Write it down. On the low.

For fathers day, my dad asked me how I was doing. It was a kind gesture, and we talked about it. “Overall things are fine, but everyone has their low days” I replied.
He gave me a hug and said something to the effect of “Try writing whatever it is you’re feeling down on paper. By the time you finish writing, I bet you’ll start to feel better.” We continued to talk about it for a bit, but I have spent my free time today thinking about it.
I realized that’s some solid advice. The best part is, what you write down never needs to be read again if you don’t want, shoot you could even burn the paper. Slightly symbolic in a sense too. I often feel like I have no one to talk to about my low days, which I know deep down isn’t true, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel that way in the moment you know? I think writing this may be a good new way to soothe those emotions. Mindfulness helps as well.
Anyone else have any methods they use? Curious about it.

What is self anyways?

The more I learn new knowledge about everything I can, the less attached to my sense of self I become. Especially reading about the quantum mechanics and that realm. It feels like I’m slowly slipping away from my identity as any kind of self, and merely just a self aware energy source, who happens to be in this body.

I actually asked myself “Who is Charley, really” the other day. Not in any ‘trying to find myself’ kind of way, but quite literally what the fuck is my own self-awareness. Thinking that then led me to realize just how limited I am merely by speaking a language at all. The value in it is that I’m (at what now feels like a purely primitive level) able to sort out thoughts. But my thoughts are all connected to, and bound by, the language that shapes them. Can we think without words? Those must be emotions, feelings, instinct. Things we can’t put into words, but definitely affect us.

Considering E=mc², it quite literally means we’re only made of two things, either energy, or mass. That’s it. There’s nothing else. My body, without my mind, is just mass. My mind, without my body (considering the conscious as best I know cannot be weigh’d, though there’s arguments about the mass lost during death and yadda yadda) cannot be weighed, therefore is more or less pure energy.

Consciousness then? I’ve come to the conclusion that my own self awareness is the equals sign in Einstein’s equation, which allows for the balance, and transfer of energy from one form to another. It allows energy to manipulate mass, and vice versa, because it’s a two way street.

Considering that all I am is energy, the sense of any kind of identity slips away, because all mass as energy means we’re all made from the same fundamental stuff. So what is that self awareness? The question of why will likely never be answered in my lifetime, and the comfort of being ok with that is challenging, but a bit of a blessing.

Detaching from a sense of self really removes any kind of fear in a way, while simultaneously generating a tremendous amount of fear based as perspective zooms out further and further, revealing that my very existence is less than even a speck in time and space.

What’s it all mean? I don’t know, but at this point I think I just need to keep reading.

Let me know what you all think about this. I’m curious.

If you want to make it in music, and you haven’t read this book, GTFO. Ari Herstand nails it.

Ari Herstand has become a beacon of hope for the new music industry, consistently offering top notch advice based on his experiences as a DIY artist in a way that’s meant to help others, something I hope to do as well, so immediately his site Ari’s Take resonated with me. Learning about the book he wrote lead me to purchase it, and well…. it blew me away. After reading so many books on music business, (which I’ll list recommended ones at the end of this blog) I started trying to sort out which ideas were even still relevant (some of the books were dated), and then how to apply them to this day and age considering the music industry is completely different than it was 20 years ago, shoot even 10 years ago it’s flipped on it’s head, and in the last 5 it’s made even MORE drastic changes.

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Ben Folds. Thank you for the inspiration to get the f* out of my basement.

Today I was listening to the audiobook of Ari Herstand’s book How To Make It in the New Music Business and I almost jumped out of my chair at a quote he had from Ben Folds. Actually… no I did jump out of my chair, except I was driving and the chair had a steering wheel in front of me and…. well anyways here’s the quote:

FUCKING NAILS IT. Book after book, page after page, trying to figure out a trend between the groups of people that progress toward their dreams, and Continue reading

Happy accidents: Unplanned revelations of what appear to be universal patterns for accomplishing any goal

There are two things you can do in life ever, you can either work towards goals you have, or you don’t. I’m going to ignore the latter and talk about what it takes to work towards a goal. I started reading thousands of pages of books to hunt down exactly what it takes to make someone achieve a goal, no matter how big that goal may be. I focus a lot on the entertainment industry, because it’s my passion, but my research took me in to many many sectors other than entertainment. The pursuit of this, which started after I read the book The Slight Edge, since then I’ve been all over the map:

  1. Baseball (Moneyball)
  2. Entrepreneurship (Crossing the Chasm, Positioning, The 80/20 principle, Nail it then Scale It, The Personal MBA)
  3. Habits of successful people/principles of success (Mastery, Good to Great, The 10X Rule, The Slight Edge, Outliers)
  4. Zen and motorcycle maintenance which ended up being a provocative thought bender on the concept of quality, and what it is
  5. Investment strategies (A Random Walk Down Wall Street, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor)
  6. Autobiographies (Born a Crime)
  7. The Olympics in Nazi Germany (The Boys in the Boat)
  8. Buddhism/Mindfulness (Mindfulness in Plain English, The Practicing Mind, 10% Happier, The Buddha Walks into a Bar)
  9. Traits of leadership (Leaders eat Last, Start with Why)
  10. and even a sci-fi/western/time-travelling/magic casting 7 volume adventure

The craziest part about all of these books is that all of these, in one way or another, have given me chips, chunks, parts and pieces of an extremely big picture puzzle I didn’t ever expect to stumble on. That’s still boggling me now, that I never expected to find these patterns, they just kept showing up as I continued researching about these topics. What was most interesting, they seem to apply no matter what the specific topic is.  Continue reading

What is the missing link to bridge entertainment from a hobby, to a making a living? I think I finally found it.

Opening thought: Maybe it’s time for someone to redefine art. Bridge the gap between art, product, and progress, as a society.

Art redefined? Now there’s an interesting thought. What is it to create art? Recently I’ve realized myself that art… is…. progress (I could, and I likely will, get into a whole blog about that by itself, but for now I’ll keep it short). It is the very definition of progress, in my eyes. Realizing this, I found it to be the redefinition I’ve been looking for. But how do I make a living off of this? What am I doing wrong?! Why haven’t I gotten it yet? Well… what I believe to be part of the answer, was elusive, but the simplicity was astounding. I’m not treating it like a business, if I want to make money, treating it like a business is how it’s done. Period. End of story (except not). Now that I realized that simple truth, how on earth do I motivate to do all the stuff that has nothing directly to do with the stuff I love?!

I start thinking to myself “Well, all I love doing is making music and performing music, I don’t want to learn the business stuff, I don’t want to do any of the other stuff, just music and perform”. And the more I learned about that, the more I realized I couldn’t be any more wrong in by not wanting to learn about business, but WHY was I reluctant? Because I would feel like a sellout? Because the business side is a drag? Because the that side does nothing for my creative side? Will I be seen as not a true artist? AHHH! (Head explodes!) Then, Randall happened. In two sentences he blew my mind. Continue reading

What do you do when you feel like you can’t go on in the entertainment industry?

Well, we’ve all been at this point. I’m currently here, upon the time of writing this. It’s got me thinking about how Sisyphean the entertainment entire industry is. Constantly feeling like this conversation is happening, over and over:

“I love performing! I just want to play live as much as possible, I love to entertain people”

or

“I want to be creative, and I want my art to be heard/seen/enjoyed around the world!”

or

“I want to fund my life with my craft”

To which, life seems to repeatedly say “Oh yeah? Fuck you. Go back where you came from, and give up. Sell your guitar on ebay, and go do something ‘useful’ in society.”

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