I’m not a religious person, but I was raised Catholic and attended Duchesne Academy of The Sacred Heart in Houston, TX. The curriculum required religion class once a week and chapel was frequent as well. I can’t recite bible verses, nor do I attend church, but as a child in that environment, I did understand that I was being taught valuable life lessons through an influential narrative.
For some reason, Matthew 6:5-6 made a huge impression on me and has translated in to my current life and work philosophy. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
This somehow shaped my perspective on work in general. I remember when I started running as part of my tennis training, I would run in the dark - when other people weren’t out and up yet. It was my time, my work and my responsibility to put the work in. There’s something really special about climbing into my shell, connecting to my inspiration and working without interference from others.
Working when no one else can see you work can significantly impact an outsider’s view of you. You might be perceived as lazy, uninvolved or “just lucky”. But you aren’t here to satisfy other people…you are here to live your muse. Your work will ultimately show in the results of your ventures. Strong results do not happen by osmosis.. You have to focus on letting go of the judgment and the need to prove yourself to others. It’s impossible to conceptualize, plan and execute your work at a high level without retreating to do so.
Musicians create some of the best works of art that inspire us. They give us incredible shows that move our entire being, and we relive those moments when we hear our jam on the radio. But those same musicians escape to the studio for months at a time to regroup and create another work of art in the studio…away from interference, media and unnecessary noise that could distract them from the ultimate goal of creating great music to sustain their careers.
Find your shell, your studio, and turn off the opinions of others. Connect with your soul and crank out the good stuff. Live your MUSE and let the world connect with your amazing creations.