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January 6, 2009 / alunatunes

January 06-Planning a Treasure Map Project



“Dreaming instead of doing is foolishness…”- Ecclesiastes

Musicians are great at beating themselves half to death. We’re wonderful at comparing our songwriting, guitar skills, and stage performance to someone else’s. Usually someone else who is, in our eyes, successful- whatever that word actually means anymore. Success is a wide and varied concept. Success to some implies mansions, millions and megasales. To others it simply means being peaceful at the end of the day, knowing the irretrevable hours spent on musical pursuits, goals and ambitions were meaningful.

Defining success often means defining focus, something very few of us are good at. Musicians are expert dreamers, but sometimes the doing baffles us. We want to do big instead of take the smaller steps necessary. We go into the recording studio without any clear thought or direction. We may hire professional engineers or producers to provide us with direction, only to find their “big picture” for our music differs significantly from our own. And then we struggle to regain control of the reins.

To be a musician requires a certain amount of ego as we bring our gifts to the world, and one would think that confidence would travel hand in hand with that ego, and with enough confidece anything is possible. Not so. Musicians are a strange breed, cocky but cautious, talented but unsure of ourselves, convinced our voice and gifts could contribute to the world but unwilling to comfortably put ourselves OUT THERE.

Focus is an intangible sort of concept. Some of us shout “FOCUS” at our bandmates or ourselves as we struggle over a passage of music or a stumbly bit of lyricism. But HOW do we focus? How do we train ourselves to let the world slip away and enter into that sublime creative state of flow?

One way to establish a bit of focus is by creating a treasure map. First conceived in 1948 by Robert Collier in his book The Secret of the Ages, a treasure map or several of them tangibly allow us to visualize situations, goals, or possibilities you’d like to have in your life. As a ten year old guitar player and aspiring songwriter, I took this project to the extreme (I was totally unaware of what I was doing at the time) and pasted my own name and the title of a song I was writing over the label of an old 45 record. I then created a jacket for the 45 featuring a photo of myself with my guitar. Talk about imagination!

Tomorrow we’ll discuss the fine art of treasure mapping. Start now to think of pleasing images, colors, food, people, that you may want to include in your treasure map.  Think of this as planning a song- give into the flow of distraction and breath and have with your imagination.

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