I just spent 3 beautiful days at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival seeing some incredible performances by old favorites like Patty Griffin, Bonnie Raitt and Richard Thompson and discovering exciting new acts like First Aid Kit, Bettye LaVette and Della Mae.
Since we have been having this conversation about grit, (Toughen Up, How To Be A Rockstar, Got Grit?), I was struck again by some of the stories of these performers: being almost 70 and finally getting the recognition she has fought for, for almost 50 years (Bettye LaVette), or being barely 20 and having tons of talent, imagination and that special "something" that makes people remember (First Aid Kit) AND being at the right place at the right time and knowing the right people.
All of this takes a tremendous amount of grit, knowing what you want and going for it without apologies.
All of this passion and talent combined with the close to a million happy listeners was at a marked juxtaposition for me with the huge other population at this festival: street kids, bums, hippies, whatever label you do or don't you want to assign to those who congregate for any reason but being creative or motivated, too stoned or drunk to register anything.
It made me think again about what the simplest thing is that keeps us "off the streets"-- knowing what we want to do in life. This can be as basic as not wanting to be homeless or as intricate as knowing all about your future self, your mission and goals and your life purpose.
And often, there is a never ending challenge attached to this. Moving in and out of feeling connected to life purpose and sometimes, realizing that we don't know what that means for us.
Many times we have just sort of fallen into this thing that we are doing, and have never really given it much thought until now, when this nagging feeling is showing up that there should be something more to life and career.
One of my teachers at Coach Training Institute, once asked this: "is your Wanter broken"? "The Wanter" is that thing that lets us know our direction when it is based on values. Going for the stuff that really means a lot to us.
Have you dared to ask what that could be?