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Following Your Passion

Following Your Passion

I’ve just returned from seeing the movie La La Land with my wife. It’s a fantastic movie.

There’s an important lesson in this movie about passion. The leading man (played by Ryan Gosling) finds himself in the position many musicians find themselves in: to eat and live, you sometimes have to play music that is counter to what you really want to play. I know this first hand.

One Winter, I had to play trumpet 6 nights at a German beer house in Palo Alto, California. Do you know what it’s was like for a jazz musician to dress in lederhosen and play polka music for 4 hours a night? I hoped no one recognized me.

By the way, the only musical gig I ever turned down was for the grand opening of San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts. I was asked to be one of several on-stage trumpet players dressed only in loincloth during a multi-night performance of the opera Aida. Apologies if you can’t get that picture out of your mind.

Ryan Gosling took a long-term gig with John Legend’s band. He wasn’t playing the music he loved; he was supporting someone else’s dream to earn a paycheck. That doesn’t foster a sense of mental well-being. In the end, Gosling lives his dream of owning his own jazz nightclub so he could share his passion with others.

What are the lessons?

  • Pursue your own dream to connect your passion to your life.
  • Don’t give up hope that you can’t have your dream.

Thought for the week:

“Your thinking creates your world. Your performance causes your impact. And your devotion to learning shapes the depth of your legacy.” – Robin Sharma

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What do you think? I welcome your comments! Dave Gardner
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Dave Gardner
Dave Gardner is a management consultant, speaker, blogger and author based in Silicon Valley. He’s been in the front row for the birth and evolution of Silicon Valley, the innovation capital of the world. Since 1992, Dave Gardner has focused on making the complex simple. He can be reached through his website, www.DaveGardner.biz, or via phone at +1 408-475-7068.
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