When I was in what I now jokingly call my “misguided twenties,” I was a full-time musician. As the opening act, I got to meet a variety of big- name performers and observe their behavior up close, along with some new up and comers.
As I watched the behavior of some of the newer acts, I noticed that while some were quite accommodating and kind, others were very cruel and dismissive. They almost seemed angry to have to do a show. It wasstrange. I came a conclusion as to why they behaved this way: they were chasing the benefits that came with being a successful musician—fame, attention, money—more than they were chasing the ability to perform their music on stage for people who loved it. When they realized that the side benefits didn’t satisfy them in the way they anticipated, they grew disillusioned. On the other hand, those who were kind and engaging— some of whom were very big, household names—seemed to be in it for the music, not for the side benefits of being on stage.
There seem to be three things that typically drive people, in some combination.
1.Pay:The money or benefits you get.
2.Prestige:The recognition that comes with it. 3.Process:The love of your craft.
Something to consider: most of the healthy, happy creative pros I know are primarily driven by process.
Understand what drives you, and strive to center your motiva- tion around process.
How can you fall deeper in love with the process of your work?