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When I see those of my close friends who are thriving artistically, I wonder what would have been my life had I continued being a full-time musician. I look back and wonder, “Could I have done differently?” “Did I take a different path because I was feeling insecure?” ”Wouldn’t it be awesome to know I am giving my all to be in the top 10% (or 3%) of most talented musicians in the world?”
The error in this way of thinking is that much of what I have been able to accomplish in the last couple of years— traveling the world every three months, reading hundreds of books, training consistently my body, deepening my spiritual practices and slowly building a career as a life coach— has only been possible because of the choice of diversifying and exploring other dimensions of life at the cost of decreasing the intensity of effort and time I was giving to music.
Was the call for being a generalist and exploring more of life beyond music something I made up out of nowhere? Or was it a sign of a deeper part of me that I could no longer ignore after some point?
I can trust that I am at this moment where I need to be. It is not an accident. Even the irrational choices of the past made sense within the context in which they were taken. Past decisions can be judged as stupid with future information, but it is never obvious what is the way to go when you are in the middle of the mental fog of your own deepest insecurities, confusions, and polarities.
Many of the “wrong” decisions may have come as a result of emotional wounds, lack of support and encouragement, or toxic beliefs and behaviors that were conditioned in us during childhood. Maybe most people (had they been in our shoes)— literally lived and held the baggage of experiences, goals, fears, virtues and flaws we hold— would have taken the same decision we did.
Yes, sometimes we make the mistake of changing routes or abandoning an aim too early— a creative project, an entrepreneurial journey, a love relationship. Maybe we were doing perfectly fine, and it was just a matter of time before the results of one’s effort could have flourished. But even if this had been the case… can’t we just go back on track? Is it really too late for you to reaffirm your intention and commit to the vision of how you want to live your life from now on? Yes, some opportunities will surely be gone by now, but as long as you and I are breathing… we can still play the game we most care about.
After a deep breath, it surely becomes more evident that “this life” I have at the moment is the one I have chosen from the many lives that were available. I hope you feel the same way. It surely won’t be a surprise if the insecurity comes back again in the future… and that’s okay, I am ready to remind myself that “I am doing the best I can with the resources I have.” If only I remember to look around and acknowledge every aspect of my blessings— those which millions would give their lives for— I will realize is not worth losing myself in all the fantasies of what life could have otherwise been.
With all love,
Santiago Barragan Noguera
Coach & Educator — Artistic Polymath
Copyright © 2023 Santiago Barragan Noguera. All rights reserved.