Have you ever felt like giving up? This is one time when I gave up. This is from my book “Lose Your Quit’ and describes a time when I found my passion of music, then lost it after several “failures” and finally giving up. The point of this is that you never know when you are in the 99 yard line, so you should NEVER give up on your dreams! So many people quit just before they would have found success. Read this:
There was a time in my life when I was full of regrets. It seemed that my world had shrunk from endless possibility to sure failure. My kids were watching their 460-pound father struggle just to walk, not being able to tie his own shoes without holding his breath. I often wonder what went through their minds when I walked out to the pool and their friends were with them. I’m sure they were embarrassed. There was a time when I volunteered for my children’s school carnival. I was going to oversee the obstacle course! My kids went up to Darci and asked, “Where’s dad?” When she told them, they looked at her with sadness in their eyes. When Darci asked why they were upset they quietly answered, “Great. They’re all going to make fun of him.”
When my wife told me about that conversation later, I cried. I was an embarrassment to my children, a failure as a true provider, and anything but the hero I wanted to be for my family. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t always notice the failure, but I was lying to myself about just where I was in my life. Let me go back to the beginning.
When I was in high school I went to a concert. I never knew how to play guitar, and the ability seemed a mystery to me. But that night, I carefully watched the guitar player’s hands as he played. I watched as his fingers danced around the fret board while he plucked the strings. While watching him play that night, I realized something. I saw the relation between space and time on that guitar. It all became possible to me!
After that revelation, I was motivated to learn! And it didn’t hurt that I didn’t have a girlfriend and there were hundreds of girls begging for the band’s attention. But the mystery was solved because I looked a little deeper than most of us do. I searched for the secret and found that it was possible. I thought, “If he can do it, I can do it!” So I went home, borrowed (well, stole) my sister’s guitar and began playing; one note at a time and one string at a time. I was going to figure this thing out. I met a guitar player and he told me I was playing single lines and that was what the bass guitarist does, so I promptly went to the nearest pawn shop and looked around for a bass. I spent my hard-earned money on a hollow-body Epiphone bass guitar and a small Sunn amplifier. I took it home and went to work. And yes, the first song I learned was “Smoke on the Water.” Wasn’t it everyone’s?
Well, I heard of a band that practiced in Charlie’s barn behind the school. When I went in to watch them rehearse, I watched them play and a fire grew in me that I couldn’t control. Now the mechanism of being the best bass player in school appeared! My intention became clear and I was going to join this band! But how would I do it? Well, I asked if they played any other songs. The guitar player said, “Well, we want to play Detroit Rock City, but he can’t play the bass part. We also want to play The Trooper, but the bass part is too difficult.”
I boldly made a statement. I declared, “Those aren’t that hard! Why, if I wanted to, I could learn them in a week.” Then, at that moment, I heard the one thing that I needed to hear. I heard Robby say, “No you can’t.” Now, to me, “them’s fightin’ words!” I went home, pulled out the tape deck, and proceeded to wear myself out trying over and over and over again to learn those songs. It was tough, but I Lost My Quit until I did learn them! I got all the way through both of them without any mistake.
The next week I went to their rehearsal. When they were finished practicing, I said, “Hey! Let’s play Detroit Rock City!” They looked at me and laughed. I asked to borrow the bass and said, “Let’s just give it a try!” Well, I played my very first song with the band that day. And then I played my second. And the current bass player had played his last.
Music was in my blood. It was a natural ability to me. I had a strange ability to hear things that most just couldn’t hear in a song. My senses were just locked in. Now that I look back, it all makes sense. In the second grade I sang Country Roads by John Denver, and I remember my music teacher always calling on me to sing the solos. I learned harmonica when I was 10; I just figured it out. And the same happened with the bass guitar. I sincerely felt that I had found my passion. Music became my love and Land Surveying became my means to buy the equipment and pay for the studio time! My entire future had shifted by a single moment at a single concert. Over the next eight years I went from sitting in my room plucking a single guitar string to being voted best band in Greece in 1996. Now, that was two years after things took a slight detour.
I had just finished playing a few jobs with a band named PC Quest, who at the time was in Billboards Top 40. In fact, the last job I played with PC Quest was in Dallas as we opened for the artist who had the number one single in the nation at the time! PC Quest replaced New Kids On The Block as the number one “kid” band and the ticket to my dreams was about to happen. But then, some plans with RCA Records changed all that and I was left behind to stay in Oklahoma while they all left for Los Angeles! My dreams were shattered – again! This was the first time it had happened. You see, this is when I reached the 99-yard line I was talking about earlier. I lost confidence in my musical abilities. I began seeing myself as a second-rate player and not the “I can do anything” musician that I believed I was before. Well, just a short time later I tried one more time with a band named Unleash the Dog. But after a botched record deal with a label out of Utah, I decided enough was enough.
Again in my life, I had worked so hard and saw so little results. My quit crept in and I gave up on my dream. I asked my girlfriend to marry me and promptly quit the band. Darci was perplexed and asked, “Why are you quitting the band? You are so good! You love it!” But I was following that voice in my head that was telling me to quit. Remember, I hadn’t lost my quit or my 239 pounds yet!
*** If you find your passion, and love what you do, DON’T STOP DOING IT! Even if you have to do it in your spare time while working that “day job” to pay the bills, DON’T GIVE UP! Success might be just around the corner! ***
Order “Lose Your Quit” today to read about Danny’s time before, during and after The biggest Loser and find the motivation to pursue a better life today! www.thedannycahill.com