Part 11: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Hello and welcome back to my 11th installment of my blog and my story. If you are curious about the previous events, feel free to go back and read the older postings.

Time flies once you graduate from high school or college and looking looking back now on the events and career turns I took, I am not sure if I could or would do it all over again. I know there’s this cliché when successful people are asked if they would do everything the same or if they had any regrets and the answer is always, yes, I’d do it all the same way or over again or no, I have no regrets….perhaps it is easier to say once you are at a point in your life or career that has confirmed your believes and hard work and has rewarded you positively in any kind, thusly confirming your choices and actions….but what if that wouldn’t happen? You are hard working, sacrificing and getting older and still not have gained any movement, direction or rewards from your commitment to the life you choose while your friends move on and succeed and your family and friends are asking you why you are wasting your life.

I have had my fair share of dark moments and concerns and insecurities and it is only normal to experience these emotions as one is looking for reassurance that we chose the right path.

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Remembering my college time and when things were “easier” and realizing that there’s only a hand full of my fellow school mates that are still perusing a career in music actively with no “day job” to subsidize or have moved on to something completely different made me realize that I am still doing ok. Of course, I have missed chances with big auditions and gigs, career opportunities and, connections and teaching appointments, and belong to a forgotten generation of guitar players (my definition of guitar players that came up during the age of Grunge Music and then in the 2000s the wave of NuMetal)…I have lots of friends who made it (popular definition for a musician who either tours with a big act or became a big act) and yes, I get asked a lot why I am not doing this or why I am not….and it is like a needle in the heart every time it get this question because it is belittling my efforts and my music and seemingly takes away my pride as a musician because I am being categorized indirectly as a failure….well….if you want to accept this. It takes luck, you would say, right? Well, luck is when preparedness meets opportunity but what when these 2 elements never meet? It takes a lot of energy to be motivated, to express your creativity, feelings and thoughts and to not give up.

I guess here’s another cliché, to give up is easy and you never know how close to success you were really unless you stick with it. Both statements are true but also hard to grasp for most people since it’s such a common saying. Giving up actually is not easy, since a lot of times we have not though about alternatives or other things to do or gained other interests and skills, so giving up brings up a whole new problem, what to do after? I realize this very often when I reach this point every few weeks, but the I realize that I can’t do anything else…and I have never done anything else but music….sure I have other talents but again, this is a different life.

So, let me bring this to a clear and simple point. Ask yourself whenever you feel doubtful about your path, no matter what you do, is this the only thing you can do? Is there an alternative to your life or path? No matter what your answer might be, ask yourself first this, what does success or succeeding mean for you? Perhaps you already have “made it” and you have never noticed it because you are so engulfed in you trying to succeed in a goal that might not be the one you actually set out to achieve? Imagine the story of the carrot and the stick. Your goal is the carrot and you are following it, trying to get to it while your ego is holding the stick in front of you and thusly you move forward but will never achieve your set goal because it is consistently changing. 2 things will come from it:

1. You will be frustrated since you can’t seem to achieve your goal and give up (again, read the statement above and you will find that there’s no giving up)

Or

2. You will realize that your efforts lead you forward and also understand that because of added skills, achievements and growth your goal has changed and will keep changing.

Once you realize that there is no option but movement, no matter what you do, you can see the good and beauty in the path you have chosen. Understand that time, circumstance and actions make you into whom you are.

I have realized for myself that what I do is who I am and that is how people I meet perceive me as well. Perhaps it sounds silly but I do wear my heart on the sleeve.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

Part 10: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Hello and welcome back to my 10th installment of my blog and my story. If you are curious about the previous events, feel free to go back and read the older postings.

My 8th blog entry described the events of 2001 and how my last semester at Berklee began, with the events of 9/11.
It was a very shocking moment for all of us, and I don’t mean just the Berklee community, or America….I mean the whole world. These events took a whole generation’s innocence and hope. I could feel how the universe changed and altered life for everyone.

