I speak to my coaching clients all the time about choices. And today I’m going to speak a little more about them.
Choices, not my clients. Can’t talk about my clients.
First things first, what’s the difference between a choice and a decision?
- A decision has factors and preferences that influence your pick. For example: I chose the smaller blue car over the larger red car because of the smaller car’s gas mileage and I prefer blue over red.
- A choice is something you pick because you pick it. No outside circumstances or preferences involved. For example: I chose the blue car because I chose the blue car.
It’s as simple as that.
Now…to this week’s story.
I’ve written before about my love of the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. It’s my favorite place in this little town and I’ve seen some of the finest shows of my life in that old theatre. In fact, the emotional climax of my new novel is set on the Cap’s stage.
One of my favorite shows I’ve seen was in February 2018 when I saw the incredible Tedeschi Trucks Band. Featuring the husband and wife duo of guitar master Derek Trucks and guitarist/singer Susan Tedeschi, their music is a magical blend of soul, funk, country, blues, and jazz that must be heard and seen to be believed. They’re a 12-member behemoth featuring backing singers, two drummers (not unlike what Derek’s uncle Butch Trucks had with the Allman Brothers), and a full horn section.
Make no mistake, the stars of this band are Derek and his virtuosic use of the bottleneck slide and his red Gibson SG, and Susan’s otherworldly singing voice that’s equal parts Stevie Nicks and Janis Joplin. With a smidgen of Joe Cocker thrown in for good measure.
Seriously, get on YouTube and seek out their cover of With a Little Help From My Friends. It’s magical!
When I saw TTB at the Cap last February, I wasn’t incredibly familiar with their back catalog. I just knew I wanted to hear Derek play and Susan play and sing.
Right before the intermission, they played a song called Idle Wind. It begins with a really cool flute solo that gives the song a cool jazzy energy.
I assumed that sax player Kebbi Williams played the flute on that track. Apparently, he does play the flute (as many pro sax players do) but he didn’t play it on the original song.
I look stage right and I see their keyboard player Kofi Burbridge standing up and wailing on that flute. Sounding so much like Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson it wasn’t even funny.
This took me out because I knew a pretty damn good keyboard player back in the day who could crush a flute like that. His name was Tony Hall. But I called him Dad.
Kofi Burbridge recently passed away at the tender age of 57. Way, way too young if you ask me. He had surgery in 2017 after he suffered a heart attack. And from what I understand, his passing was related to a setback he faced in his recovery.
TTB regularly plays festivals and large theatres. In other words, they play in front of some pretty large audiences.
But when TTB wasn’t touring, Kofi would regularly play small clubs in front of small crowds.
I can’t imagine these gigs paid very well. But it didn’t matter.
He’d set up his keyboards and mic up his flute, and he’d wow crowds wherever he went. Be it in front of an audience of 5,000 or 50 people, he loved what he did
I’ve found that most true artists love what they do. They love playing and performing. They love creating and they love making things.
I imagine Kofi made a pretty good living at what he did. But I highly doubt he did what he did for the money.
His heart was his music.
As an author, I’m under no delusion that I’ll ever be the next John Grisham or Robert Patterson. Those men – and other bestselling authors – sell tons of books. Their books are made into blockbuster films. They’re prolific and incredibly popular.
I’m under no delusion that I’ll ever be those guys. I don’t know if I want to be those guys!
What turns me on as an artist is creating something that aligns with my soul and my purpose. I want the words and stories I write to be studied in schools for the next 100 years.
I want to leave a long-lasting impact.
I want my great grandkids to study my books in college. And considering that I’m not even a Dad yet, I know that it’s going to be a while before I’m going to be a great grandfather. Even if I live to see day.
My point is that I’m an artist. And I want to create art in my life.
This is because I have the heart of an artist.
So did Kofi Burbridge.
The best artists of all shapes and sizes all have the heart of an artist.
You think Miles Davis didn’t have the heart of an artist?
I could go on and on.
To create big things in your life, you have to have the heart and soul of an artist. You might not have an artistic bone in your body, but you must have the heart of an artist to make those big things happen.
What do I mean by that? Allow King Ryan to ‘splain.
If you’re doing something that you’re not completely aligned with, you’ll never create the big things you want to create in your life.
The best and most-respected CEOs are committed and aligned with their purpose in their businesses.
The finest teachers are committed and aligned with their purpose in their professions.
The best parents are committed and aligned with their purpose as they raise their children.
The greatest people in the world have hearts of artists. They’re not creating cookie cutter companies or halfway raising their kids.
They do these things because they choose it! Not because they have to.
The best teachers choose their students every day.
The best CEOs choose their companies every day.
The best parents choose their children every day.
Time and time again, Kofi Burbridge chose his music. He chose his art.
Time and time again, I choose my coaching clients and my art.
What are you going to choose today? Who are you going to choose today?
Great things are created out of the choices you make every day.
Let me let you in on a little secret…your first choice always needs to be yourself. More than anything, that’ll help you create that big, bold, powerful life.
What’s your take on what you just read? Comment below or write a response and submit to us your own point of view or reaction here at the red box, below, which links to our submissions portal.