Hope you caught the earlier blog this weekend where I shared a few of my favorite things! (and people!)
My thoughts this week have been about longevity and what it demands. What does it even mean? How do we define it for ourselves?
The life span, the shelf life, the duration, the viability, the continuance; the greater the longevity the more simmering and preparation in order to endure; the more knowledge and staying present in the moment is needed to create the behaviors to move forward consistently.
The one thing I can guarantee you is that there is no direct path. We live in a feast or famine business. It is the longevity that prepares us for those meagre times that make us question why we are doing this at all.
I see the extremes of this regularly: the "occasional" singer who somehow hopes for a quick fix in order to have enough to walk into a room, knock out a fabulous audition and hope it sticks. My question is always: what if you get the job? What if you can "suck in" long enough so the seams don't bust for them to hire you? What happens when you relax and not hold your breath? The quick fix never works for longevity. Never. If you are able to make an adjustment in the studio it isn't "fixed": it just shows you that you are able to now begin to discover what could become behavior if you commit to it.
What you perceive as a "quick fix" is an illusion. It might be bright and shiny for a minute, but don't let it fool you. Don't allow it to create a voice in your head that takes you down that path of "oh I got this!". The only one falling for it, at the end of the day, is you.
And what about the long haul? It doesn't mean slogging, and fatigue, and depression and disillusionment! It means commitment to each moment, to a lifestyle, to a behavior, to a schedule. It really means commitment to YOU.
YOU are the long haul. You aren't a quick fix. YOU are your own longevity, your own sustainability. You and only you can commit to that. This kind of commitment keeps you focused through the times of famine in the business. Your long haul will not take your focus away. Your long haul will simply give you permission to sit down and rest, and then get up and keep working, keep discovering, keep growing.
It's easy to get side-tracked with a quick fix because it catches your eye and doesn't require much. That's the point: it isn't much. It may or may not be helpful and it is like a flash in the pan. When it's done, it's done, and you won't find it again. There is no depth to it, no grounding, no anchor. Flash and gone.
Watching people chase the quick fix is very disappointing to see, but we are each responsible for our own path and our own ability to see and reveal and absorb.
The long haul requires fortitude. It requires a commitment that reveals the integrity of the human being and artistic spirit that rises to its occasion. It commands attention and demands your complete and utter dedication. It is deep, and high, and full and anchored. It gives you freedom to play; freedom to explore; freedom to create.
Longevity is creation; longevity is artistic depth; longevity is anchored in truth and authenticity.
Acknowledge the lure of the quick fix, the flash pot, the jazz hands. Just don't fall for it.
Walk on by, and pick up the tools, learn the language, and discover the authenticity of your longevity. The long haul doesn't need to be heavy. It just needs to be YOURS.
Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking.
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