• Side Note Blog


Updated: Aug 24, 2020

4 things you can do to always stay ready

Opportunity doesn’t make appointment; you have to be ready when It arrives” – Tim Fargo

Do you remember the incredible story of Salif Gueye? The 22 year old French Street Performer who went viral in 2018. In an interview he had with a French TV station France 2 he explained his incredible journey. He had always had a passion for dancing since he was a kid, after watching Michael Jackson on TV his passion became his obsession, so what did Salif do, he practiced like crazy, uploading his content online when he could. Years went by and he did not loose faith, instead he enjoyed just doing what he loved and finding new ways to improve on his skills. Then on a faithful day in 2018, he made a video of him dancing on the streets around the Stravinsky Fountain near Paris’s famed Centre Pompidou, a hot spot for artists and tourists in search of culture in the city of lights. A friend record Salif’s smooth, self-taught dance moves as he danced to the MJ song in front of a crowd of people eating at various sidewalk cafes. Anyways, so this was just going to be another video of him dancing like any other, and somehow this caught the eye of Basket ball legend Lebron James who shared the video on his pages and that’s how the magic happened, he became a viral sensation and the video quickly appear on almost all the US celebrities social media pages, he appeared on the Helen DeGeneres show and made an appearance on the NRJ music award show. Salif’s life changed for the better as a result of that video!!!

Randy Chriz Perera is a YouTuber and a huge Eminem Fan. He makes animated videos and shares them on his channel, he has been crafting his skills for as long as he can remember. Randy got on my radar this week for the following reason. He made an animated fan video to Eminem’s Godzilla ft Juice World. This video took him 19 days to make and its insane (I watch it and damn this boy is talented, if you haven’t seen the video go on YouTube and search for Eminem Godzilla Fan video): The video gained some traction online and then the Youtuber No Life Shaq reacted to it as well and Randy gained over 30k new subscribers and to make things even sweeter his video now has over 2.5 millions views and he recently got contacted by Introscope records (that’s Eminem’s label) who liked the video, and intend to share it with the rest of their team and are looking forward to working with Randy in future projects. Randy is in for an exciting year!!!

These two stories and am sure there are many more out there all have one thing in common, the people in these stories where ready when they had their moment, when opportunity came knocking, they were ready to go. Staying ready is what differentiates those who will ascend into greatness and those who will fall out of their dream, talent or passion. These two gentlemen had the passion, desire to chase their dreams, they spent countless hours perfecting their skills so when the time came, they were prepared to make the most of the opportunity which was presented before them. I personally know a few people who had an amazing talent and wanted to do great things with said talent but were not preparing for that moment and when that moment came, they could not leave up to it and they missed their shot. Most times opportunity comes but once, there are no do overs!!!

In today’s episode I am going to share with you 4 things you can do to make sure that you always stay ready and capitalize on your moment when it comes your way.

1- Practice:

“Hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard” – Unknown

Most people are born with a given set of skills they are innately good at (at least for those who are aware of this). However, being aware of this skill is nothing if you do not work hard to master said skill. Talent does not guarantee you anything in this world. The world is filed with smart people who have not achieved anything of significant, filled with talented individuals that never made it. Talent won’t get you anywhere if you do not work for it. In the end hard work always wins over talent. You have to be dedicated to your craft, give it your all, that’s the only way to make it. How can you beat a guy who does not quite? The answer is simple, you can’t, it’s just impossible.

Now practice, this should be easy to understand right, but the trick is really about consistency. If you truly believe in your dream and have the skill set (either innately or through hard work and learning), you need to stay ahead of the curve. I love music, I think I have a natural skill set when it comes to making music: Initially I was not putting in any or enough effort to improve and get better. I acted like since this was a natural thing it didn’t need much effort as I will always be able to write a good rhythm to any beat. This was until in my early twenties I realized I was not getting any better, for the first time I realized I could lose this if I did not take it seriously. This was a sweet wake up call, and so I started putting in the work to make up for the rest of the journey in which talent brought me. I basically went back to the drawing board to understand lyric writing, recording, taking vocal training, the whole package. See talent can only get you so far, you gotta leverage your talent with some hard work and a shit load of practice.

