through it, you’ll be glad you did.
4) Reward Yourself
Ok, so you’re goal is to finish the Computer Music Production School in 3 months. After each lesson is completed, especially one you struggled in, treat yourself to a nice dinner or a new CD to jam too. Whatever gets you going, reward yourself with little accomplishments along the way. If your goal is to complete an album, then when all the recording’s done, celebrate! When all the mixing’s done, celebrate! When all the mastering is done, celebrate! This will allow you to acknowledge your progress and also give you a chance to refuel and refresh that inner artist.
5) Do Your Best and Forget the Rest
So you have a bad day in the studio, so what. Don’t dwell on it, don’t let it discourage you. We all have our bad days, and our not-so-creative days. Do not let your mistakes or blunders carry into the next day. So you worked all night on a track and woke up the next morning to find out that you really don’t really like it. No big deal. Scrap it and start over or salvage it later. Don’t allow bad days to allow doubt to creep in. Be on guard with this. Do your best and forget the rest. Tomorrow is always a new day.
6) Face Your Fears
Another reason its easy to not finish is once it’s finished, it will be judged. Some are afraid to finish because they fear their own success. There could be countless fears that come up around the time of finishing and usually they are stupid and frivolous. But fear can be very powerful and it’s the number one thing holding most people back from accomplishments. Make a list of your fears when they come up and talk yourself out of them. Using simple logic and common sense can usually squelch any random fear. Just admitting that you have the fear usually does the trick. And you know the saying,”Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” You’ll never get past your fears if you don’t step out and finish what you’re doing despite of them.
7) Let People Help You
Now, I’m not talking about random people off the street or your friend who knows nothing about your goals or self discipline and motivation. I’m talking about people that are professional and know about what you’re trying to accomplish. Find people that have already done what you’re trying to do and ask them for advice. Talk to them about your difficulties and trials that come up. Honor them with respect and you’ll be richly rewarded with a slew of advice and wisdom.
“There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks.”
When you think about your life as a whole, what do you want to be known for? If you want to leave behind a stack of best-selling albums or want to be known as a producer who created new genres of music, finishing will be your best friend. The music business is not for the faint in heart and everything is a process of order. Encourage yourself and commit to using your talents to help others and nothing will stop you from finishing.
It is easy to get lost in the crowd. The measure of a goal or dream is not how simple or grand it is or how easily you can articulate its details. Rather, the true satisfaction, beauty and joy of your dream is found in the often slow but steady pace at which you work your way towards the finish line..
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FloostNovember 11, 2009 at 3:37 am
Thank you! You often write very interesting articles. You improved my mood.
DmitriNovember 17, 2009 at 9:17 am
Great tips, Ed!