What I’m about to get into came up in a business situation, but I think it also applies to music.
Some people seem to feel that the world revolves around them simply because they have a finely tuned critical mind. They are rarely if ever the early adopters in a technology adoption lifecycle, and think they are far removed from any sweeping changes that could potentially arise.
What they don’t seem to realize is that, more often than not, they think their way in and out of situations based on how they feel about them (people rarely if ever make decisions on logic). They have the keen ability of expressing why something is right or wrong for them, without realizing that their critical thought process is merely filtering out what they’re ultimately not comfortable with.
My feeling is that the most valuable experiences in life are often beyond our comfort zones. Starting a business. Building a relationship. Trying something new and different. Analysis paralysis is a trap of the mind, barring us from taking action and growing as individuals.
I do believe there is value in critical thought and expression. However, when it stops us from recognizing the opportunity that’s staring back at us, really we’re just harming ourselves.
Is it perfect? No way. As long as humans are involved, no opportunity is perfect.
However, it can be easy to get hung up on small things that have no bearing on whether or not a project moves forward. And yet the question I sometimes get is…
“Have you changed it [that thing that makes me uncomfortable] yet?”
Ludicrous! Why would we change it for one or two or ten people? It (a business or a music release) is meant for many people. It may not be for everyone, but that’s what makes humanity interesting, yes?
If it’s not for you, it’s not for you. I’m not here to argue semantics.
There’s a huge difference between offering feedback and critical nitpicking. No one asked for nitpicking. This truck is moving forward whether you’re ready or not, and standing by and taking pot shots at it is ultimately pointless as it gains momentum and whizzes by.
“It’s a neat concept, but I didn’t like this [one thing that makes me uncomfortable].”
That’s what will forever separate you from those who are taking action and embracing a new future.
Everyone deserves grace, and despite my own critical faculties, I have chosen to remain open to the world of opportunities around me. It’s easy to be critical; the challenge is finding the good in everything.
Don’t wait around for something to be 100% perfect. Take the 30% they give you and fill the remaining 70% with your own creativity and imagination.
Author: David Andrew Wiebe
David Andrew Wiebe has built an extensive career in songwriting, live performance, recording, session playing, production work, investing, and music instruction. In addition to helping musicians unlock their full potential, he also continues to maintain a touring schedule with multiple bands.