I think all of us students at Berklee were deeply in shock and we all tried to heal during the whole fall semester. I had only 2 credits left, one was Conducting 2 with Valerie Taylor and History of Art 2 with Henry Tate, who I believe really made a difference in everyone’s life and understanding.
I used my free time to compose and write music as well as trying to understand what I have to do next for my career and of course how to obtain a legal working permission after I graduated. As a kid of the 90s and growing into the internet age, I realized that careers are now made online and I began to post my music on a website called mp3.com. I am sure most of you reading this don’t even remember this anymore or have never heard of it but the business concept was very musician friendly and would pay per play and also press your CDs for you….I was able to release my first solo record on mp3.com called “Acceleration420″ and sell quite a few records and develop a fan base and audience. Additionally, I looked for work playing guitar in musicals and managed to get hired for quite a few musicals in Boston, all non-union of course and since I wasn’t in the union, I was prohibited from playing in Union houses, but I was able to earn a living playing in Boston’s Theater district.

Times weren’t easy tho. Most people stayed home since they were still in shock of the 9/11 events and lots of shows closed earlier due to low attendances….on the other hand, I noticed that the Hollywood Video Store on my way home always was completely out of movies…it certainly were interesting and confusing times. Once my last semester at Berklee came to an end, I had to make decision, should I go back to Germany or try my luck in America. I always felt displaced from “home” and there was nothing for me to go back to, so I decided to stay. I got all my paperwork in order and applied for a visa called Optional Practical Training or OPT1 that let’s me stay and work for one year in the field of my studies…..it wasn’t easy to be a musician during this time….

I worked hard and hardly made a living during 2002, I was determined to not give up and not get distracted by accepting a non musician job. I played a lot of musicals, worked on new music and taught occasionally lessons. Oftentimes, money was so scarce that it was a choice of paying rent or eating…and no, I am not exaggerating. I was very fortunate to have befriended a family that ran a pizza and sub shop across the Forrest Hills T station and I always had helped them with their computer stuff and other things. They really helped me out during this time, setting food aside for me at the end of their day and told me to come by when they closed so I could eat. I don’t think I could have managed without the generosity of some of my friends. But giving up was not an option for me.
The harsh winter of 2002 came to an end and spring and summer looked promising as I had put together a solo band to support my music and also a short-term employment at Berklee’s Guitar Session Program as an ensemble instructor….but that’s another Blog entry.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

Part 9: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Hello and welcome back!

It has been some time since my last entry and I am happy to be back and sharing my experiences and I insights with you.

It has been a long and tough summer but all this lead me also to new heights, insights and also tested my patience and strength. Perhaps you don’t know what lead me to start writing this blog. I had a running accident and broke my left clavicle bone. It is a complicated break and the injury lead to writing about all my challenges that I had in my life and how I overcame them. I hope by reading about my life and challenges I can help you in overcoming your own challenges or just give comfort.

I had the accident about 2 weeks before I was supposed to leave for 2 months to teach at Berklee College of Music and I was very concerned about my ability to teach, perform and serve as a role model for my students. As the time came closer to leave for Berklee I was very conflicted and also, honestly, very depressed as playing guitar and making music is a very important and intimate part of my being. I decided to go and find my strength while hopefully healing and regaining my strength and confidence. Upon my arrival in Boston, I felt a new surge of energy but also fear….will I be ok? Will I be good enough? I settled into my summer quickly and everyone at Berklee was concerned , helpful, supporting, and kind to me.

The first 2 weeks were the hardest as I had to get adjusted to being active again, walking, taking the train and slowly starting to play guitar again as my mobility of my left arm came back and my range of motion was being restored. Luckily, my hands and technique were strong and on a very high plateau. I had no time to waste since I had full schedule and several clinics and gigs to play.
During this time, I gained a different attitude and perspective. I tried to let things go, focused on good thoughts and healing and open up my mind to new perspectives but also let go of bad thoughts, needs and wants. To clean my mind and heart of the things that one thinks are important but are truly of no meaning and that certainly made me sometimes into bad person. Being made aware of these things are extremely humbling and painful but I think this is an important process in growing to become a better person and hopefully a better musician.

