Adam Savage’s Secrets to Success

The 2013 bagpipe competition is drawing to a close. The Worlds has passed and the big guns are loading up for the solos at Oban and Inverness over the next few weeks. Here in the eastern USA competitions are winding down with a fair bit of activity still left through September. No time like the present to be thinking about next year, assessing your musical plans, setting new goals, and otherwise reflecting on your music. Adam Savage of Mythbusters gave a talk recently where he talked about being a maker and outlined his ten secrets of success. It is good advice for everyone in any enterprise. Bagpipers take note.

1. Get good at something.
Really good. Get good at as many things as you can. Being good at one thing makes it easier to get good at other things.
2. Getting good at stuff takes practice.

Lots and lots of practice.
3. Get OBSESSED.

Everyone at the top of their field is obsessed with what they’re doing.
4. Doing something well and thoroughly is its OWN reward.
5. Show and Tell.

If you do something well and you’re happy with it, for FSM’s sake, tell EVERYONE.
6. If you want something, ASK.

If something piques your interest, tell someone. If you want to learn something, ask someone, like your BOSS. As an employer, I can tell you, people who want to learn new skills are people I want to keep employed.
7. Have GOALS.
Make up goals. Set goals. Regularly assess where you are and where you want to be in terms of them. This is a kind of prayer that works, and works well. Allow for the fact that things will NEVER turn out like you think they will, and you must be prepared to end up miles from where you intended.
8. Be nice. To EVERYONE.
Life is way too short to be an asshole. If you are an asshole, apologize.
9. FAIL.

You will fail. It’s one of our jobs in life. Keep failing. When you fail, admit it. When you don’t, don’t get cocky. ‘Cause you’re just about to fail again.
10. WORK YOUR ASS OFF.

Work like your life depends on it…

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