I once worked with a classical guitarist who had just enough money to get by from day to day, and he thought it was somehow noble to be a "starving artist." He came to a class I was giving on goal setting, and afterward he asked me, "Will you be my mentor?" I said, "Yes, but I ask that you do something for me in return, for it's unwise to do something for nothing." In return for my mentoring, he came to my office and played the most magnificent music.
One day I said to him, "I know you love music, but if you continue to play without rewarding yourself, your love for playing music could wane. From now on, your conversation with yourself about being a 'starving artist' is not to dominate your life." I had him begin saying, "I am a highly paid professional musician."
You may laugh at that, because it seems so simple, but he began saying to himself, "I am a highly paid professional musician. Whenever I perform, I receive new creative ideas on how to become even more handsomely paid."
About three weeks later he said to me, "An idea came to me last night while I was playing. I'll record my upcoming performance with the symphony orchestra and sell the tapes at the end of my shows. Nobody seems to be doing it, but I'm going to try anyway and see what happens."
The very first night, 75 people paid $10 each for his tape. He said, "It was amazing. No one had the courage to do this before, but I just broke through my psychological barrier because I decided to be rewarded for my musical talent and art."
Most people ask themselves, "How can I afford to do this?" It's much wiser to ask, "How can I become wonderfully paid to do what I really love?" Ask a different question and you'll receive a very different answer to the same apparent situation.
That young man now performs in Europe and all over the United States. He has played at Carnegie Hall, at many other great venues, and with some of the major philharmonic orchestras in the country. Today he's a noted soloist who has published CDs, tapes, and books. He has more certainty, recognition, and opportunities, as well as a great deal more money and fame. He's playing more powerfully than ever and loving it even more, and it all happened for him when he gave up the belief and affirmation, I am a starving artist. You'd have a hard time convincing him he's a starving artist now - he doesn't say that anymore.
Now, besides repeating his original affirmation, "I am a highly paid professional musician," he also says to himself, "I am one of the great classical guitarists. When I play, even the birds and animals stop to listen." That man is certainly inspired, and it comes through in his music. He definitely touches people. You're not alive just to get by or survive. You're here to realise your grandest dreams even if we are in a so called "bad" economy.
The more you're willing to act on them, the more you become of service to yourself and others, the greater your self-worth, and the more you'll spontaneously receive what you would love.
When you're more willing to share your talents, inspirations, and gifts with the world, the desired gifts you receive in return will be even more abundant. Likewise, when you're willing to receive rewards for your efforts, you'll be less likely to lose heart and motivation for doing what you love. The more you're willing to receive, the more you'll be willing to give. You can't escape the two sides of doing and having, giving and receiving, in order to be.