When the Pursuit of Happiness Makes You Unhappy: Why I Stopped Chasing My Dream

On a telephone call with my mama, she said, “Why do not you simply get home?”.

I composed brand-new songs, performed at writers nights all over town, and befriended and in some cases shared living quarters with similar musicians.

To my amazement, that very same day I discovered myself on the 30th flooring of the L&C Tower in downtown Nashville with a king-of-the-world view of the city, being spoken with live on the air. The DJ played 2 of the three tunes on my demo over the airwaves during my visit. I yelled gleefully in the car afterward and headed directly over to my closest good friends home (they had actually been listening from home) to share my giddy enjoyment with them.

I taped a studio demo that was turned down or ignored by seventy-five various record business. To me, these rejections were simply part of the dues-paying process and made me feel a spiritual kinship with my heroes, all of whom endured comparable trials on their way to ultimate success.

It was an incredibly exciting time, but also stressful and extreme. I did get some airplay on radio stations around the country, and received some reviews of the CD, however few. I was racking up debt, working fanatically, and putting whatever on the line to make my dream a reality. On the useful side, I figured that whatever attention the CD did or did not draw in, I would experience life on the road and most likely a minimum of break even, economically speaking.

Fortunately, as I have learned, is that life is so large that it does not require to comply with our weak concepts about what can make us contented, happy, or fulfilled. It is big enough to contain our most squashing dissatisfactions and still make room for us to experience meaningful and rewarding lives, frequently by means of things we never ever would have anticipated nor might have expected.

I never expected, regardless of the rejections I had actually collected, to ever stop trying, as this was the only thing I desired to do with my life. It took a couple of years prior to I felt the desire to re-engage with life in ways that reflected my natural interest. My twenty-something self would likely not have actually believed it, however I lovingly send this message to him anyhow through area and time: It is possible to be pleased and live a satisfying life even if your greatest dream stops working to come true.

I will never stop caring music. The distinction is that I lastly discovered to like myself, no matter any success in the outer world of the music business or lack thereof.

In other words: I made a life for myself, and became a much happier individual, regardless of never having actually realized my imagine being an expert musician, nor of even having accomplished any significant career success in some other domain.

From as far back as I can remember, I was bewitched with music. I sang it a cappella at a school assembly, even though I technically didnt know all the words.

After months of relentlessly following up with the 182 schools that gave me the green light to send my marketing products, things were looking progressively bleak. My points of contact often changed hands (and were typically trainees in unsettled functions), and appealing offers broke down.

After college, I transferred to Nashville– a mecca for songwriters of all stripes– and dove headfirst into the music scene. I lived frugally, worked whatever day jobs I required to, and invested the bulk of my energy on making music and trying to get a profession off the ground.

In the twenty-plus years because, I have done things I never envisioned I would do, broadening my palette of interests and life experiences in manner ins which no doubt would have entirely surprised my more youthful self. I also satisfied an incredible partner and got wed.

I never anticipated, no matter the rejections I had actually accumulated, to ever stop trying, as this was the only thing I wished to make with my life. Now it appeared I had no choice. I might barely rise.

Somewhere along the line, music and amusing became not just my passion, however the thing that made me feel beneficial. On the useful side, I figured that whatever attention the CD did or did not bring in, I would experience life on the roadway and most likely at least break even, financially speaking.

“We need to be willing to let go of the life we prepared so regarding have the life that is waiting for us.” ~ Joseph Campbell

In college, I would repeatedly wander around the dormitory with my guitar and offer spontaneous shows for anybody who would listen. It was an excellent way to check out brand-new product and get in touch with others, and couple of things in life provided me as much enjoyment as singing and playing.

Without record company support or interest, I ended up financing and supervising the recording and production of a full-blown studio album myself, while working full-time.

My musical heroes offered such happiness, convenience, catharsis, and motivation during my teenage years that it was only natural for me to imitate them and establish an overwhelming desire to have a music career of my own. Performing for my peers in social circumstances tended to create lots of favorable attention, which fed my currently ravenous appetite to be successful that much more.

When all was said and done, I wound up with a single, singular booking to reveal for all my efforts. One. This would be the degree of my “tour.”.

My closest songwriter good friends and I became our own mutual-admiration-and-inspiration society, and assisted each other withstand the slings and arrows that are par for the course pursuing a profession within something as notoriously challenging and fickle as the music market.

Feeling much better, and lastly restoring a sense of possibility for myself, I moved out to California and did a lot more exploring, both inwardly and outwardly.

I remember a coffeehouse gig I used school that received such a favorable action, there was just no reversing. Being so valued for doing something I already liked to do was an euphoric high, so I looked for performing chances– formal and casual– much more compulsively.

