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The Best Advice Ever - For Creative Souls
People throw opinions around a lot. Sometimes even imposing their views as fact when it's actually subjective. However there are some things that simply make sense. They resonate. They really can't be argued with.
When I started my Music Degree I was eighteen years old. I was learning wonderful things about music and about life. Our vocal lecturer was quite fabulous. Her name was Valerie Tamblyn-Mills. See, even her name is fabulous.
A group of first year vocalists were all sitting in one room for a tutorial when she delivered the best advice ever.
She said, (insert drumroll here) "You can't please everyone. You're all like a bowl of fruit. Some are oranges, some are apples, some are pineapples. You're all different. So if you're an apple you just need to be the best apple you can be.
Also, there are people in the world that don't like apples. No matter how great an apple you are."
(Selah is a really cool ancient Hebrew word that I am quite partial to, and it means pause and think on this.)
The hardest part for us with regard to this reality, being the sensitive and creative souls that we are, is that not everyone likes apples.
The best, most delicious apple is still not enough. Someone out there couldn't care less. Many people actually. They don't care. Tough to accept, yet necessary to accept.
I used to live in Nagano in Japan. Nagano is downright famous for apples. The Japanese word for apple is ringo. So go and impress your friends with that one.
Hebrew, Japanese - it's getting pretty educational here.
Anyway, Nagano apples are the absolute best. Some absolutely love them. The Japanese serve them up like they are encrusted with pure gold. However some people don't care.
My brother is one. He doesn't like apples. Doesn't eat them, doesn't like them and doesn't want to start. My brother isn't the only one.
"Unbelievable!" Says the apple lover.
"This is impossible to fathom! They are fresh, neat, easy, delicious, can go in salads, can be juiced...what's the problem?"
Ready? The problem is not the apple. Oh....it just got deep.
Hang in there.
The "problem" is that this world is full of many types of people. Some are nice, some are not. All are different. That's the "problem."
Diversity on the earth means we all enjoy different things and gravitate towards different things.
Trying to please and win over the apple haters is a futile game my friends.
Oh my goodness that's horrible isn't it? It's a sad reality for us sensitive creative types. What's not to love right?
If you sing - some people won't like it. You could be the best soul singer on earth, but the heavy metal lovers - they ain't looking for your record.
Country music is your thing? The reggae peeps don't want to know. Maybe a song or two - but they don't really want to live and breathe what you offer to the world.
Ohh that hurts right?
What's the answer? What's the solution? You see, talking about fruit makes it all sound quite innocuous, yet it can actually be perceived as almighty rejection when your feelings, your art, your effort, your time and your goodwill are all genuinely and honestly offered up, only to be disliked or ignored.
The answer is: ( insert another drumroll here)
FOCUS ON THE PEOPLE WHO LIKE APPLES.
Focus on the apple lovers.
As for the apple haters, or the ones where apples have no place in their lives - let them go. They are looking for mangoes.
Here is a hint from another article of mine, "Are You A Great Friend To Yourself?" - if you're an apple, YOU need to LOVE APPLES! If you missed that one - read it now. Context is everything.
If you are an apple then be the best apple you can be. Then apple lovers will be all around you and you can have apple parties.
If you are totally aligned and fulfilling your calling - there will STILL be people who don't like you. Solution? Same as before - FOCUS ON THE PEOPLE WHO LIKE APPLES.
If you don't do this, your heart will continually break at all the rejection and you won't bring your best to anything.
Good actors really get this concept. You go to a casting, you totally nail it, and you don't get the job. Why? Someone else suited it better. The end. Not because you are useless and hopeless. No. Simply because you were not right for that particularly job at that time.
So you have two steps.
Step one: if you are lacking clarity, start by determining who YOU are. (What kind of fruit are you?...if you will.)
What are your values, beliefs, your gifts, your likes, your dislikes, your talents?
Step two: concern yourself more with those who appreciate you. The ones who accept you and admire what you do. Don't take it to heart when the apple haters walk on by. Even if they aggressively throw used banana peels at you on their way past. Still don't take it to heart.
That's the best advice ever.
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Simone Waddell is a professional singer and was voted the number one live vocal workshop facilitator and vocal coach in Sydney Australia.