Timing is a funny thing.
I am on tour at the moment, in Germany. While on the tour bus, the guys and I were talking about a certain band that was playing on the radio – an old band from the 80’s. It took us ages to remember the name of the singer but someone finally remembered it. The following day, one of the band members said they had returned to their room and sure enough they had seen that very singer on some obscure German TV channel!
Anyway, an interesting ‘timing’ thing happened to me recently. Someone sent me a video via Facebook. I urge you to watch it. The subject matter and timing of the video happened to coincide with the biggest decision of my life. The title of this blog is also the title of the video and it’s an interesting question. What if money didn’t matter? Check out the video below:
I am moving to Los Angeles in January in order to pursue what I love – music. The last few years have been a little weird for me. I have been in a strange place not knowing exactly where I am going with my career. I know I love music. I know I have been playing the drums since I was five years old and I have invested thousands of hours in music and as a child I was given the most perfect platform to pursue my passion but yet, I felt a little disillusioned with all of it. My practice habits were becoming lazy and my enthusiasm to go to jam sessions and hustle for gigs was waning. Long story short, I was standing still and not doing what I knew I needed to do in order to progress.
I was thinking about what it would be like to get a ‘normal’ job – to do something where I would be a ‘civilian’ and earn a good and guaranteed living, own a house and maybe have a pension. This was countered, however, with thinking about some of the great experiences I have had such as playing with some world class musicians, studying with some amazing people and thinking back to those periods when my enthusiasm returned and witnessing my capability to progress. The great start in music I was given by my parents was the source of all of this. What a waste it would be if I was to give up, right?
Well, one of the factors in the decision to move to America was money. I was the main person that was cautious of blowing all the money I had moving to another country. What if I don’t get any work? What if I don’t like it? What if something goes wrong with my visa and I have to come back? These are some of the eventualities that may or may not happen, of course, but this was the rational side of me talking. I spoke to so many people, musicians and non-musicians, and the overwhelming response was “go for it!”.
I have always wanted to live in America. I am passionate about American music and American musicians. That is what I have been aspiring to my whole musical life; that is where it’s at for me. After coming to the realisation that if I was going to continue to be a musician and make the sacrifices that are necessary to do it properly, I needed to go the whole hog and jump in 100% and have no regrets. I came to the conclusion that money doesn’t matter. A friend of mine said to me that when he thought back to the times when he was happiest, none of them were linked to money. Sure, we all know money is crucial to survive, but is it right to chase our tails trying to accumulate as much money as possible, meanwhile wasting our lives doing something we don’t want to do?
For the first time in years I have not been thinking about the pros and cons of being a musician. I have not been questioning why I am sitting in the practice room for hours, not wondering about what it would be like to do something else with my life. I am now too busy following my dream. It sounds corny but it’s the truth and I am going to have to up my game considerably to make it happen but I am relishing the challenge.
I am taking a huge risk but believe it will be fulfilling. I also believe it would be far worse to regret not doing something that you believe will make your life a lot better.
This video was extremely inspiring for me. It poses good questions, too. Some will say that it simply is not realistic. Money affects everything and it is not possible for every child to pursue their dream. But is this because in the early stages of a child showing interest in a pursuit that is not considered to be a ‘normal’ job, it is discounted immediately because it does not guarantee anything that society deems valuable like money, cars and big monthly pay cheques? But is that what makes us happy?
What would you spend your life doing if money didn’t matter?