1 Dec 2006
Sometimes you plug away at something, hoping that it will become something great. You envision a great outcome - the mark of your success. It may be an award, fame/recognition, and/or financial security beyond your wildest dreams.
Then there is family, health, hobbies and other areas in your life which you would like to succeed in. You hope your kids will do well in life and will be happy and marry "the nicest guy or girl". You want to be in good health in your later years. You're hoping that your hobbies will bring you much joy in your spare time and perhaps, you might even make a new career out of it.
I've been reading a lot of autobiographies/biographies of songwriters/artists in the past couple months. They seem to be amazingly impressive compared to my own accomplishments.
One biography I've read is that of Bryan Adams. I think many people around the world will know of Bryan Adams even if they are not into pop/rock music. And, looking at his accomplishments since the mid-1980's in music, who wouldn't be impressed? At age 17, Bryan sent off his demos to a record company and was signed by them. He has sold millions of records (I have no idea exactly how many millions he's sold in total). He was awarded the Order of B.C. and Order of Canada for his contributions to popular music and philanthropic work. From other biographies of musicians, I have seen that Bryan Adams has been noted as an "influence" on their own music.
Although Bryan Adams is known to most for his music, did you know he is an accomplished photographer? He and other photographers were invited to take photos of Queen Elizabeth II during her Golden Jubilee. One of his photographs was used on a Canadian postage stamp in 2004 and again in 2005.
Although I have not asked Bryan Adams personally (you know it is possible for me to try and ask him on myspace), I wonder when he knew he was successful in music. Was it when he sold his first thousand, or perhaps, first million records? Was it when he received the Order of Canada? Was it when he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame in 1998? Or, perhaps, when he was inducted to the Music Hall of Fame at the Juno Awards in June, 2006?
I'm not sure what I will be known for at the end of my life. I wonder what my biography would say so far and from this day onward. Do I want to be known as a great legal assistant? Do I want to be known as a great songwriter? Do I want to be known as a wonderful mentor/teacher to some? Do I want to be known as a gifted author, perhaps? Okay, I doubt KaTsZoNe will receive any writing awards, but still, it's been a lot of fun. Do I want to gauge my success based on all the fun I had with whatever I was doing - whether it was law, writing, teaching or schmoozing with possible celebrities? (Imagine me schmoozing with musicians, record companies, producers ... hello, remember me from myspace? I'm KK!)
Have you ever wondered what your biography would say? I've talked about accomplishments in different areas of our lives. I'm also thinking, what would people actually say about me. From the first time I heard the following phrase was from my youth pastor, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care about them", I've tried to act on that since I believe it to be true. At the end of the day, success is not just about awards and rewards. I think what matters to me is whether KK cared enough not to step all over someone's face just because she wanted to be at the front of the stage. Okay, maybe not literally, but, you know, the only person that would ultimately get hurt is me anyway. Who wants to have a reputation for leaving boot prints on other people's bodies? Word gets around. And you know, friends, "What goes around comes around."
So, don't wait to do what's fun and don't drag the time on following your dreams. Many people will never take the opportunity to do what they love. I hate to say it, but, they will die on their way before they have tried to follow their hearts. Why is it so hard to break out of our walls? Teddy Geiger's song, "These Walls", still reminds me and encourages me to break out.
If you love what you do, keep doing it with all your heart. If your heart is temporarily out of it, maybe you just need to stop for a break. If your heart is in another galaxy...far, far away....and, as far as I know, George Lucas is not planning more episodes of Star Wars..however, I think you might want to listen to yourself and let your heart guide you to your next destination.
I can't leave this episode of KaTsZoNe without talking about something else in my heart and that is music. I'd like to start by saying that I have recently added more Christian artists/songwriters to my group of Friends on myspace.com. At some point, I'll try and list Christian artists on my Friends List for those of you who are interested. My own view is that there are too many love songs and heartbreak songs. I think we need to have more inspiring and inspirational songs that share positive messages because so many people need to be encouraged - they may need more faith, more hope, to believe in themselves, to believe in God, and to change the world for the better. And don't get me started on John Mayer's "Waiting on the World To Change".
So, before I leave you to the rest of your day or evening (depending on when you're getting your dose of this month's KaTsZoNe...which you might want to take with some hot chocolate or some herbal tea and some biscuits), here are my favourite pick of artists/songs this month for your listening pleasure. It's getting much tougher now for me to give you only three favourite songs because as of Nov. 29th, I have 142 friends on my Friends list on myspace.com! It's not easy to pick "favourite songs" from all the songs that I have heard, just as it's not easy to choose best friends. By the way, you're ALL my best friends!
1. "My New Dawn" (written and sung by Daniel Kirkley, U.S.) - http://www.myspace.com/danielkirkley and http://www.danielkirkley.com
This is a very inspiring song from a Christian artist who has just signed a deal with Centricity Records. It's a song about new beginnings. I've probably listened to it about a dozen times (or more) since I first heard it a few weeks ago. Daniel's new single, "My New Dawn" and the video will be released in January, 2007. He is going to be working on a third album with Centricity Records. You can listen to "My New Dawn" and "Garden Of My Heart" on his myspace website. I can't wait to download "My New Dawn" from iTunes in January!
2. "Never Lose Faith" and "Child of the 80's" (written and sung by Barry Russo, U.S.) -
http://www.myspace.com/barryrusso and http://www.barryrusso.com
I know, I sneaked two songs in here. Barry's previous album is in the pop/rock genre - and his song, "Child of the 80s" starts like a B52s song - that got me all excited. Recently, he came out with a single, "Never Lose Faith". It is a very inspiring Christian pop song and I probably memorized the chorus after hearing it three times - I think it's very catchy and memorable. I've told Barry a couple times how much I love "Never Lose Faith" and, of course, I've downloaded it. I hope he writes more inspirational songs - although fun songs are great too!
3. "Run under the rain" (written and sung by Pascal Labillois, CAN) -
http://www.myspace.com/pascalsmusic or http://www.pascalsmusic.com
I found Pascal on Daphne Darling's website. I saw Daphne perform with Nelly Shin (whom I met through a friend) and Laura Ranieri. I recalled there was a Pascal at a songwriting workshop I had attended at the end of October, and, I learned from Daphne that he was there. I remembered Pascal really well, because out of 19 songwriters who performed their own songs, Pascal was one of 3 people I was really impressed with. He is super talented and from what I have heard, Daphne is a big fan of his! I have heard two versions of "Run Under the Rain" - one with piano only, the other with various instruments. I really like the piano version and it's still up on myspace, and, the version with the different instruments is not up anymore. I've noticed that Pascal had one French song on myspace and I asked if he had more. He informed me that he will have more French songs on his main website, www.pascalsmusic.com, once it is completed. I have not listened to French songs in a long time, so, it's really exciting to connect with Pascal and hopefully, more people can hear his songs.
Last month, I mentioned Cory Lamb (US), Shayan Italia (UK) and James Carrington (UK). If you haven't had a chance to listen to their songs, I hope you will give it another try this month.
I wish you and your families a very joyful Christmas or Hanukkah and any other festivities which you may be celebrating in December.
Enjoy your journeys and if you ever get to where you're going, I hope you will have lots of loving and caring friends and family with you.
P.S. Just want to thank those of you who have told me about your own new discoveries of musicians/songs as well as about concerts you have attended. I'm glad music has touched and blessed your life. If you have opportunities to write or speak to those artists, I'm sure they would really appreciate the feedback and do spread the word about them!