Sometimes, when my energies where low, because I tend to give myself 100% to a task, it was difficult to keep a good energy flowing and I found myself in deep negative thoughts. But ultimately, I think this is all a process of learning and understanding oneself.
I focused on what is important and on not dwelling in the negative thoughts that can consume one.

The challenges were great during my summer but I stayed focused on the tasked, and didn’t let anyone down, no matter what challenge was presented to me. There were many moments of smiles, laughter and the feeling that what I do is not forgotten and appreciated, especially when a student or fan walks up to you and tells you how much your music and playing means to them. This has happened to me numerous times at Berklee, or on the streets of any city and even in airports around the world.
And I even managed to impress Mike Stern a bit and show him a lick during my clinic at Berklee’s BPC while he was warming up in the green room.

Here is a little snap shot before a show at the Berklee Performance Center

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Ultimately, I learnt that my journey isn’t over yet but merely just begun and no matter what, I go my way, my way…..

On a side-note, my clavicle bone is still broken after 3 months but I won’t let this deter me from beginning my running training again and of course making music and touring again.

In my next Blog I will pick up with my story again where I left off in my 8th installment.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

Part 8: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Getting back on track and being reborn

Hello and welcome back to my 8th installment of my blog and my story. If you are curious about the previous events, feel free to go back and read the older postings.

After having spent a very challenging fall 2000 and spring 2001 semester, overcoming physical, mental and financial challenges. I had achieved amazing new things. I regained my strength and skills again and also have tapped into my a new stream of creativity. On top of that I had gained recognition of the school that I loved so much.

I still couldn’t believe that I had managed to turn my weaknesses into my strength, turned my limitations into the things that would give me freedom, new skills and ideas!
After over 1 year of pain,sorrow and agony, I rose like a phenix for the ashes, reborn and strong.
I only had a few credits left at Berklee and decided to go part time to give me a bit more time to work on my skills but also soak in more music and guidance.

I participated in the Berklee graduating ceremony for the class of 2001, since I only had a few credits left. It was very exciting and moving but unfortunately no one of my family couldn’t attend and I felt a bit lonely since all my friends and fellow students had family and friends with them celebrating. I guess everyone of the graduating class of 2001 was there celebrating with me anyways.

The summer proved to be quite eventful, learning more about my own self and realizing even more different skills and other things about myself and talents. At the same time, I was working already on my career, assembling a great live band and making connections on the big new thing…the Internet. I had a great “mp3.com” site and presence and the word of my music and skills as shredder spread around the world. I know these days all this might sound funny, but back then, the Internet was a lot smaller. I released my first solo record called “Acceleration 420″ and it became a great seller on mp3.com as well as many stream plays. I received many fan mails and inquiries about my CD. It was so exciting to see that I can move the world with music.

The summer came to an end and and I was getting ready for my final 2 classes at Berklee. The first day of the fall semester 2001 was on Tuesday, September 11. It was a warm and sunny morning. I had woken up early to practice before class (I always do) and was just sitting down while listening to the Howard Stern show when I heard about the first plane hitting the Twin Towers….

The story will continue in my next blog….

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

Part 7: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Overcoming your own worst enemy, your own mind…

Hello and welcome back to my 7th installment of my blog and my story. If you are curious about the previous events, feel free to go back and read the older postings.

Reexamining your technique, your thinking, and approach to music and guitar or in general to the things in your life can be quiet eye opening but necessary to change and improve. There might be many events that will lead you to do so. Mine were 3 unfortunate surgeries.

Redeveloping my technique and changing my playing to adjust my mind and body was one of the most important things I had to do to recover. It was as painful as it was liberating.
Working on my technique also required adjusting my mind and thinking. I understood that my limitations should be the starter for my creativity, replacing the “I can’t do this” with a let me change it, so I can do it or do something new and fresh based in the previous idea.

I started to develop a new repertoire and new sounds, breaking through the standard guitar playing and stylistic limitations, developing my own sound and voice. My new ideas and technique caught many of my friends, fellow students and teachers attention. Further more, it lead me to opening up new streams of creativity and possibilities. I wrote and recorded huge amounts of music. Sometimes, I had so many ideas going on that I was overwhelmed but I exercised patience and kept working. Even tho all this happened during a difficult time, I turned the events into something good for me.

