Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Success is lucky, but it's also aware

Anytime a friend or someone I know tells me that they feel wholeheartedly in a particular
way, I am very curious to how this happened. I ask questions, I play devil's advocate.
Some may think I am arguing because I believe the opposite to be true, but thats not always the case.
In fact, that is not usually the case. I am trying to learn something. I want to know how or why you have come to the conclusion that you have made up your  mind. That means, it's done....finished....you are no longer taking orders, the store is closed. This is not to say that I don't feel strongly on certain issues or beliefs in my heart and mind, I most certainly do, but I like to think that I leave room for error. I learned a valuable lesson some 14 and a half years ago when I got clean and sober and that was that I do not know everything and I might be wrong. At first this lesson was a large pill to swallow, it meant that quite possibly everything I knew up to 33 years of age was wrong. What I did know certainly was not working, but this went deeper. If I was going to change my way of thinking, I would need to change one thing......everything. So, I had to be willing to accept the fact that everything I knew could be wrong......example: maybe the sky isn't "Blue", maybe thats just what I was told by another human being and they didn't know what they were talking about. This sounds silly, but that is the level of open-mindedness I needed to be willing to change, and since it was a live or die situation, once aware of my malady I was more than willing to go along.
After years of working a spiritual program I have come to understand the same principles that started me on this path in a much different way, a more pro-active way.  In order to truly be successful in life,
I will need to see my closed-mindedness as an opportunity to learn. Every time I think I have made up my mind a very calm voice reminds me that I don't know everything.......maybe I need to learn something.  It's kind of a pain in the ass, but I accept this as my lot in life :)
So, I go out of my way to try and learn from those who directly oppose my views.
Sitting around like-minded people, having them pat me on the back is very detrimental to my spiritual progress. Jesus Christ himself did not hang out with the people at the church, the clerics and the leaders.....he hung with the whores and the sinners. Thats where he could be the most effective.
Now I am not comparing myself to Jesus, but I try and learn from His example.
I need to talk with people who have a different point of view. I need to try and learn why they feel the way they do, what is the history there and what brought them to this place of reasoning.
Anytime I see any of my friends making claim on Facebook that their political view is absolutely correct, I am put off. It does not matter what affiliation they are, it rubs me the wrong way.
Then I want to know why. I swallow my pride and ask questions.

I have been enjoying some success here lately and for that I am truly grateful.
It is nice to be recognized for your hard work and to be validated by your peers and community......
but it also means I have to work twice as hard now.
Bill Gates describes it best: Success is really about fanaticism.
No one in their right mind spends 10,000 hours on one thing in life if they are not really fanatical
about what they are doing. Talent always plays a role in success, and so does luck.
Don't count luck out. Even when you work hard and put in your time, it takes a certain amount
of luck for things to move forward. The difference between someone who is just lucky and a fanatic is the fanatic will continue the work when they are not lucky.
It takes deep desire to stay in the game and keep going, you must truly love what you are doing.
Since the age of 8 years old, I wanted to hold my guitar.
I am not the best guitarist in the world, but I have found a way to hold my guitar everyday.
If I had not been successful in music, I would still hold my guitar everyday.
This fanaticism with the guitar and music has never ended. I have hit walls from time to time, but I find a way to start over and keep going. I realize that I will never be the "best" at anything, but I am good at what I do and it is mostly because I love doing it. Because of this perseverance, I have been "lucky". I am the last man standing most of the time. I don't quit.
When I first moved to southeast Texas I met a wonderfully talented guitarist and singer named Scott McGill. My girlfriend (wife now :) told me he was the "best" guitarist around and that I had to see him play. This was in the middle of my using and drinking and I had quite an ego to boot.
I thought "Really? the BEST? How good could this guy be...?"
So, we went and saw Scott play one night. I walked up and introduced myself and said "So I hear your the best guitar player around...." He smiled and took his time and said "Well, I don't know about that, but I might be the best guitar player that shows up."
That has stuck with me all of these years.  Others quit, get hooked on drugs, become drunks...whatever, but Scott McGill shows up and plays every night.
(and he is by far the Best guitarist I know.)
I have based my entire career on this precept, show up and do the work.
Luck will find you if you are in the right place at the right time, and if doesn't, keep showing up
cause you are truly a fanatic about what you do.

This is what I am learning to apply to the rest of my life.
How will I learn anything if I know everything? If I am going to be successful in all areas of my life,
I need an extremely open mind.
When it comes to politics, I ask why. why do you feel that way?
Some people get upset if you just ask them, they get defensive because they think you are picking,
but I am not picking, I want to know.  Maybe it's not my business, but if my approach is right, I can usually get some answers. I think this idea of being extremely open minded could help us a lot today in our world. It's what is necessary to be successful in the future.
We need to ask each other questions and listen to the answers with care and concern.
Being aware of my closed mindedness is a gift from God.
Being aware of my fanaticism is also a gift.
The more I understand the more successful I become.
The more I realize I don't know everything, the better my chances are for learning.

If I keep my mind aware and open in politics, in belief, in reasoning and so on,
I will be more successful in my fanaticism, which is music.

Success is lucky, but it is also aware.
The idea is to show up for life everyday. Don't quit.
Don't make up your mind and decide......leave the door open.

Peace, Love, Zito