Being a jazz musician requires us to be somewhat of a visionary--on small and large scales. The improvisatory nature of the music forces us to envision far beyond what's there. And there are different levels of envisioning. There's envisioning how to navigate your way through a set of chord changes; envisioning how to compose a tune: and some take it as far as envisioning a new concept. And envisioning an idea is one thing; however, bringing it to fruition is another.
Experience has taught me that in order to bring an idea or vision to fruition, three things must be in order: (1) a clear mind, (2) a clear vision, and (3) the skills to execute.
In other words, a clear mind + clear vision + skills to execute = fruition.
And I don't mean to presume that having these three things guarantee success, but they do increase the likelihood of success.
(1) A clear mind:
If you think of the creative mind as a canvass, it would be very difficult to create anything new if your canvass is cluttered with other things. Simply put, junk. And these things could be anything from negative thoughts to past and future endeavors. Having a completely clear mind can take years of practice. I suggest aiming at having a less-cluttered mind. It's at least a good place to start.
(2) A clear vision:
If you're not sure of where you want to go or how to get there, you're almost certain to be derailed off your path. Racecar drivers are taught that if their car goes into a tailspin, they should always keep their eyes on where they want to go. If their focus is on driving into a wall, then they probably will.
(3) Skills to execute:
This may be one of the most important components of the fruition-realization equation. You might have a clear mind, a clear idea of what you want to do, but if you don't have the skills to execute it, bringing it to fruition is not very likely. Just imagine you're going a vacation and you know exactly where you want to go, you have a map explaining exactly how to get there, yet, you have no gas in the car. It might make things a tad bit difficult.
So the next time you set out to realize an idea or vision, make sure you run it through this checklist. It could mean the difference between hitting your mark and hitting a wall.
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