Following Your Passion

I’ve just returned from seeing the movie La La Land with my wife. It’s a fantastic movie.

There’s an important lesson in this movie about passion. The leading man (played by Ryan Gosling) finds himself in the position many musicians find themselves in: to eat and live, you sometimes have to play music that is counter to what you really want to play. I know this first hand.

One Winter, I had to play trumpet 6 nights at a German beer house in Palo Alto, California. Do you know what it’s was like for a jazz musician to dress in lederhosen and play polka music for 4 hours a night? I hoped no one recognized me.

By the way, the only musical gig I ever turned down was for the grand opening of San Jose’s Center for the Performing Arts. I was asked to be one of several on-stage trumpet players dressed only in loincloth during a multi-night performance of the opera Aida. Apologies if you can’t get that picture out of your mind.

Ryan Gosling took a long-term gig with John Legend’s band. He wasn’t playing the music he loved; he was supporting someone else’s dream to earn a paycheck. That doesn’t foster a sense of mental well-being. In the end, Gosling lives his dream of owning his own jazz nightclub so he could share his passion with others.

What are the lessons?

  • Pursue your own dream to connect your passion to your life.
  • Don’t give up hope that you can’t have your dream.

Thought for the week:

“Your thinking creates your world. Your performance causes your impact. And your devotion to learning shapes the depth of your legacy.” – Robin Sharma

What do you think? I welcome your comments! Dave Gardner

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