August 21, 2018
I did a post recently about nudges – those little tips and clues life sometimes gives to point people in a certain direction.
Nudges are great and I’m still hoping to feel a few, but sometimes nudges aren’t what you need. Sometimes you’ve already experienced a nudge and taken action, and life will deliver a kind of retroactive nudge in the form of an affirmation.
Let me try to explain.
All of this is still difficult for me. Pursuing music more deeply is difficult. Writing this blog is difficult. Putting myself out there – in music and words – is still hard for me to do at times. I question myself. I have self-doubt. I still have moments when the voice in my head says, “What are you doing? Who do you think you are? You’re a crap drummer spouting pseudo-wisdom and you're embarrassing yourself.”
Sometimes you bumble along, following intuitions, taking risks, being public, and you don’t really know if you’re on the right path. I still question that all the time, but a week or two ago I got a message from my friend Seamus, who runs the DrumGAB podcast (Seamus is an inspirational guy and DrumGAB is a terrific accomplishment). Seamus wanted to do a podcast episode built around some London drummers, and he asked me to be part of it, partly because of what’s happening with me in drumming, but also because of what I’m writing on this blog.
Think about that for a second.
I’m sitting here wondering if I’m doing the right thing, and out of the blue a high profile drumming outlet wants to talk to me … about my writing. What could that mean?
It can mean whatever you like, but for me it means my message is resonating out there. It means my story might have value. It’s an affirmation that maybe I’m moving in the right direction after all. If you take a look at the list of people Seamus has interviewed on DrumGAB, you’ll note very quickly that I have no business being on it. There's no list in the universe upon which the names Famularo, Nilles, Igoe, Redmond, and Huff belong together, unless maybe they're all King's X fans. And yet I was presented with an opportunity and a platform.
Have I said somewhere before that good things happen when you put yourself out there?
We did the interview yesterday in a roundtable format with my friends and fabulous drummers Archie Gamble and Nick Elie. What an honour it was to sit at that table. I tried very hard to use the time and airspace to encourage Seamus’s audience to keep pushing and chasing the dream. I also learned a pile from the three very experienced men sitting around me. We talked about some of my blog posts and, again, it affirmed for me that I should keep pushing too.
Thank you, Seamus, for that gift.
So that’s my message to you today. If you’re not sure about your path, keep your eyes and ears open for affirmations. Pay attention to the opportunities that come along. Watch for wisdom. Look for growth. If you left one job and started another one that you aren’t sure about, look for an affirmation. If you moved to a new city, look for an affirmation. If you made a big decision or started something new – especially if it came from a nudge – look for an affirmation.
It can be a subtle or very dramatic, but if it comes, take it for what it is. Don’t downplay it. Don’t dismiss it as luck or a mistake or a coincidence. Sometimes you have to pump your own tires, so if something comes along that feels like an affirmation to you, accept it, believe it, and draw strength from it.
And then tell me about it! Your affirmations can inspire me and everyone else who hears about them.
As a sidenote, if you're searching, wondering, and aspiring, the DrumGAB episode is worth listening to, even if you're not a drummer. We talked about self-doubt, faith, service, taking opportunities, detachment, saying yes, learning hard lessons, making tough choices, the demands of dreams, making art, and many other practical and inspiring topics that can be relevant for everyone. Archie also tells awesome road stories. It really was a great conversation. Look for it on iTunes on Sunday.