It’s completely up to You

“What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you… it’s completely up to you.” – Mike Rowe

motivation2There isn’t much more that I can or need to say about this quote.

In my own life, when I start to feel frustrated or want to complain about where I am at, I often have to revisit this idea.

What you DO

Every day when you wake up and roll out of bed, you decide what happens next. You can go to work, or you can face the consequences of not showing up. No pay, maybe you get fired, get behind on bills…lose your house. None of that sounds fun and it’s the main driving point getting most of us out there.

Whether you work for yourself or for someone else, you get to choose how good of a job you do. Do you want to be known as someone that half assed it, or someone that went above and beyond?

The choice is yours and you will reap the benefits or repercussions.

Who you’re with

When you are growing up, you are thrust into school, church, summer camps, sports teams, and many other places where you are surrounded by random people. Chances are, most of these people are not who you would choose to be around given the opportunity.

As I age, I find more and more that there is a very specific ‘type’ of person that I enjoy being around.

The kind of people I want to be around are passionate, caring, hard working, have serious thoughts about their future, compassionate towards others, and much more.

I feel strongly that my ‘team’ in life right now reflects the kind of person I want to be and want to surround myself with.

It’s my choice.

How you feel about the world around you

Just because we are bombarded by media showing us the terrible truths about people around the world does not mean we have to take that as the final answer.

There is always going to be violence. Those in power are often not going to have the best interests of the people they represent in mind. People are generally going to suck.

You don’t have to be that way, and you don’t have to see people that way.

The mere fact that you are alive and breathing, have access to the internet to read this post, is really unthinkable. Life as we know it is magical and should be looked at as such. It might be the worst day you’ve ever had, but that just means all the rest of your days on Earth can only get better!

Keep an open mind and give people a chance to prove they are not as bad as we are conditioned to believe.

Smile

Life is hard, real hard, but you get to share it with some good people. You have opportunities every day to do what you want to do, with people you want to do it with.

Think about that for just a second.

What is it that you really want to be doing right now? If you were doing that right this second, would you be smiling?

Are you smiling now that you thought about it?

Keep your head up and work hard to trade in the things you do not want, for things you do want. Only YOU can make that change.

Ear Worms – DAMS

DAMS_Tabernacle_InstagramImageThis Saturday Aug 9th my band DAMS is playing at The Tabernacle in Atlanta for FREE.

We go on at 10 PM SHARP and I would LOVE for your beautiful face to be there.

In promotion for that, and to make sure that all you lovely friends have heard the music I’m making, this weeks Ear Worm is our debut self titled EP.

Released on Blood Drunk Records in March 2014, this EP is a collection of singles we had packaged together.

Each one was recorded, mixed, and mastered by yours truly, and I’m very proud of how they turned out.

Here is a run down of each since I had the ‘inside scoop’ on them.

iATL

Drums, Bass, and Guitar were recorded live at Thunderbox during practice when we first started writing music together. There is a good chance that this was the first time we actually executed the song properly, we happened to have mics up.

Vocal parts recorded separately.

Backstrap Molasses

This was the first time we recorded all parts separately, meaning drums were recorded, then bass, then guitars, then vocal parts. Recording this way allows for more isolation of the instruments, as well as more ‘perfection’ from the players.

Drums done at Thunderbox, everything else recorded at my home studio the Phatcave.

It also features Brett Reagan on guitar.

Cicada

Early last year we took a trip to a cabin in North GA to record what was going to be our first EP. We ended up only using this song. There is a difference in room size sound on this song than the others since we were in a massive, tall, wooden room to record it.

Drums, Bass, and Guitar were recorded live all at once.

Vocal parts recorded separately.

Now go listen!

So there you have it, all the secrets…maybe not ALL the secrets :)

We are currently working on a bunch of new material, all of which has been started here at the Phatcave and hopefully will get to your ear bones in 2015.

Enjoy!

Ear Worms – NASA Space Sounds

nasasoundsTaking things a little bit ‘out there’ so to speak, today’s Ear Worms is brought to you by NASA.

The sonic world outside of our atmosphere is alive and constantly in motion.

It’s kind of crazy to think that just because of this atmosphere, we are able to enjoy music the way that we do.

If we were on another planet, or just out in space, the sound would not travel the same, instruments would not work the same, and music would definitely not be the same.

Since the early days of Winamp radio, I’ve been into a genre of music called Drone. There was a station on there called the Drone Zone, and I would just leave it on all the time while video gaming, sleeping, hanging out, whatever.

This can only be classified as such, and it looks like you can stream sounds from outer space as well on Radio Astronomy.

Enjoy!

Don’t Try, Do

donttrydo

“Don’t try, do.

People judge you by your actions, not by your intentions”

I’m not exactly sure where I picked this one up, but we’ve all heard it from multiple sources in multiple ways in our lives.

I have all intentions of doing so many things, and while I may wish to accomplish all of them, in reality I’m only able to do so much.

During my day to day, I’ll come up with or revisit more ideas than I know what to do with. I’ll talk to people about them and get them excited about it too, only to never find the time.

How do I fix this?

Prioritize

Life is short, and as we age the days only seem to get shorter. With so little time to try and do things, we have to get better at scheduling and setting priorities.

If you can’t do everything, do the things that are most important to you and the stamp you want to leave on the world.

