Don Richmond Illustrates Power of Perception
Every once in a while I find myself doing something that never fails to amaze and astound me. For instance, sometimes in the recording studio, I’ll be making some adjustment on a channel, say, and then listening back to what I’m doing. Listening to the playback, and I’ll be twiddling the knob on the computer screen, and I’ll say, “Oh, ok, that sounds better. Ok, yeah, I think that’s good.” And then, a few minutes later, or sometime soon hopefully, I will discover that I was adjusting something that was not in the signal path whatsoever that had no bearing, no effect, on what I thought I was listening to. Yet, I was quite convinced that I was changing it and that it sounded better. So, what’s the lesson in that, you might ask? Well, to me, it illustrates the power of perception and it illustrates that we do indeed create or assemble our reality inside our head with our current set of perceptions and our current set of filters and assumptions and everything else. And there are many ramifications and applications of that realization. But, one that
We All Sabotage Ourselves From Time To Time
I wanted to talk about today is how easy it is to tell yourself that what you’re doing is worthless. Say you’re writing a song, it is so easy to edit it out of existence before you ever have anything to edit. You think, “That’s a stupid idea. That’s ridiculous” or you conjure up someone in your head that you just know will hate that song. And you know what? That person very well may hate that song. But you could just as easily conjure up someone that might like it if you’re writing a nice, tender, sensitive sweet ballad. There are plenty of people that like those songs, including me. If you’re writing a harsh, cynical world-weary song, well there’s lots of people that like those songs, including me. But it’s easy to conjure up someone who will hate the particular brand of song you are writing. And that goes for anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s a song, or whatever it is you’re doing. If you’re baking a chocolate cake, well, some people hate chocolate cake. I don’t. I love it. But there are people that do. So, does that mean you should never bake a chocolate cake if you like it? No. You go ahead and bake it. Let the people who don’t like chocolate cake find something else to eat.
If You Like Chocolate Cake Bake Chocolate Cake
And it’s the same thing with any sort of creative endeavor I think. But yet, going back to that power of perception, you need to realize how powerful that is. When I’m working on my own material in the recording studio, I can’t tell you what an amazing difference it will be from one day to another as far as how I like what I’m working on. How I like the song. How I like the arrangement. It’ll be one day that, “Oh, why am I going to subject the world to this?” and then, another day, it’s like, “Wow, that’s pretty good. I’m liking that a lot.” And it’s all in my mind. It’s the same song, the same playback. It takes a certain amount of faith to walk through that. It’s also sort of a balancing act because you do want to polish your song. You do want to make it as good as it can be. But that is done, ideally, with a sense of craft and care and even love. It’s like it’s your child. You want your child to grow up to be a functional adult and be able to make his or her way in the world. But it is best done with loving guidance and a gentle course-correction when necessary. Similarly, you want to dress these little songs up in a nice arrangement and send them out to meet the world with that same care and craft and love. Don’t abuse them. Don’t tell them, “You’ve got to grow up to be president, or I will feel unworthy as your creator or as your parent.” Again, realize, the power of your perceptions over your creative children. Give them a loving ride out into the world and then see what happens and move onto the next one. There’s a song that I dearly love, it’s called “There’s another train”. There’s another song. There’s another creative endeavor. Do your best with the one you have and send it out into the world, but don’t let that power of your perceptions when, for whatever reasons, the voices come up and you think, “This is horrible”, don’t let them talk you out of doing it. Do it anyway. Do it with care, craft, and love and send it out to meet the world.