By Mike Aux-Tinee
I just finished reading a book by Dennis McNally entitled, ‘A Long Strange Trip, the Inside History of the Grateful Dead‘. For a Dead Head like myself, this was an interesting book. The author went further than just re-telling the bands’ thirty plus year history.
For the Grateful Dead, it was about the music and the people who came to see them. They wanted to be musicians first and foremost. What surprised me was how the band continued to develop, learn and experiment with music. Their approach was different and very unique. It keep them going when other bands had been gone for a long time.
There are many lessons that can be learned from the Grateful Dead and everyone who reads the book may come away with something different. This is what I learned from the Grateful Dead about being a success.
The first lesson is to learn everything you can about what you are doing:
There exists a hurry up and teach me mind-set. Show me what I need to know so I can be out there with everyone else.
It does not matter what you are doing from playing sports, to being an actor or being the leader of a really cool band. To be competent requires hours and hours of practice. Rome was not built-in a day and you will not be able to jump in feet first and be a success. Also, there is no mystery potion, wiz-bang gadget or short cut to the desired outcome. Just accept the fact it takes time.
The people we are watching have taken a long time to get where they are. That is the part of the process we miss out on. Just remember, anything that is worth anything is worth waiting (and working) for.
The second lesson is to have a side project:
This is an excellent opportunity to foster personal creativity, investigate an interest and avoid burn out.
Whether it is gardening, reading or improving your photography skills, doing something else is important. Whatever you choose, make sure it is unrelated to your primary activity. For example, you if are an accountant and a not for profit is looking for volunteers, elect to be a volunteer coordinator, write press releases or offer to organize events. You will gain invaluable experience that may open other doors of employment, make new friends or just allow you to relax.
The third lesson is to have as many contacts as you can:
This is the one thing the band was never short on. They always knew someone and you should too. I have always been told, “You can never have too many friends”.
Do this today, head out and make a new friend, learn to play nice-nice with them and lastly be sincere, (people can tell when you are fake or faking it). You never know when something will happen and you will need someone’s help.
The fourth lesson I learned is to have fun:
This quote sums it up, “If you ain’t having fun, it ain’t worth doing”.
Of course, I did learn a lot more from them that I could share with you, but then I will not have much to write about in the future. If you really want to find out what is on my mind and a peak into future posts, get out there and pick up the book.