What if for the next three months or six months or however long this thing lasts instead of focusing on the pandemic and the virus and all the bad news that seems to be all around us, what if, instead, you decided to use this period of time to make massive leaps forward with your music and with your life?
What if, instead of worrying about all the things out of your control, you decided to take ownership of what you do control and take advantage of this unique time in your life and the unique moment in history you’re experiencing?
Before I go further, I want to preface all of this by expressing my sincere condolences to those of you who have been impacted by this situation. To those of you who know someone who has fallen ill or succumbed to Covid-19, my heart goes out to you. To those of you who have lost revenue because of this my heart also goes out to you. There is no doubt a tragic element to all of this and this post in no way is meant to do downplay that reality.
With that said, as in all “negative” situations, on an individual level there is an opportunity for growth and the chance to take a quantum leap forward in a number of areas in your life. Over the last few weeks, I’ve observed myself vacillating between being very concerned about the future and questioning how all of this is going to impact my business, the music I make and my personal life, to feeling a sense of excitement about ways I can take advantage of this very unique, surreal moment in time.
Since this whole thing started, I’ve found myself instinctively drawn more and more to music and making music as a way to mitigate the stress I’m feeling and also create a sense of focus and productivity during this period. I’ve been, ironically, writing and performing much more music than usual during these times.
The more the days stretch on and the longer this situation lasts, I find myself less concerned about the future and more focused on how to make the most out of the here and now, one day at a time. It occurred to me, as I was doing my morning meditation a few days ago, that there is the possibility, at least on an individual level, to turn this into not only a “positive” situation, but perhaps even a period of time, that when looked back on retrospectively, could be one of the greatest periods of your life.
Sigmund Freud once said, in one of my favorite quotes, “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful”. I love this quote, because it gets at what I think we’re all seeking in our lives, which is a sense of meaning and purpose. What Freud meant, was that when we sit back and do nothing, and don’t engage in challenging situations, we don’t grow. Often times, when we’re going through difficult periods, we don’t realize how important they were to our own growth and progress and how "beautiful" they were, until we look back, in hindsight.
As I find myself frantically writing music and recording and posting performance daily videos with my lockdown/quarantine side project, The Bandits Of The Apocalypse, I sometimes catch myself feeling even more excited than I did before all this started. Again, don’t get me wrong, I would prefer that none of this ever happened. I miss being able to travel freely, go out to eat and socialize with my friends and I look forward to, hopefully, being able to do those things in the near future.
But I also sense a unique opportunity in all of this. This is one of those moments in our lives that we will all look back on when we’re older and recall exactly how we felt, what we were doing and how we spent our time during this unique moment in history.
The question is, years from now, looking back on this strange period of time, will you look back with a sense of fondness or with a sense of regret? Will you choose to seize this moment and use your time in a way that is meaningful and important to you? Or will you choose to squander this period of time and give in to fear, doubt and inaction?
What you do with this period of time is of course completely up to you. If you’re stuck at home and you feel compelled to rest and meditate all day, do that. That might be the best thing for you. If you’re on lockdown and the thing that is most meaningful to you is to take a break and binge for a month on Netflix, do that. I spent the first few days of all this simply resting and contemplating the situation that was unfolding. That felt right to me at the time. As the initial shock wore off though, I’ve turned more to writing music and being productive, because that’s what feels right to me now. Follow your own inner guidance and instincts.
I hope to look back at this time with a sense of pride in knowing that I did my best in dealing with a situation that was out of my control and that I chose to take advantage of the opportunity to grow and move forward during a unique moment in my life. How will you look back on this period of your life, when this is all inevitably ends?
One of the things I've been doing most days throughout this lockdown period, is posting a video of me performing with my lockdown/quarantine side project, Bandits Of The Apocalypse. Bandits Of The Apocalypse consists of myself and two other musicians who are in in the same building, where we are all currently under lockdown, stuck in the Caribbean, due to Covid-19. Here's us performing the CCR classic "Stuck In Lockdown Again", aka Lodi, a few days ago.