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Playing it Safe

For many of us, it is scary to stand out and be in the spotlight, because amongst the spotlight is ample opportunity to fail. However where ever there is opportunity to fail, there is equal opportunity to succeed. The two potentialities are present together in every situation. You always have the chance to do the most opportune thing, but equally have the opportunity to fail miserably.

Ever said something to someone and thought to yourself, “I couldn’t have said that any better.” Or perhaps on occasion, “that was the worst possible thing I could have said, anything else would have been better.”

I’m sure you have, because we all have at some point or another.

The funny thing is though that both of these possible outcomes are present at any given moment, as well as everything in between. You may either knock it out of the park or totally strike out.

Perhaps the contrast of both outcomes is what makes us appreciate the more favorable outcome so much, and helps to build the value of having things go in our favor.

Although this reality may be daunting to some, and cause them to be reluctant in certain situations to even try, however this uncertainty is this part of the beauty of the world. It is unknown and unpredictable. This unknown nature of the world makes it that much more exciting, and what creates such great highs, but it is equally what creates such hard lows.

Not knowing the outcome of a sporting event is the whole reason people tune in to watch it. If it is predicted to be a landslide in favor of one team, then you can bet there will be far less people in attendance.

Same with life, we all showed up to observe and participate in the outcome. It is not a series of determined events, but rather an obscene amount of randomness strung together by the actions of all of us. Even the largest events that seem rooted in history and unchangeable, even if we were to relive the past a thousand times, are not absolute, they could have happened differently according to the choices of the participants, and have be written differently in the history books.

If analyzed too acutely, one can become paralyzed by the monumental effect each and every action plays in their life. The choice to choose one group of friends over another, or to play sports or play the guitar all change the course of your life, whether in subtle or wildly dramatic ways.

However what Elliott Smith is saying in this quote is that not matter what you choose, choose it boldly and full heartedly.

There is nothing worse than going 3/4 of the way.

So many talented people hold back from giving it 100% because once you are all in and give it your full effort you are vulnerable. The excuse that you did not give it your all is no longer available. It is apparent to your observers that you have given it everything you have and now up to their discretion whether it was good enough or not. Or at least that is how it feels.

However it is this fear of others opinions that holds so many of us back. Very few people want to be the person that tries their hardest and fails, and has no excuse as to why they did not succeed. At least if you only gave it three quarters of your effort you can say that you didn’t really try.

Your biggest dreams exist on the other side of your biggest fears.

Every successful person that others admire has went head on with their biggest fears at some point or another, and often is why so many of us admire them. Because at some level we recognize that they have faced their fears, and we admire that about them, and wish it for ourselves.

They attacked something that they did not have a guaranteed outcome, but they went full steam none-the-less.

Now in this present moment they get to stand in disbelief at what their life has become, since the unknown masked the potential outcome that was to unfold from their actions in the face of fear.

The universe only wants to give you what it absolutely knows you want, and anything you really want is worth facing some fear and uncomfort for.

Contrast

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Whether it is music or life in general, there must be some contrast so we can appreciate the inverse of that feeling or emotion. It’s a mysterious reality of the world that you come to understand something by relating it to other things. And that things claim their identity and meaning through their relationship to other things.

You can’t know white without knowing black

Elliott states it beautifully that one cannot appreciate the happiness in his music without knowing the sadness. Amongst sadness, happiness shines and has much more meaning than if it were simply by itself and exclusively among other happiness. This is true whether in music or with people in real life.

It is the contrast that brings the upmost meaning to happiness because it stands out starkly against its sad counterpart, exposing all its distinct nooks and crannies.

The rain helps you appreciate the sun

We lose the value with too much of one thing. And it is the changing of seasons in nature and in our own lives that allows us to appreciate things as they cycle through our lives. It’s ironic because the perfect day actually does not exist, it’s only perfect based on it’s contrast to less ideal days. If you were to experience this day continuously day after day, it would be just that, another day. Without anything to relate it to, you would have nothing to compare it by, and no way to classify it is a good day.

Something is nothing, without something to compare it to…

Center of Attention

How does it feel to be the center of attention, and the subject of everyones focus in a given moment? Not many of us have felt this kind of spotlight, not even for a moment in our life, and especially not on a regular basis.

One can only imagine the types of feeling and emotions that arise under such attention. For the thoughts of man can often be littered with scrutiny and judgement. Sometimes quietly but, many times vocally, and loudly across many media channels.

This is why tough skin is necessary for anyone taking stage especially in our modern world, especially because people take to social media to say hurtful things. The ability for people to hide behind computer screens and say hateful things makes being in the spotlight in today’s world so tough. A short term memory is required of you, so you can see each day as a new day, and forget what has been said before.

These facts make it increasingly difficult for shy and sensitive artist to stay to take to the stage in fear of the criticism that comes with modern stardom. One can only imagine how many talented people we miss out on, because of the judgement that comes with being on stage.

Reflection of Ourselves

The world is obviously in a sad place since many of us are so critical of people putting themselves out there. People’s own personal insecurities of not being good enough shine through and wage war on anybody who seems to threaten these peoples self worth. They condemn people for simply trying and put everyone in fear of putting themselves out there. At least those who are affected by such low energies.

People who subconsciously think they cannot do something and are attached to that, don’t want it for anyone else. So they scream it cannot be done, or find faults with every attempt.

Without a society of encouragement and support we are left with a small fraction of people who actually try. Everyone else is too fearful of giving it an honest try and falling short, and thus victim to the scrutiny of others.

This doesn’t only diminish the amount of people who are trying to make it music, but also sports, politics and much more. Don’t squash people’s dreams and don’t fuel peoples fears. Don’t judge the world…just observe.

Share

If you have anything personal or special to share or anything that you think captures Elliott Smith’s music, artistry, personality or anything of that nature please share. Everyone s their own individual fan, so we all find different things that are special and meaningful to us individually. In order to share something please drop us an email and we can correspond that way. Thanks

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Elliott Smith Tribute

A tribute to Elliot Smith. An artist that through his soft temperament and quite voice inspired a following of fans around the world. There was obviously a lot to Elliot that he did not share with the world, only giving glimpses of himself to others through his music. That is how some of the most well known artist have always been, a bottle with the top only half open. Enough of themselves open to express their thoughts eloquently into music, but not enough to reveal their identity in its entirety. Perhaps this is what we like about artists like Elliot Smith, their shy and mysterious qualities mask deeper aspects of themselves that they don’t care to share with the world.

This especially now is extremely refreshing for fans who have gotten nauseous from the over abundant exposure of modern musicians. From seeing the inside of their “crib” on tv to constantly getting updates about their life, and wild antics in the media.

The quiet and timid nature of artist like Elliot is endearing, cherished, and all together in our all to social world.

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