It doesn’t matter if it’s important to anyone else, as long as it’s important to you.

Figure out what that is, and work hard at doing your best.

Once you have your priorities set, it’s time to work on scheduling.

Make The Time

Let’s say you want to start a new business or hobby, but your schedule already includes a 9-5 job, family time, exercises, and all of the other things you enjoy about life.

What’s the easiest way to get started?

Make time to start small.

Set aside 1 hour a day, or even per week where you can dedicate your full attention to this ‘priority’. Once that is settled into your schedule, start adding more time.

I remember reading about Tom Morello(guitarist for Rage Against the Machine) when I was first learning how to play the guitar. The article mentioned that he started practicing for 1 hour a day and he was getting better. Then he started practicing 2 hours a day and realized he was progressing even faster. Not long after, he was practicing 8 hours a day and taking his guitar with him everywhere.

It didn’t start out that way, but eventually he ended up building a lifestyle around something he was passionate about, and in doing so, opened up opportunities to become more successful in that world.

The level of success he’s seen isn’t necessarily going to happen for everyone, but if you don’t start somewhere, you increase the chances of failure to 100%.

Look back before you look forward

Once you get started, you definitely want to keep moving forward right? Unless of course it’s not working, or you are not happy, or any number of other things.

This is why I think it’s important to take a step back, and look at your progress.

Review what you’ve accomplished and take a moment to let that sink in.

Feels good doesn’t it?

You went from talking about doing something to actually doing it.

Now that you have a better idea of what it’s going to take to reach your next milestone, you can decide if you want to continue down this path, change the path, or give up and move on to something else.

NOTE: It’s OK to move on to something else. You do not have to stay stuck in something just because you’ve already put time in, consider it an investment in knowledge.

Don’t try, do

You might be naturally talented in some areas of your life, but even so the path to success is a long and tiresome road.

The majority of people are talkers, or at best, triers. Don’t be that, be a doer.

When you look back on your life, you are guaranteed to have some regrets, so prioritize, make time, and go do the things you are really passionate about so they are not on that list.

Ear Worms – Killer Be Killed

Killer-Be-Killed-Killer-Be-KilledSome of my favorite bands are Dillinger Escape Plan, The Mars Volta, and Mastodon.

A while ago I heard that members of these bands were teaming up with Max Cavalera to create a ‘super group’, at the time, unnamed.

Fast forward to last week and I was reminded by a friend of mine that the album had come out… LAST YEAR.

They called the band Killer Be Killed.

That’s right, I’ve been sleeping on this one for a while but I’m back in the game.

This is a really interesting mix of metal and while I don’t think the entire album is on par with anything the individual bands have done on their own, it’s definitely impressive.

Often a supergroup will gather and water down the sounds of each of their respective bands in an effort to coax the mainstream into handing over lots of cash. I’m sure Max had money on his mind, but I can’t tell that it had an effect on the output of this music.

It’s powerful, definitely metal, and the lyrics have a message that wouldn’t normally be found in a ‘mainstream’.

I’m looking forward to the next round of music from these guys already.

If you have more than 3 priorities, you have no priorities.

top3For some time now, I’ve been wanting to start a blog series called Motivation Monday.

In my office, I have a cork board covered in quotes or clips that I’ve come across and have resonated with me. This series is a digital version of that.

I recently celebrated another lap around the sun and in doing so, am ‘motivated’ to get this started.

“If you have more than 3 priorities, you have no priorities” – Maggie Fox CEO Social Media Group

Definition of “priority”:

Something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with first.

My ‘list’ of things to do is enormous, so much that I force myself to make lists, and lists of lists in order to keep track of everything.

Between running a web development company, being a working musician, recording artists in my studio, exercise, meals, shows, hangouts, and even resting, it can become overwhelming.

Sometimes I’ll find myself staring at my computer and not knowing what I should be doing(ever done that? even though you have a million things to do?).

Since I run my own business, no one is telling me what to do and when to do it so I have to figure that out for myself. I must prioritize and take care of the most important things that need to be done.

How do I do that?

Make a list! My Top 3

As I mentioned above, I have lists on lists of lists.

In order to prioritize my day to day, I have a single pad of paper that I use to write down my top 3 things for the day.

Typically, I make this list before closing up shop the day before so when I get started in the morning, I can jump right in.

I’ve tried everything from white boards, Windows Notes, Evernote, etc. While these are all helpful in maintaining my overall lists of things to do, what works best for my priorities TODAY is the small note pad in front of my computer.

Can I do more than 3 things in a day?

Absolutely!

Just because something is the highest priority of my day, doesn’t necessarily mean it has to take a long time, it just needs to get done first.

Having my top 3 written down allows me to make sure the more important stuff gets done. Afterward, not only do I feel accomplished, but I’ve made room to take care of whatever is next.

Your top 3 isn’t the be all end all of what you should get done in a day, it’s just a starting point to keep you focused.

Homework

Your homework for this week is to try this every day for 1 week.

Feel free to use paper, your cell phone, and email to yourself, or whatever you will see in the morning.

Either first thing in the morning, or at the end of your day, write down the 3 most important things you need to take care of.

Thanks for reading!

As always, if you have any questions or comments, contact me.

WordPress Web Developer, Audio Engineer, Atlanta GA