Last night I watched the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, a celebration and coming together of some of the biggest names and greatest talents in music. I was so inspired. Actually, let me rephrase that, I was effin’ on fire! (like Alicia Keys but in a masculine kind of way).
This year’s host, LL Cool J, gave a powerful opening speech about what it means to an artist to win a Grammy and what it meant to him personally to be hosting the awards. Regardless of what anyone says, for many who walk the musical path, stepping on that stage, performing in front of that room full of some of the finest talent on the planet and being presented with one of those shiny gramophone trophies would be… A DREAM COME TRUE.
I can already hear some of the naysayers and hecklers talking smack about the Hollywood-ism and popularity contest that’s an undeniable element of the Grammy’s and the entertainment industry. Oh wait, that’s the voice in MY head. And there’s some truth to it. Yes, it’s a show in many ways. A big show and a lot of it is fodder for the ego and the part of us that craves significance for all the wrong reasons.
For those on the spiritual path, that means having to venture into those waters with awareness, remaining grounded, centered and authentic to who we are and where we come from. But it doesn’t mean giving up on the dream or talking ourselves out of it. And I can admit that I’ve certainly had my share of moments of doing that.
The truth is that the realization of any dream is not about being someone we’re not, it’s about being more of who we truly are. Watching the show last night, there were certainly some beautiful examples of that, too.
After winning the award for Best New Artist, the band members of FUN. all eluded –as did presenter Katy Perry – to the reality that they were far from “new”, and that the moment we were witnessing and their recent success has come on the heels of thirteen years of rigorous touring, being broke and depending on their families’ and communities’ support. My favorite had to be Australian singer/songwriter Gotye’s acceptance of his Grammy for song of the year, which was presented to him by the one and only Prince (yes, I may be slightly biased because of my love affair with the land of Oz). Gotye, a soft-spoken and humble presence, began by openly sharing his loss for words after having received the auspicious award from the man who was such a big influence on his own musical journey (coincidence? I think not). He thanked Prince and then dedicated the award to all those who share themselves and put out their energy into the world with their art, whether acknowledged, known or not.
It was an undeniably special moment and as I watched, I could feel that fire within me being stoked and burning more fiercely as if to say, “I want that too.”
There, I said it. I’ll say it again in no uncertain terms: I want to win a Grammy.
Wow, it feels really good to actually own it.
Then I got to thinking what it would actually FEEL like to be there performing on the Staples Centre stage, and to be presented with a Grammy for my work.
How would it feel to realize that dream? I began to envision it. What the sensations in my body would feel like, who would be there, what the atmosphere in the room would be like. What I would be wearing. Who I would thank and what I would say. How my family and friends at home would be celebrating with me and for me. I got such a clear vision of it and the feeling within me was palpable – a mix of desire, inspiration and excited anticipation.
And in that moment, upon reflecting on the night’s festivities, it was very clear to me that everyone who was participating, all the nominees, presenters, performers and award-winners have had some version of that vision and felt that feeling long before its coming to fruition. There was an understanding within me that the fire I was feeling, the deep appreciation I experienced watching those artists have their moment, and the goosebumps I got during the performances were all manifestations of my soul calling me to my own destiny.
So I asked myself, “What would I have to do to end up on that stage and to win a Grammy?”
The answer was quick and unequivocal. I would have to give it my EVERYTHING. I would have to become so absolutely mad about music, so deeply immersed in my crafts, even more in love with melody, songwriting and creativity. I would have to eat, sleep, breathe and live it passionately. And I would have to hold that vision close to my heart and stay in that feeling place, even in the face of obstacles, challenges, setbacks, so-called failures, self-doubt and naysayers.
The message of this blog is simple and straightforward: your dream is real. That feeling you get inside when you see someone else living their dream is calling you to your own destiny. Listen to it, hear it and honor it. Visualize it, taste it, feel it. And when the vision is crystal clear, own it, claim it and don’t let anyone or anything take it away from you or stop you.
What’s your dream? What will it take to make it a reality? Are you ready to really go after it?
Let me know, I’m curious. And let’s use the space in the comments below to share, support and encourage one another.
Chris Assaad is a singer/songwriter and inspirational artist from Toronto who left a promising career in law several years ago to pursue his dream of a career in music. Since then, Chris has been actively using his voice to enCOURAGE others to follow their dreams, express their creativity and live life to the fullest.