I called my friend Michael Jordan to wish him a happy birthday. Ok, before you think I’m friends with the basketball Michael Jordan you need to know that I’m not. My friend Michael Jordan is a musician; more specifically a keyboard player and a damn good one.
I’ve known Mike since high school and he first introduced me to playing rock ‘n roll music in a band. Over the years we have shared some great adventures, music, vehicles and many, many laughs.
In our recent conversation he was telling me about getting numerous phone calls asking him to play various gigs with various bands and how he makes the decision whether to say yes or not. He said he uses “The Music Triangle.”
- The Music – Who are the other musicians? Are they talented enough that the music will be of good quality?
- The Hang – Where is the gig? Will I enjoy the place and the people who will attend?
- The Money – What is the pay?
Since it’s all about the music, if the players are not at least as equally talented as Mike, it’s a no. If it is a group of talented musicians and Mike knows the music will be good but the gig is in some crappy bar full of thugs, it’s a no. The money is the last thing considered and there sometimes there are situations where it may cost him to play. Let’s say it’s a great group of talented musicians, playing at an outdoor festival and there is pay but not enough to cover expenses; probably a yes.
Now that you get the concept of the triangle you can start using it as a tool for deciding what activities to devote time to in your life. Let’s call it your life triangle and it would look like this:
- The Passion – Are you passionate about what you will be doing?
- The People – Will you be around other people who are also passionate about the same activity and will they motivate you
- The Pay – Will the time spent enrich your life and be worth the sacrifice?
Making choices in life needs to start with passion. If you are not passionate about something you won’t give it your best effort, you’ll possibly find yourself around people you don’t want to be around, and the sacrifice of your time won’t be worth it. How many times have you reluctantly agreed to do something you didn’t want to do? If you have, you probably said when it was over, “boy, am I glad that’s over with.”
So the next time something hits you up to get involved in an activity, apply the Michael Jordan Music Triangle to assess if it will be worth your time.
By the way, here is my buddy Mike Jordan with the Doug Hart Band.