This week I had the exhileration of a First Time.
It was the First Time I have ever heard a song I wrote played and sung to the tune of a hauntingly beautiful melody created by my collaborator. I wrote the words to “Midnight In Soho”. David wrote the music.
We sat there in a state of exhileration, of intoxication, listening to what we had created come to life. It was a First Time and it was extraordinary.
There are many First Times in life but only a few that stay with you forever. I was in Paris a few weeks ago and I remembered, as I always do, the First Time I drove into that city to live there and to get completely lost in its romance. Hemingway said “Paris is a moveable feast.” It stays with you for life. He was right.
Sometimes, the First Time is forever.
I have thought a great deal in my life about what it takes to be successful.
To make a mark in a world that most just pass through, nearly invisible, accomplishing not a single thing of weight, of substance, that will remain long after they have vanished. Without a trace.
And as I have thought about this success factor, this ability to be someone who does more than simply take up space, someone who makes a difference, I have come to see that it relates back to the First Time.
We cannot dwell in the world of First Timeville. Absolutely that virginal experience, that first song, that big idea, that business of your own, that delicious experience of seeing an innovation you dreamed up and brought to the world — seeing that for the First Time is exceptional. But then building on it, improving it, nurturing it: that is where the masters separate from the dabblers.
They know that lucious as it is, the First Time is just the pathway to the Hundredth Time. And that if you have the right stuff, you keep making the First Time the driver of the next. Of the better.
More than 30 years ago, Steven Spielberg soared on to the world stage with Jaws. He had made films before, but in many ways, Jaws was his First Time. His restless pursuit to make a mark in life, led through the decades to films of war and holocaust and global politics. To his own film studio.
To the status of a person who changed the order of things. Who resisted the pull of gravity that keeps so many locked into small spaces, bundles of cells, human beings at most equal to the sum of their parts.
I once heard Margaret Thatcher speak about her career. How she had to blaze
a path to become the woman who ruled England. How the First Times – hear early political victories- were thrilling but just preludes to the battles she would
fight, against all odds, to be become a giant. One the Queen couldn’t hold a candle to.
“Midnight In Soho” is a rough cut. I am in love with it. But I know it has be a First Time that leads to a Hundredth time if I am going to be the force in the music business I know I want to be.
Not a dabbler. Not a blip on the radar screen. It’s all up to me.