I have said it before, and I'll say it again, happiness is a choice.
I’ll be perfectly honest, choosing happiness takes courage and honesty. Guess what? Being a musician takes courage and honesty too. I think that's a plus for musicians because that means we have what it takes to choose happiness.
Musicians live a life on stage, and the world is our audience. We can get caught up in the hype and forget that life isn't about pleasing the audience all the time. Even I myself have fallen into the trap of putting the audience before my own needs, let me tell you it quickly burns you out and has a negative effect on your musical life. It actually made me think of walking away from music, but my parents and teacher showed me that being unhappy was a choice I didnt have to keep making.
Here are 4 helpful tips to help you become a Happy Musician
1. Choose to focus on what you have: believe it or not I struggled with this. When you are grateful and truly appreciate what you have as an artist, it will become more and more valuable to you. What do we do with valuable things? We take good care of them, we maintain them, we share our valuables with pride, our valuables are very important to us. Remember, you don't need a stradivarius violin, and you don't need to perform at Carnegie to be happy. (OK, that would be pretty awesome, but your happiness shouldn't depend on those things.)
2. You are who you're with: I have touched on this subject in past blogs but it's worth saying again. Surround yourself with like-minded musicians. Surround yourself with musicians you admire and respect. Surround yourself with musicians that inspire you and bring joy to your art. This is very important, when I am around these types of artist it's like taking a big dose of vitamins. The interaction energizes me, sparks my creativity, and allows me to really enjoy the work I am doing.
3. Smile: it works, it actually tells your brain to be happy. Smiling is a choice as well. I make a point to smile as much as I can especially when performing.
I remember I had a performance and I made a mistake, but instead of keeping my “poker face” I smiled and kept on going. When I walked off the stage a few people in audience told me that they loved that I smiled and remained poised during my performance, because I smiled they focused on enjoying the music instead of my mistake.
4. Let it go: Remember that performance you totally bombed in? Remember that piece you didn't give enough attention to? Oh, that opportunity you missed because you had another commitment? Remember that person that made you feel you weren't good enough? LET IT GO. I think we all struggle with this, I did. Holding on to things like this takes so much away, it eats at the passion and surety of your music. Letting go will reverse all that.
I hope these 4 tips help you to be a happy musician.
In the next Choosing Happiness Blog I will share 4 more tips on being a happy musician.
What helps you stay a Happy Musician?
Your Happy Musician