The best way to practice is to develop a good routine. Identify and set yourself a set of routines which aligns with your daily schedule, invest time in perfecting your hustle. I write at least one song every week and spend on average 8 hours on the weekends learning new skills like video & photo editing. This is my routine. See there is nothing you can be great at without constant practicing, even when you are at the top of your game you need to keep polishing on them skills. Practice is forever, every great athlete, artist, business mogul, will tell you this is true any day of the week. Challenge yourself, push the limit, surprise yourself, as there is always new heights to attain.

2- Mornings:

One thing that determines how well you will apply point 1 is how well you start your day. How do you start your day? How are your mornings? Do you wake up feeling drained and can’t be bothered? Or do you wake up filled with energy and ready to conquer the world? I am a firm believer that if your mornings are crappy, there is a pretty good chance your day will head in the same direction. Remember that one guy in the office who is always grumpy? Whenever you walk in the office with your positive energy, they look at you like What The F are you so happy about? Who barely smiles even when jokes are being told? See that guy didn’t have a good morning, he probably woke up feeling exhausted, didn’t give himself time to settle in and jumped straight into “Do Mode” and went straight to tackle the tasks of the day without the proper mental equipment.

Your mind is like a soldier and you need to arm that soldier everyday with the right tools so they can attack the day accordingly. It is easy to start the day with load of energy and positivity and keep that momentum until bedtime: making it a routine. Here are a few things I do to ensure my mornings are always off to a good start.

- Sleep right: How you go to bed the night before will greatly impact how your morning starts, make sure before to call it a day and tuck in to bed, you be mindful of the following:

  • Listen to your body: Don’t wait for your body to be completed drained before going to sleep (listen to your body, when you are tired sleep, no need to ignore this), this will mean your body is on overdrive and will require extra hours of sleep in order to be optimal, and chances are that you will wake up quite early either to get to work or school etc. The average person sleeps under six hours a day: that’s not optimal if you ask me. Give your body enough time to rest so it can support you when you’re out there chasing that bag. Trust me I do know there are some nights where you have to burn the might night oil, I’ve been there but don’t make this your routine as in the long run your body will crash and you will need a much longer time out of the game to recovery.

  • Switch off all lights: Turn of TV Set, set phone on do not disturb, turn off room lights, etc. Basically, anything that will prevent you from getting into the calm state before you snooze off. It allot harder to fall asleep if there is some blinking light from your laptop, or when your phone keeps buzzing from all the notifications from your social media apps.

  • Meditate: I personally like to either meditate (visualizing my goals for the next day) or do some mental gratitude while I lay In bed during those few minutes before I go to sleep. This ensures I go to bed feeling grateful and calm in my mind and I observed this leads to me waking up with the same frequency.

- Pause: Most people would jump out of bed, rush to the bathroom, clean up, get dress, grab a coffee and their off to work. You must give your mind the time it needs to collect itself. I always say its important to set your alarm at least half an hour before the time you need to start getting ready to leave the house. I wake up every day at 5:30, use the half hour to forty-five minutes to mediate, exercise (sometimes 😉), practice some visualization before getting ready (shower, clean up, clothes) and leaving the house for the day. You probably will not need the exact half hour but it is important to give your mind the time it needs to get squared in on what your goal is and your plan before you start your day as this helps you zone in and stay locked in on that motivation to face the day.

