I read a killer article the other day.

The basic premise was this: Life isn’t easy, but it IS simple.

Boom. Isn’t that good?

Okay, how do we unpack that idea in a way that helps us make better music? Here are a few examples to work our way there:

Eating healthy isn’t easy, but it is simple. This year Pam and I have dramatically changed the way we eat. I’ve lost about 15 pounds and don’t see myself stopping. For the longest time we would try to find the perfect eating plan, the perfect diet that would make us be more healthy. As it turns out, it doesn’t really matter what you do when it comes to eating healthy. It doesn’t take a genius to know that junk food is bad for you and vegetables are good for you. We wanted to find something easy. It turns out we needed something simple instead.

Exercise is the same way. There are elaborate exercise programs out there. I’ve tried a bunch of ‘em. None of them were easy. But they were simple. “If you do this, you will see results. If you don’t, you won’t.”

Running a business isn’t easy, but it is simple. Create something valuable. Sell it to someone. Repeat. Sure there are lots of details and complexities, and running a business is one of the most difficult things in the world, but it really is simple.

And guess what, pumpkin? Music’s the same way. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.

I will concede that some days it does come easily. I’ll sit down to record guitar, and my fingers will be on FIRE. But I’ve never ever worked on a recording project that was easy the entire way through. There are challenges, mistakes, insecurities. There’s procrastination and hesitation. There’s doubt and distraction. Nope, music ain’t easy. It’s one of the most wonderful ways in the world to spend your time, but it sure ain’t easy.

If you’ve been waiting around for music (or even life) to get easy, it’s time to stop. You’re living in a fantasy world. Life is hard. It hurts. It disappoints. You can either escape from it and try to minimize pain, or dive into it, pain and all, and reap some awesome rewards.

Just remember…

…it’s not easy, but it is simple.

Joe “Bring on the Pain” Gilder
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