The fall semester of 2000 and spring semester of 2001 went on despite extreme changes to be my most important and difficult moments in my life….and despite all this, I found myself. To my surprise, I earned “Outstanding Musician Award” 2001 at Berklee and also a few other awards and scholarship raises since I had gotten into financial problems since the death of my grandfather, I was in serious trouble of not being able to finish….but that is a story for the next installment of my blog.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

Part 6: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Challenge accepted….

Hello and welcome back to my 6th installment of my blog and my story. If you are curious about the previous events, feel free to go back and read the older postings.

I started my Fall 2000 semester at Berklee after a tumultuous year that included 3 hand surgeries and other challenges. I was determined to not be stopped by anything, giving everything my all and making my grandfather proud of me.

I had to regain control of my hand again and built strength and stamina. I already had worked on a new posture and easier way for me to hold and fret the guitar. That included shifting my thumb to the side and use it only as a guide and not to exercise any pressure upon the fretting hand. That shift also changed the way my fingers were able to stretch across the fretboard in a very natural and easy way. All this helped me in developing a very fluent and fast technique.

Here’s a few photos of my changed technique. This one shows you how I set my thumb to the side and keep it on the lower part of the fretboard, only to use it to stabilize my hand and guide it along the fretboard but not to use it to exercise pressure at all. All my fretting happens because of the perfect placement on the fretboard. I call it the “sweet spot”, this will enable your finger to produce a perfect note without using any pressure or energy. It will just happen.
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Further, as I had mentioned, your handspan will change from the traditional “thumb behind the fretboard” approach. Below you will find some photos illustrating the change.

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These simple changes and understanding how to produce notes out of the guitar without exercising any pressure enabled me to completely reorganize and develop my technique. Of curse it took time and patience but I was so committed to exploring and relearning the instrument that that was only a small price to pay.

It was another busy busy semester for me put I was completely involved into exploring my new possibilities and even tho, I occasionally hit some down sports, I kept on pushing and pushing, getting better and faster. At that point I had already been mentioned and quoted many times by different teachers in class and was able to demonstrate my skills as well as serve as an example to my peers that anything is possible, even tho no one knew about my hand surgeries and struggles.

In my next blog entry, I will talk more about listening to your body and furthering your physical and mental skills.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

Part 5: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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The challenges continue

Hello and welcome back to my 5th installment of my blog. If you are not familiar with my previous stories, I invite you to read my previous entires.

I had finished my spring 2000 semester successfully, both academically and also in many different personal ways. Strengthening my body and mind, figuring out my body and deal with an almost incapacitating hand issue and developing a new technique that let me play guitar in a new and very relaxed way. I was scheduled to undergo surgery as soon as I returned to Germany. Yes, I was scared but also relieved that this painful growth in my hand would be removed.

The surgery was successful but the surgeon had to remove more and reorganize my tendon shaft. This caused an inflammation on my tendons and I was ordered to rest from guitar playing for 6 weeks. I was very sad to learn about this as I had hoped to train and regain my normal hand functions but I was determined to heal and start new. Something else happened during this time as well, something very grave that I was not prepared for.

I had always been very close to my grandparents Joe and Inge. They were always there to help me and lead me to a life of music. I always spent a lot of time with my grandparents and I learnt so much from them. But while I was recovering from my hand surgery, my grandfather all of a sudden fell gravely ill and had to be rushed to the hospital. When I found out about his diagnosis, I was in shock. He was in the final stages of lung cancer. I couldn’t believe it. The man who always lived healthy, never smoked, was active and strong; a man who survived the war and survived the Russian POW prison camp in Siberia for 7 years, was falling apart right in front of my eyes. We decided to not tell him as it would have broken him and robbed him of his will to life and his strong self image. He passed away within 3 days and I was very lucky to have said good bye to him and see him for the last time.

I was so heart broken but I stayed strong. I had promised him to always be good and excel in what I do. The rest of the summer I spent with living up to my grandfathers wishes and be strong and work on my music. I managed to regain my hand strength again and after 8 weeks, I was ready to work again.