The idea was to play as many gigs as humanly possible at schools little and big, driving myself from one to the next, offering CDs, and developing a newsletter along the way. This would enable me to eke out a living doing what I liked, in the hopes of acquiring higher exposure, constructing a fan base, and ultimately developing a bona fide career as a musician/performer.

Though I deserted my pursuit of music as a livelihood, I never stopped loving music.

I have actually shared my passion for music with many guitar trainees, played for healthcare facility clients as a music volunteer, been a passionate little place concertgoer and fan of ever more designs and artists, continued developing my own skills on guitar and even started taking classical piano lessons.

The Buddha teaches that all our suffering originates from accessory. While it is human and perfectly typical to desire things, our desires are limitless and never ever satisfied for long.

Hiking had been a key consider my recovery, so I signed up with the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club and started hiking with groups of other folks instead of just going out in nature by myself. This resulted in being welcomed on my first-ever backpacking trip, which showed to be life-changing and triggered an even higher love of the outdoors.

See a typo or inaccuracy? Please.
contact us so we can repair it!

About Eric Teplitz.

Eric Teplitz is a writer, artist, instructor, and coach. He has actually published over 100 posts on Erics Inspired Living Blog. For training services and more information, please visit his site www.ericteplitz.com.

As soon as the album was total, I began my own little label to launch it, and stop my day job so I could focus full-time on working feverishly to get it heard. I ended up being a one-man record business (and manager and reserving representative, to boot), operating out of my bedroom and sending copies of my finished CD (this was the 90s) to radio colleges, stations, and papers nationwide. I followed up with them by phone (this was still the 90s) in the hopes of securing airplay, evaluations, and gigs.

Somewhere along the line, music and amusing ended up being not simply my passion, but the important things that made me feel rewarding. The guitar was like a superpower– with it, I might be wonderful. Without it, I was irrelevant.

I called numerous colleges and universities– mainly on the east coast where the concentration was greatest– to reserve my own tour.

It took a number of years before I felt the desire to re-engage with life in methods that showed my natural interest. Even then, the desire to resume the pursuit of a music career was gone. However once I started to regain a degree of monetary and psychological stability (an uninteresting workplace job helped this cause greatly), I took some tentative steps in new directions. I registered in a few adult education classes, including an acting class that was quite fun and resulted in attempting my hand at some neighborhood theater.

In what was maybe the biggest testament to my desperate state, I could not come up with a better option. I moved back into my childhood home– for me, the supreme concession of defeat.

Obviously, he liked the demonstration I had actually sent him.

I had completely lost my method, my direction, my purpose, my drive. A big part of my self-regard had actually been tied up in my success– both artistically and commercially– as an artist. I had actually specified myself by this identity and pursuit. What was I, who was I, without it?

My twenty-something self would likely not have believed it, however I adoringly send this message to him anyhow through area and time: It is possible to be pleased and live a satisfying life even if your biggest dream stops working to come true. Hang in there! I like you.

What I had not anticipated, aside from such dismal outcomes, was the toll this would take on me. I was tired in every way possible: physically, economically, mentally, artistically. A lot of substantial, though, was the toll on my spirit. I had actually believed that if I just worked hard enough, I would prosper, on at least a modest level. These results suggested otherwise.

Music likewise became, for me, a method to mitigate the typical insecurities that come with being a young adult.

Though I had a hard time greatly with accepting it, I found that I had no more energy, zero, to invest in my dream. The immediate task at hand was climbing up out of anxiety. And financial obligation.

After much begging, I finally got my hands on a guitar at the age of thirteen and started lessons. Having actually discovered The Beatles a year or two in the past, music became nothing except an all-out fascination. I practiced non-stop, paying for my lessons with a task I took at a regional record store at the ripe young age of fourteen (I was in there so typically they eventually hired me), and within a couple of years started my very first major attempts at songwriting.

In the house, I devoured my dads records and tapes (pop, reveal tunes, classical, “oldies”), and began building my own collection at the age of nine (early 80s Top 40, and acid rock). For fun, I made up my own bits and pieces of songs and wrote the lyrics down in a notebook.

I quickly discovered that even though I had dutifully kept up with my share of the lease, the housemate I was leasing from had actually obviously not been paying the landlord! I required to find a new place to live. And a new job.

All of us, to varying degrees, look for external approval, gratitude, recognition, and validation from others, and it can be temporarily pleasurable to get these things. Depending on them, however, (not to mention addicted to them!) is a recipe for consistent misery.

If we make our own joy or sense of self-worth reliant upon things going a particular method, then we are registering for torment. The more firmly we stick to our concepts of what need to be, it seems, the more extensive the misery.

One Sunday morning, I received a call from a DJ who hosted a show on my favorite local radio station, Lightning 100. “What are you doing this evening?” he asked.

Throughout the years I have performed in a range of settings, sometimes for pay but more typically just for the love of it.