I'm going to take a tiny breather from my retelling of the "Meg and Dia" story to talk about a little bit of what is happening now. I'm in "The Dip". One of my favorite business writers of all time is Seth Godin. I spent all of last night devouring one of his books, "The Dip", trying to search for answers to my personal situation. I kept hoping to flip a page and have the next paragraph say in big, bold, high-lighted letters, "O.K. Meg this is what you need to do. This is how you need to do it. And I KNOW this is the RIGHT decision." But I never found that paragraph, and so his book is only receiving 4.75 stars out of five from me.
"The Dip", writes Seth, is that place that a person arrives at after toiling for many years and getting past the fun, exciting part of the new activity where every aspect is going splendidly. All of you know what I'm talking about. Maybe you tried to learn the piano, or perhaps started cooking, or maybe you are learning a new language.
Let's take "learning a new language" as an example. Of course, I'm a sucker for Paris, so let's say you want to learn French. Well, the beginning part is super exciting. You have a big grin on your face all the way to the book store to pick up Rosetta Stone for French. You spend the entire first two weeks drenched in all those pretty foreign words. Perhaps you even throw a little "I'm learning French" party complete with chocolate croissants and real sturdy coffee. You learn to say a few useful sentences which you constantly recite to your ever-more irritated pals. "Where is the bathroom?" "You look pretty." "Can I have some more, meatballs please?"
|The Dip by Seth Godin|
And then the dip happens… You know, the part where the learning process becomes REALLY difficult. Your new activity has lost its novelty. You begin to question whether you actually want to go through all the trouble, if it's worth it in the end. Maybe the Eiffel tower totally sucks in person and everyone smells like pasta sauce. Who needs that anyway?!
I've been in the dip when it comes to my guitar for about two years now. I never seriously would consider quitting, but the thought does flit momentarily through my mind...every day.
Not many people make it out of the dip. That's why so many people drop out of law school and medical school. So many people accept mediocrity.
Seth says if you can make it out of the dip, you are one of the scant few. The Dip is basically a filter that filters out the serious from not-so-serious. This creates scarcity and is the reason why the super stars of the world are SUPER STARS! They are "The Best In The World". When I spotted that phrase in the book for the first time, I flinched a bit.
The best in the world…
When I think of the best in the world, I think of Jimi Hendrix, Steve Jobs, Bob Dylan. You know, people who, if they didn't start the culture, were a HUGE contribution to it. Seth says, if you can't be the "best in the world" at what your doing, than he gives you full permission to quit. He doesn't suggest quitting in a condescending way or in a looking-down-on-you way. He says it in a very constructive, positive way. Sometimes quitting on the thing that you'll never excel at is the best thing you can do for your career, your relationships, your life, because it allows you to start working on that thing that you were meant to do. You ever heard of Steven King? Well, did you know he studied to be a doctor and went all the way through medical school, years of his life spent at the university, only to decide that cutting people open wasn't for him, and he'd rather be a writer?!
I guess I'm saying, if your in the dip, really think about what you REALLY want, because maybe it's worth it to press on, and...maybe it's not.
While reading this book, I had a huge moment of admiration for my sister, Dia Frampton. She's had a lot of success this past year, but even so, just observing the recent past tours she's been on, I know it hasn't been all cakes and ice cream... (o.k. maybe it has for her. Ha ha. But you guys know what I mean!) She'll never stop, and that's why she's going to be "The Best In The World" some day:)
So, I'm just hanging out in the dip today. I'm thinking about setting up camp in the very bottom of the dip, maybe set out a "welcome rug" outside my tent and hang up a clothes line.
While playing my guitar today, going over and over the arpeggios of a "Dawes" song I'm working on, my whole body started rocking….back….and forth…back…and forth. It was like my guitar was holding me like I was a little kid and telling me, "Listen Meg. Listen to how beautiful and sad this melody is. Let it hold you for now."