My colleague, Ricky, has told me that as a boy, he and his brothers and parents routinely settled around a get-together campfire, roasting hotdogs and marshmallows, and inevitably his dad, in complete contentment whilst sipping a shot of whiskey, would herald the above statement to everyone (yet to no one in particular).
Reminiscing, Ricky related that his family was poor – not dirt poor, but most certainly a myriad of paychecks short of being in the well-to-do middle class. That crackling family campfire must have meant something very special to his dad during those gathering times. It could be that in those assembled moments, he was truly happy in the company of his loving wife and his loving children. It could be too, that congregating around the smoke and flames ignited within him a certain peacefulness, most likely something completely contrary to his daylight scrambling. Whatever was the prompt for that particular declaration, the richness and warmth of that evening outdoor fire was the perfect primal metaphor expressing the need and want for family within us all.
For we buskers, the I-wonder-what-the-poor-people-are-doing campfire statement sparks yet more Psychology Candies to crunch on for our sidewalk richness.
- Keep moving. Don't let the changes in life throw you completely off track. Stay the course, plan your busks, and channel your energy in this same regard.
- Believe in your performance. With each performance you gain experience to refurbish for the next.
- Embrace your sidewalk adventures. Know that the world is not out to get you. It is not the world that punishes you – it is you that punishes yourself. Focusing on what you have and what you have to offer gives you a more positive perspective.
- Recognize your street strengths. Direct these strengths toward your performances. Be good at what you do. Practice your weaknesses in private.
- Don't get greedy. Desire can be both motivating and detrimental. Wanting too much can prove to be painful. As you seek your happiness, keep your integrity.
- Stay thick-skinned. When it comes to public put-downs, be dispassionate. Be cognizant that some of your audience members have issues. Showing your ire will just add to their invectiveness and issues, perhaps even adding to yours.
- Disappointment is part of life. Disappointments are the psychological counter patterns to a life filled with plaudits and joy. Rather than commiserate, process your disappointments, take some action, rise to the next level.
- Kick your fears to the curb. Keep playing and focus only on your present performance.
I wonder what the poor people are doing...