©2018 Singin String Publishing, ASCAP
March 19, 2018
Linda’s Lair, Monroe, Washington State
Isn’t it instinctual in every human? We need to feel loved. When we do, we’re happier, that’s for sure. And when we don’t, there is disease... that is, things aren’t right. Nothing feels completely good because there is unfinished business in that, “Something’s gotta change so I can feel some compassion from somewhere!” So you see people do all kinds of wacky things to try get attention. You see people put on airs to try to impress. People will do all kinds of crazy things in their mission to win likes and approval. Some even try to impress with their musical instrument, which isn’t musical, is it? If you were a high school student, constantly bullied, harassed, and obviously disliked, could you see yourself, deeply depressed and feeling no will to live, take a gun to school?
But let’s take this down to a personal level. What can I do right now, within myself to ensure that I’m likely to be liked? Isn’t this an important topic for anyone spending time in the public eye?
People love to see happiness; self confidence; success; deliberateness; authority; grace. No matter the physical attributes, these qualities result in ATTRACTION. People love to be inspired. People need to be reminded that there are great people in the world, those who not only radiate goodwill, but prove that they care enough about something that they work their butts off to achieve so they can inspire and uplift.
Let’s say you’re a... hmm, could be anything, this can apply to anybody. Let’s say you’re a guitarist, kind of new at the craft (or old - doesn’t matter). You have a few issues: 1. How can you exude confidence if you’re depressed? 2. You’re not comfortable performing live. 3. You’re not exactly sure how to act in public. You wish there was one way of being that always works in every situation. 4. You often feel inadequate, I mean really... those other musicians are really THAT GOOD?! 5. You’ve met other famous people who clearly are 100% confident, but you resent their seeming arrogance.
Those issues speak from my past, and here’s what I do to try to present the best face to the world:
1. PURSUE GREATNESS
If you feel depressed, have low self-esteem, or are generally unenthused about life, don’t you need to figure out why? A few culprits I’ve found injurious are: Self indulgence. If I party too much, I’m deeply fatigued. No one can feel empowered when they’re deeply fatigued. How many “mornings after” have you spent realizing this day will have to be a write-off, I’m useless? Yeah, me too. I try to pace myself and stay in control. For a public figure, I’ve painfully found out this is vitally important. I don’t want to lose any more friends.
Thinking too much. If you have a lot of time on your hands, or are in some ways self-absorbed, you can compare yourself to others and make yourself miserable. Solution? GET TO WORK! Think about how you can help someone, maybe someone who feels just like you. You have a disability and feel badly about it. One of mine is the fact that my brain doesn’t work like other people’s. My memory is wacked, and it has come back to haunt many times by people who have felt “taken” because I didn’t remember this or that, or when I see a person I sincerely like, but they have to remind me of their name for the 11th time, or forgetting guitar parts or lyrics.
The good thing about “beginner’s mind,” which is what I call my mental deficiency, is I can make up stuff on the spot, and often do at shows.
Take a look at this video from Blue Frog Studios in White Rock, British Columbia. This is all off-the-cuff.
WHAT IS GREATNESS? These are some ways I choose to define the word:
A great person
1. can always access a peaceful place inside.
2. is not selfish.
3. aspires to the highest good and sustains that aspiration.
4. handles all situations with grace.
5. works hard in a direction that benefits others.
6. doesn’t carry feelings of negativity toward others.
7. is natural, unassuming, and kind.
8. sees the greatness in every single person and encourages that.
9. chooses to de-escalate rather than escalate anger in sensitive scenarios.
10. is open-minded and constantly learning, especially from those who despise
or are jealous.
11. is honest.
12. is tolerant, patient, and forgiving.
Do you need improvement in any of these areas? Yep, so do I.
2. FEEL GOOD
Exercise is the bottom line for good health and feeling good. And it doesn’t need to be an arduous, painful workout. Simply 10,000 steps a day can work for making you be more comfortable in your skin. Add the following to the mix, and live performance becomes more natural: Feel that there is a thread pulling straight up from the top center of your head. That should cause your head to tilt forward slightly. This will help give you good vertical posture. Tuck your butt forward slightly. Be conscious of your diaphragm and remember often to use it for deeper breathing. Often remember to hold your sternum spread, especially if you’re working hard, using lots of air. These specific efforts require a small amount of muscle exertion, but only a very small amount. The rest of the body is completely limp. Practice BASH as often as you can remember to. [This meditative practice was suggested in an earlier blog entitled, BASH] With these practice points, you can be standing anywhere, in line for groceries; admiring a sunset; in front of 10,000 people, and you will feel good! Why?
Because you are in a constant space in the practice of GRACE. Isn’t Life a big dance? Moving with the rhythm solves everything and is the key to how you carry yourself.
3. LOVE THE PUBLIC
They are the reason you work so hard. They are the reason you get paid for performing, writing, and recording. They are a viable means of helping improve our global situation. Sure, after a gig it can be very challenging when dealing with so many wacky people. It’s important to remember you’re wacky too, and just make it work for everyone involved. When you genuinely love and care about people, you have your “one way of being that always works in every situation.” And when you’re standing on stage in front of 10,000 people, your nerves are calmed by the adoration you have for your audience.
4. JUST BE YOU
There is no better Roger Fisher on the planet than me. There will never be another me. I’m the greatest! Of course I can’t play guitar like Tommy Emmanuel, but then Tommy doesn’t write songs like me, nor does he create whole albums with a contiguous storyline that... blah, blah, blah.
You get the point. Most of us have these little mental demons that tell us we’re not good enough; not pretty enough; not well-mannered enough; not accepted. None of that can matter. Why? Because, on our mission, WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS! No matter how hard it is, what diversity and mental sabotage we’re subjected to, or how long it takes. This is what we’re doing with our life, and the small words of some onlooker - even though it may be a dear friend or significant-other, is NOT going to dissuade us. We are committed. The demons will fly away like butterflies once we make that decision. If not, then we better choose a different path.
5. 7 BILLION PEOPLE
You are one of over 7,000,000,000 people on this spinning globe. You stand and perform in front of 10,000 applauding people, six nights a week on your tour. You constantly receive complimentary messages from people who hold you in the highest esteem. You are courted, hit on, sales people and charitable orgs bombard you with requests, you are WANTED! Of course, you can’t help but feel special, but you are one of 7 billion... how special can you possibly be? When a humble person meets an arrogant asshole, the humble person sees through the veil. There is always some feeling of inadequacy or self-doubt triggering the arrogance. The arrogant person is actually weak - something they want no one to know, so they puff up even bigger and the swagger of their walk increases to the point where they become the punch line in other’s jokes. I remind myself: I’m one human. Every single one of us is special.
DON’T EVER UNDERESTIMATE A HUMAN BEING!
So if you want to be comfortable, confident, a beacon of light and inspiration for all around you, and a person any kind of audience will have fun with, choose how you carry yourself.
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you