The last few years of my young adult life, I’ve overcome a lot of things and have solved some of my life’s greatest mysteries. Thanks to meditation, I got over insomnia after over 22 years of suffering, learned how to quiet my mind after being diagnosed with ADD, and even learned how to subconsciously motivate myself. It’s been the most significant thing to happen to me in my adulthood, and something that could’ve changed my life entirely had I known about it in my youth. This was a several month long process that happened around two years ago. Now, something potentially even greater is happening. After a lifetime of idleness, but a desire for ambition, I have finally solved the mystery of passiveness. I have learned how to evoke and channel my ambition. And it is so exciting!
It all started a few months ago at my local Irish session. A gentleman I hadn’t met before came out, and he was a concertina player. To my knowledge, I’m one of the only "concertina players" in the area, so meeting him was absolutely delightful. I still have my entry-level Rochelle Concertina. My new friend has a Bob Tedrow(An American Maker). And it is a NICE instrument. He’s let me have a few sets on it. Playing it was so exhilarating, thrilling even. I felt so alive! And since that first time I’ve played, I’ve been working on my plan to save up the money for an upgrade. I have gone mad. Every time I discover a new concertina album, or a new player, my heart skips a beat. I’m obsessed with the few videos on YouTube of the legendary and renowned players. I am so bothered, that I am embarrassed at how much I desire more of this in my life. But as I have admitted, I am maddened.
But it’s a good insanity. My intuition keeps me in check and near forces me to be responsible with my money. Before I upgrade I’ll have a nice cushion of funds saved up and several bills paid ahead. I’m already ahead on my car insurance and will be ahead on my car payments in the coming weeks. If I make a profit of +$5,000 on my tour, I’ll be able to buy out 6 months of a lease for an apartment and pay 6 months of my car insurance up front. Judging from this last year of busking for a living and my financial records, that’s 200 music hours, working 25 hours a week for 8 weeks. I plan on working 40, with the freedom of the road and having nothing else to do but play and learn new music! I’m trying to be as realistic as I can be, but I have the numbers in front of me, it is certainly achievable! If I commit to the 40-hour plan and stay out of trouble, I’ll surely be in the clear.
But that was a digression. One of the reasons why I’m so confident is not only because of my new found experience but because; This Ambition, this Drive, this Grit, it’s new! It’s fresh! All of my life I’ve been fighting for motivation and drive. All of my life I’ve had to struggle with a spirit of passiveness and non-chalantness. But I’m not passive anymore. I’m not careless anymore! I’m active! And I care! I know what I want, and I want what I want! I have a lot to learn about ambition, but at least now I can call upon it when I am discouraged, or tired, or distressed. Now I don’t have to depend on meditation to kill my cognitive decision making biases. My own desire destroys them on its own! And now, I can take advantage of meditation, for rest, for debriefing, for clearing my head after a long weeks work and my internal music cache is overflowing.
In the last few weeks, i’ve learned two things about ambition. For me, it’s a deep and passionate burning, mostly in my chest. It feels a lot like anxiety, but also like lust. Like when I notice the sway of a woman’s hips after she gives me a coy smirk. It’s the same feeling, albeit not so much in my chest. And it feels quite different from inspiration. It’s safe to say that in my musical life, inspiration has been my driving force. It’s much more subtle than anxiety. And whereas ambition causes me to want to act, inspiration causes me to want to create. I would say that for me, the distinctive difference between ambition and inspiration, is that ambition drives me to work towards what I want whereas inspiration drives me to play towards what I want. Ambition drives me to do the necessary hard work that I don’t want to do. Inspiration drives me to do the easy work that you can’t really call work.
All in all, I feel so empowered. Like I can take over the world, my world. And all I have to do is keep my desires in my attention. That’s where it is for me. If I want to learn a new classical piece on the piano, listening to it, touching the manuscript, or watching others play it motivates me to learn it. I keep pictures of concertinas that I like on the desktop of my computer, along with other desirables like keyboards and pianos, recording equipment, pictures of Ireland, people dancing, all kind of things I want more of in my life. And it gets me out of bed. I don’t want a lot out of life, and I am a man of simple desires. Music, Love, and Friendship. And those things that must be worked for will receive their Due Diligence!