Hip-Hop Daily Dose #30: Are You In Control?

A few days ago, my horoscope (wait, hear me out on this!) said:

"The power you want so badly right now will eventually come to you-but first you have to stop wanting it so much! You deserve more control, so stop looking upon it as a sort of gift you're waiting to be given. You kind of already have it! You should feel confident in what you are doing right now, and fine with just riding out the situation. Letting the world spin around you is all you need to do in order to feel more in control of your own life than ever before."

The locus of control concept "is the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control."

It's easy to have a victim mentality.

To blame outcomes of situations on external events.

I do this all the time.

I've been re-reading The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone.

He encourages you to take responsibility for literally everything in your life.

All those situations that aren't your fault...wait, yeah they are.

The guy who hit your car from behind?

Well, he wouldn't have hit you if you had left earlier...taken a different route...been doing something more awesome with your life instead of driving to a gig or a client...

Etc.

It sounds harsh, and may be a little out there as an idea, but there's a lot of power that comes with embracing that responsibility.

Now, I'm the one in control - whether the situation turns out good or bad, I'm the cause of it.

This helps us as artists, who often feel like we're subject to the whims of the market...

To the whims of fans...

We complain that everyone has such a short attention span.

That's why our music won't sell.

Is that really it, or do we need to make better music?

Do we need to find out what people WANT, and deliver that to them?

We complain that the market is over saturated.

That's why our music won't sell.

Is that really it, or do we need better music and better marketing that DOMINATES the market?

If you dominate the market, it doesn't matter how many other people are part of it.

The fact that other people are dominating means it's possible, and we're just salty.

We complain about the cost of creating music and "unfair" practices (see my recent post "How Artists Get Screwed By Producers").

That's why we can't get our music made.

Is that really it, or do we need to find the resources and get extra creative to make it happen?

When we accept that our success or lack of it is all our fault, one of two things happen:

1) We shut down.

2) We turn on and go into turbo mode.

After that horoscope reading, I thought hmm...this is true, I've been waiting for my "day of power" for a long time.

How do I have power and control right now though?

Every time I turn on my mic to record a show or verse, I have ultimate power.

It's like the Nas line, "All I need is one mic."

I may not say everything I could say in a completely uncensored manner, but I'm controlling what I say...

And I get to publish it to the internet for anyone to access it who can find me.

I'm in control of my Twitter account, Soundcloud account, blog, website, etc.

I also have the power to attack my marketing strategy to find those people instead of hoping they find me.

I flipped the switch on my mindset when it comes to being a DJ.

Here I am, thinking about how:

  • The market is over saturated with DJs
  • I'm a rookie competing with vets for show bookings
  • No one knows who I am
  • All the mistakes that are likely to happen

But then I look down at my DJ controller...

And that's they key word:

Controller.

I'm in control of the music at ALL TIMES, any time I'm on the decks.

No one can take that away from me.

No matter how "good" or "bad" I perform on that controller, I'm in control.

That is power and control.

Let's take a look at that horoscope again:

"You kind of already have [control]! You should feel confident in what you are doing right now, and fine with just riding out the situation. Letting the world spin around you is all you need to do in order to feel more in control of your own life than ever before."

Letting everyone else do what they're gonna do while I pay no attention.

My only goal is to dominate my tasks.

Using all the control that I do have right now.

And waiting until it all snowballs.

There's irony in looking to a horoscope for guidance on control and power in my life.

Grant Cardone, the aforementioned author, said that he could never look to a horoscope because he believes he's in full control and everything is within his power. 

In this situation, however, I saw the connection between these concepts in different parts of my life:

Observing other DJs and reflecting on my own path, the books and shows I've been consuming, my friendships and relationships...

Perhaps the only thing standing in my way of having more control is my belief in the circumstances.

Change your belief, change your perspective...

Perhaps that will make you unstoppable.

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