Control freaks are headed to the Dark Side
But you can break free | Watch our new video on YouTube
My name is Stephen and I’m a control freak. I don’t always play nicely in creative spaces, I know I’ve driven away more than a few bandmates in musical endeavors, I overedit the work of my peers and I don’t do well on vacations when plans fall through. I don’t know why I am this way, but I suppose recognizing it is the first step toward recovery.
In Star Wars, Yoda says that Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, and Hate leads to Suffering. I think it’s the single most true thing Star Wars has ever said to its audience.
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When I’m writing music with a friend and micromanaging every note they play or chord they try to add into the song, I’ve seen myself quickly turn angry. Why can’t you just play what I hear in my head? Over time, I’ve learned to ask myself, “Where is this anger coming from?” And like the unmasking of a Scooby Doo villain, after searching that emotion, you discover something else underneath. Fear. Always fear. The question is of what? When making art it’s usually an unstated fear of my work never being appreciated. It’s fear of criticism or deathly silence. And so spontaneity gets crushed in favor of tight control over the making of art. In writing it is my fear of being misunderstood. On vacations, it is my fear of not being seen by my child as a provider. I fear I won’t be able to give her the opportunities I was given, even just trivial things like a well-ordered and comfy vacation. I crave to be seen a certain way. When I’m not, I get mad. But every day I’m improving. Are you?
Above you’ll find a new video from us on YouTube. It’s 5 reminders from my talks and interviews about Star Wars to give up some control, to embrace a little uncertainty, to accept that some things are beyond your control.
I made this video for all of you because I know I’m not alone in this, and I’m the one who needs to hear it most.
I know someone smart said this, and I can’t remember who, but most of the advice we give others is advice we’re trying to give to ourselves.
Have a great rest of the week. This is the way.
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