Fame or perceived success – it all comes from group think.
Earlier this week the music industry celebrated the 59th Grammy Awards. There were many dynamic performances, but the one that caught my attention and many others was Chance the Rapper. What impacted me the most was the fact that he was willing to use a secular platform to boldly proclaim his faith. And while many people are celebrating his rise in the industry, I also wonder how many people,though, have whittled down his elevation to a few familiar and overused buzzwords.
One of those buzzwords that typically gets thrown around around stories like his is "passion." With him being an independent artist it's easy to apply that label to him and say that's what caused him to be in the position he is in right now. It's hard enough becoming successful in the music industry with a major record label behind you. So it would have to be many times harder going the independent path to becoming a successful artist.
However, passion alone didn't win him those awards and accolades. Passion of course was part of the formula, but he had to be excellent at his craft in order to be recognized by the Industry as the best artist in his category.
It always irks me when people use passion as an oversimplified path to achieving your dreams. It's a waste to be very excited about what you do but not develop the character and discipline to grow into being very good at what you do.
If you want to get to the top of your industry you must realize that passion should push you become excellent at your craft, skill, or gift. But it's not enough by itself. Passion should give you the motivation to practice even when you don't feel like it. Passion should propel you past convenience and comfort. True passion will drive you to do your best even when no one is looking. If this doesn't describe you, then I would question whether you are as passionate about your dream as you say you are.
We can see his end results now, but very few people saw the money invested, long nights, early mornings, series of rejections, and painful experiences that led up to this point.
If you never demonstrate excellence in your supposed area of expertise, passion will become just another random word and empty promise.
So find something that you're passionate about and then become excellent doing it. Develop your skills. Build your expertise. Become the best at what you do.
And even if you're not celebrated on a stage like Chance the Rapper, you can still be confident that you have given the world your best and not just another buzzword.
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Amos Johnson Jr.
Brotha Online Magazine
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The High Calling