Let me start off with a story…
For those of you who don’t know, I’m a mildly respected Music Producer here in Toronto’s local Hip Hop scene, under the stage name MrBlue. I’ve developed artists and produced several albums over the last 8 years – and during this time I’ve been fortunate to share creative exchange with many ambitious, and uber-talented individuals and I want to tell you about one in particular; Lets call him “Steve”.
I’ve been collaborating with Steve for roughly 5 years, and out of all the artists I’ve ever worked with, he has the most potential for greatness without a doubt. Steve has been signed to a label, had his record in stores, and has performed with some major recording artists during his artistic career and yet he’s never seemed to have his musical endeavors flourish.
Steve has been in school for as long as I’ve known him – bouncing from one major to the next. It feels like every September he is starting a new course, or academic path, and what really stirs me up about his whole situation is that all he talks about is music and how he wouldn’t be where he is without it – but where is he really? Rather than pursuing his passion to the full extent, he has remained shackled to this cycle of call center jobs and tuition deadlines, and his governmental debt from education alone surpasses mine and Veronica’s debts combined – including our tuition repayments, credit cards, etc.
On numerous occasions I’ve said to him, “You should be going to school for what you’re passionate about. Why aren’t you taking music or recording arts?” His answer’s usually “I know, but I’ve already gone this far. I can’t just change course now, it wouldn’t be worth it.”
Unfortunately Steve is a victim to what I refer to as The Orthodox Blueprint. Now before you start bombing me with religious questions and moral script, let me elaborate. Dictionary.com defines the word Orthodox as:
Adhering to beliefs or practices approved by authority or tradition.
The word Blueprint is defined as:
A method for making, doing, or accomplishing something.
String these two words together and we have the 9-5, 40 hours a week until your 65, then retire and die life-plan. It’s been accepted by society that we are not to find enjoyment in our working lives, but rather stability and a maniacal sense of economic and social responsibility. It is our duty to contribute as citizens. It is our responsibility to work in a factory or office and pay taxes, because that’s how the system works – and the system is proven. The only career advancement worth pursuing is within the corporate ladder, because that ladder is sturdy and will provide you with a spending account and company car – and these are true signs of success.
As people, we’re so afraid to take the fork in the road, and face possible consequence, because a sign has been put there to warn us of the dangers in doing so. Just keep going straight and you’ll be fine. Finish school, get a job that will provide you with benefits, a steady paycheck, and you will eventually develop your method for tolerating with this blueprint. Adhere long enough and you’ll be rewarded with a mental notebook full of I wish I could have’s, a pension that will barely sustain your mortgage and minimum credit card payments, one trip to Florida every winter, and a deposit on your coffin.
This is what we should be afraid of.
In today’s world we are provided with more options than ever to lead a life of choice, passion and excitement. There are academic diplomas and degrees for everything from holistic medicine to audio engineering – and even e-business marketing. Technology provides us with the tools to be global entrepreneurs from the comfort of our living rooms and home offices. The Internet presents us with an abundance of resources and self-learning mediums in order to further develop and discover skills based on areas of personal interest. In 2008 you can be whatever you want to be, but ultimately it’s up to one person – You.
So don’t let yourself down.
I want to thank Alan from AffiliateConfession.com for inspiring this post by his use of the term “from college to cubicle.” I’m not sure if he is the originator, but it was the first time I’ve heard the saying used, and It inspired me to share my translation with you.