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Every year I like to take stock of what's happened — the good, the bad, the things I could have done better, and the things I excelled at. Now just two weeks from Thanksgiving, it seems especially appropriate to reflect back on 2017 and find gratitude in what the year provided.
Musicians, especially, have a lot to be grateful for. So, if you're struggling to find the good in an otherwise tumultuous year, or if you just need a little reminder of why you and your music really are incredibly special to this world, here are five things to be grateful for.
1. The opportunities you’ve been given
Every opportunity you’ve been given this year, no matter how big or small, is something to be grateful for. While it’s sometimes easier to find gratitude in giant opportunities — like signing to a label, playing a festival, or getting a licensing deal — there is just as much pleasure in the smaller ones. Like an intimate show that introduced you to a new band or found you new fans. Or the lessons you learned at a conference or from getting to network and meet as many people as possible.
Every opportunity leads to new introductions, opportunities, and lessons. Learning to identify and be grateful for those stepping stones is what gives you the energy and perseverance to keep building towards those grand opportunities.
2. Your fanbase
When you’re still growing, it can be easy to get negative about a small fanbase. But even if you have 10 superfans, you have a whole lot to be grateful for. After all, those are the champions of your music, your message, your everything when it comes to creating and putting out music.
Your fans are the ones who are going to shout your name from rooftops, tell their friends about you, and help get you where you want to go. Not to mention, you’re influencing the lives of other people. Which brings me to…
3. The impact you’ve made
Never underestimate the impact you’ve had on the people around you, especially when it comes to your art. To someone out there, your lyrics mean everything. You taking five minutes to talk to someone after a show can change his or her life. Your band taking an interest and communicating with a fan in person and online makes his or her day. I know this because I’ve been that fan to many local bands just starting their careers.
Never take for granted the impact you, your music, and your actions have on others. It’s incredibly humbling when you realize you’ve made someone’s life better just by doing what you love. That’s something to be incredibly grateful for.
4. Your creativity
When you’re under the pressure of creating new songs, compelling content, interesting merch, and putting on an engaging live show, it can be easy to forget that this kind of creativity doesn’t come naturally to everyone. The beautiful piece of you that can create an incredibly catchy chorus, or excel at your instrument of choice, is not something just anyone has. Being grateful for the talent and creativity you’ve been given, and the way that it can change the lives of others, is one of the fundamentals of gratitude.
5. The opportunities still to come
Learning to express gratitude for the things that haven’t yet manifested is one of the fastest ways to bring your dreams to you. The more you believe in your dreams and believe that they are coming to you, the more confidence you’ll possess, the more inspired you’ll be to work hard, and the more grateful you’ll feel for every little thing that goes your way. Taking into account the rule of hard work, putting in your 10,000 hours, and the law of attraction, you will begin to see new opportunities pour in. So get excited and get grateful. The best is yet to come.
What are you grateful for this year? Let us know in the comments!
Angela Mastrogiacomo is the founder and CEO of Muddy Paw PR, where her artists have seen placement on Alternative Press, Substream, New Noise, and more. She’s also the owner of music blog Infectious Magazine, as well as a PR coach. She loves baked goods, a good book, and hanging with her dog Sawyer.