3- Checkpoints:

One of the biggest challenges we all face when we are trying to achieve a goal or dream, is the feeling of not really getting anywhere when the road gets long and tough: as it usually is. It’s like all the hard the work, time and dedication did not amount to much at some point. This is a misconception (unless you half-assed the work you put into your craft) as every action you take towards your goal is a step closer to the finish line. So, in order to be able to appreciate the little milestones you achieve, set yourself checkpoints: usually every month. A checkpoint is a reminder for you to take a moment, look back and appreciate how far you have come on your journey and the achievements, no matter how small you have attained. Keeping you eye on the price and staying ready is dependent on how you value the effort you put into your grind. Never overlook the small wins as these are the ones that will add up to the big win eventually.

I celebrate every time I write a new song, finished a video project, made a new connection with someone in the industry, or even when I complete a rough draft of what my next episode for the podcast will be. I treat these miles tones like mini victories, I hype myself up and enjoy the feeling that comes with accomplishing these. This is what keeps me going, that’s what gasses me up. Some of you are so focused on the end goal that you ignore the amazing distance you have covered thus far. As am writing this episode my podcast is not yet live, but I’m psyched about the fact that I am already at episode three and a few more episodes will mark the end of season one and we begin season two. Setting checkpoints is also a good way to make sure you stay on top of your game, if you know every month you are going to check in, you will probably put your best foot forward each month to get better at your craft, complete any set goals for that month, write that last chapter, finish that workout plan, design that last art work etc. These are the types of things that makes you stay ready without feeling overwhelm.

4- Awareness:

Awareness is a key ingredient in success. If you have it, teach it, if you lack it, seek it”. – Michael Kitson

What good is being ready if your unable to identify an opportunity when It presents itself to you? One of the Key set of skills you should have is the awareness of your surroundings, as this is how you will be able to spot people, circumstance and situations which will present the right opportunity required to take you to the next level. I have experienced instances where someone who wanted to break through in the music scene and was really putting in the work, but then his level of awareness was non-existent: couple of great spots came up for some shows which will put him on blast, but he did not see it that way and turned them down, same with the three other opportunities similar to the first. Safe to say he is still working on his craft and waiting for the lucky break. When you are on the come up, every opportunity is a good opportunity: there is no loose scenario, you learn and grow from all of these. You built a network and gain exposure: it does not matter what your passion is, this rule is a universal one. Take everything that comes your way, you never know which one could be the one that propels you to the next stage. So how do keep your awareness at a high level so you can source and identify opportunities which otherwise will go unnoticed by you? In my experience its all about how invested you are in your dream: you must eat, breath, feel the dream and in the best-case scenario become your dream. Its only in this state where you can put yourself in a position where you can spot these opportunities. I’ll give you an example: I am so invested in my passion that I automatically put my self in positions and situations where I can be meeting new people (digitally or in person), and spend hours looking for gigs, reaching out to DJ’s and being on the constant look out for new situations which can prove beneficial to me.

By applying the first three points, you should be in a mental state which will allows you to spot some things that in the past will not even make it on your radar. It could be a sentence from a discussion you have with a friend, an idea you noticed but this time your followed through with it. See I believe everything, everyone, every instance or situation is sent to your life for a reason, that’s why I always ask the question “What is this trying to tell me?” every time I notice something unusual in my life: by asking this, what I am doing is pausing and acknowledging what has presented its self to me: most times these are the moment which creates the enlightened idea and takes you to places you never thought was possible.

By practicing these to the point where they are habits and occur almost naturally to you, you will be placing yourself to be always ready and prepared for when that opportunity strolls by. Just like the story of Salif, you too can make the most of that moment and bask into the fullness of your passion for the world to observe.

That is it for today guys, just to recap the 4 things you need to stay ready are: Practice, Set a good morning routine, Use checkpoints and create a good sense of awareness.

The road to success is a winding one but keeping your mind right and allot of practice will ensure you always stay ready for what lies ahead and eventually you will witness your own breakthrough.

Be sure to like and share this podcast with your friends, and if you want to engage with me, you can do so by reaching out on my social media page. Until next time stay blessed 😊.

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