The World’s Greatest Rock Band (In My Mind)

The World’s Greatest Rock Band (In My Mind)

When I was in ninth grade me and a friend got together to start a band. We had a name, a logo, some great lyrics, and an album cover. The only problem was – we couldn’t actually play any instruments. Actually, I take that back, my friend knew three chords. So we wrote every song with those chords. I was gonna be the drummer, he was the guitar player.

We’d get together and dream about what it would be like to play in front of thousands of people (ala Wyld Stallyns). We knew people would assemble from around the world to hear us. For obvious reasons, nothing came of that band.

But in tenth grade I got a drumset. My dad bought it for me on the condition that I would be playing in a school band within six months or he’d sell the drums. The pressure was on.

I poked around and learned a few beats. I was convinced I was pretty good, so I tried out for a band. They didn’t really like me. As the six-month mark approached I started realizing dad was serious. So I found an actual teacher named Pablo. He happened to be the best drummer in Guatemala. I stunk at drums, but I think he took me on because he saw it as a challenge to teach rhythm to a white boy.

Pablo forced me to get disciplined. Every practice with him was brutal because he pushed me so hard. I felt like I had no control of my arms and legs because of the challenging exercises he gave me. I wanted to keep playing the same beats I knew, he would have nothing of it.

Every practice it felt like I was going backwards. I didn’t see any progress. But apparently everyone else did. I went and tried out for the same band at school a few weeks later. After the audition one of the guitar players gave me a backhanded compliment, “Bro, how’d you get so good that fast? You sucked last time.”

I was finally in a band. It felt good.

Fast forward to today. Lots of people tell me their cool ideas about books they are going to write, albums they are going to record, and businesses they are going to start. They have spent hours on logos, book covers, and business plans, but it’s all a dream. It reminds me of my band back in high school before I could play.

I give them the advice I learned the hard way. First, put the pressure on. Give yourself a deadline like my dad did for me. Second, find someone who is willing to push you hard toward your goal. Then learn from them, even if it’s difficult. I promise you will improve.

If you’ll set a deadline and get some training you might be surprised how quickly you actually get your band (or book, or album, or business) going. And you will be one happy rocker.

It’s time to stop dreaming and actually start doing.

So now, go be excellent to each other. And party on dudes!

P.S. If you don’t know who Wyld Stallyns are or don’t understand my final statement, it’s really time you learn. Click here to be enlightened.