A few weeks back, my husband and I attended Not So Silent Night, a concert featuring several artists at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA. We were fortunate enough to be gifted tickets to the show, but weren’t very familiar with the artists performing, other than they had a few recent hits on the radio. Since I love live music, I looked forward to taking in the experience, without any pre-set expectations such as, will they play my favorite song, will it live up to their last performance, etc.
As the third artist took the stage, I was about to be blown away, in more ways than one. Lorde, the artist behind the very popular song Royals, was breathtaking. Seventeen years old and performing to a crowd of over 10,000 people, Lorde said that this was the largest venue she’d ever played, and just six months ago she was performing in front of 300-400 people. As soon as she said this, I immediately thought of a quote from one of my favorite movies, Life as A House.
“You know the great thing, though, is that change can be so constant you don’t even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t even notice that your life is better or worse, until it is. Or, it can just blow you away, make you feel something different in an instant. It happened to me.”
As Lorde talked about the transformation in her career over a six month time period, from playing to small crowds to then being nominated for the Grammy’s, I immediately drew parallels to business and life. Sure, my musical talents started and stopped with middle school band performances, but in life I could relate. Lorde experienced a change – immense success, in a short period of time.
If you’re trying to build your career, starting your own venture, looking for love, or trying to change your life, you should also ask yourself are you prepared for quick and dramatic change? It can happen, not just to amazingly talented teenagers from New Zealand, but all around you. A few years ago I randomly encountered an unassuming CEO at a restaurant in Palo Alto, with 30 employees this person had a vision. Fast forward two years, this CEO was speaking at a conferences attended by a few thousand people, and had grown their business to over a hundred employees. Fast forward another two years, to today, this is now one of the largest, most funded startups in Silicon Valley.
Change can be instantly transformative. You never know when you’ll have an idea for a business, or meet someone who will change your life, whether that be a future spouse, or business partner. I think the first step to change is having an open and accepting mindset. It’s being mentally in the frame of mind where you can recognize a positive change, and where you can embrace success. So ask yourself, are you prepared to take opportunities as they present themselves? Are you surrounding yourself with people that encourage, and challenge you? Are you in the mindset that today’s setback could be tomorrow’s success?
Lorde also mentioned that a fan wrote to her, saying she hoped to attend the concert, but didn’t know if she could afford to go, and Lorde said, not too long ago she too was scraping together $30 for concert tickets. Again, this statement resonated with me immediately. Not too long ago, I was in the same boat, scraping together concert money for the cheapest seats in the house, and here I was ~13 years later sitting in a luxury suite, expenses paid. Given, this was a special occurrence, but not my first time in the premier section.
Thinking about sitting in the luxury suite, even though it may seem juvenile or silly, for me was a sign of change, and success. In looking at where you are today, I think it’s important to reflect on the positive changes that have come gradually. And to look back five, ten, fifteen years, and ask yourself is your life different? Often times people focus on the future outcome, or someone who has been more successful, or progressed at a faster rate, and think that they haven’t achieved enough. But every so often it’s important to take an inventory of your personal progress. How much money were you earning ten years ago? What type of job responsibilities did you have then? Where were you living? Were you in a relationship, and was it with the same person you’re with today? I would imagine, you’ve experienced at least one area of your life that’s gradually changed, where you didn’t even notice how different your life is now, versus ten years ago. So, it’s worth taking a pause to appreciate the progress you’ve made in that time period.
In closing, my suggestion is if you’re trying to change/improve one or more parts of your life, to first make sure you’re in the mental frame of mind to accept the possibility for a quick and dramatic change. And, second, to take a moment to reflect on the gradual changes that have taken you to where your life is today, appreciate the progress you’ve made, and realize what you’re working on now, will yield future gains. Lastly, Lorde delivered an amazing performance, I’ve downloaded her album on iTunes and have been listening to it on repeat (400 Lux is my favorite song). Lorde’s humble comments, reminded me to be grateful of what I have today, and not overlook the progress I’ve made. I was in complete awe of Lorde’s talent, and look forward to seeing her star continue to shine. Likewise, I wish much success to all of my readers and friends, and look forward to seeing you experience tremendous achievements and personal fulfillment.