I left for Boston again to prepare myself again for the new semester and move into my new place.

My best friends and roommates Dimitrius and Felix are not only great friends but also amazing musicians and we had formed a deep friendship, like a 2nd family. We spent the remaining summer together and they helped me a lot with my grief that would sometimes over power me.

But the summer wasn’t over yet, one day I noticed that another growth had found its way into my hand; this time it was in the middle of my wrist, making bending or moving my fingers almost impossible. I completely freaked out! I thought all this was over…but it wasn’t. In an instant, I called my doctor and flew back. Surgery was scheduled the next day and this time it would be worse….the damage was far greater than anything I could have imagined. Nerve pain, inflammation and so much scar tissue that made moving my hand very painful. I knew it would be hard but I didn’t and couldn’t give up.

I worked through the pain, regaining control of my left hand and always figuring out a new way for me to play guitar. The fall 2000 semester had already begun but I was determined not to let me be scared….but I also kept it quiet. I didn’t want to have special treatment or thought of as weak. I know in hindsight that this was silly but I was so proud of being tough and also wanted to not appear imperfect. I thought I had to upkeep an image and reputation.

Little did I know that there would be more challenges and lessons to be learnt but this will be another entry for my blog…

This little song gives me always strength when I am lost…I hope you will enjoy it.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

Part 4: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Destiny strikes again or the painful way to get to the goal.

Hello and welcome back to my 4th installment of my blog.

This is the part of my story were things get a bit tougher. If you want to familiarize yourself with my previous story, please read the other entries I made.

My biggest dream came true, I had begun a new life, moved across the Atlantic and was finally studying music, expending my horizon and at the same time overcoming my fears that were so deeply ingrained in me. I quickly gained a reputation as one of the fastest guitar players at Berklee and even tho it was the late 90s and proficient guitar playing wasn’t so “in” and Shredding was dead, I forged my reputation.

The first year had ended and as promised I went bak to Germany and visited my family. I finally felt free and happy and I was able to deal with anything….or so I thought.

I remember it just like yesterday….on a Tuesday (1999) morning, just a few weeks before I was about to leave for Boston again I noticed all of a sudden a big bump in y hand. A mass sitting on the tendon of my thumb, making my left hand turns or thumb movement painful.

I tried to play guitar but it was very uncomfortable and I began to freak out. I consulted a few doctors and the consent was that it was a Ganglion Cyst and I needed surgery. This took me aback. All I had wanted in my life was to play guitar and now I had to face the possibility of hand surgery and a changed hand.

Since it was to close to my departure date I decided to wait and hope it would get better. I worked through the fall semester with a heavy heart and more and more this issue affected my hand, putting me in deep pain. However, I managed to hide it from everyone and no one noticed my issues at college but it was really hard for me. Everything took more time for me and I had to work so hard through my pain to be better than others….and yes, I know, it’s not about “being better” but since I was in a school with 4000 musicians it was only natural to be competitive.

I returned to Germany to have surgery on my hand during the winter break….and it went well. I woke up with a cast on my hand and slight pain but the problem was taken care off. I rested for a few days as instructed and then began playing again. I had a few studio dates for jobs lined up, so I needed to get back in shape…but the problem came back…and this time much bigger but I didn’t realize this until I was back at Berklee. I had decided to take 22 credits worth of cases and 2 private instruction credits since I was running low on money and my scholarship wasn’t much. I had set my goal to finish my Bachelors degree in 2 years. This should be the longest semester of my entire life….

As the Spring semester 2000 began and I was ready to begin but also scared. I kept myself motivated and practiced diligently and also began to experiment with different techniques and postures. I started to practice Quiqong to restore my energies and keep my body and mind and hands healthy. It was a tough semester but I was an outstanding student and musician and finished it with 4.0 average. When the semester ended I was exhausted but happy I overcame my limitations. I was ready for a summer break as I was about to move into an apartment in Jamaica Plain with my 2 best friends that I had met at Berklee, Dimitrius and Felix. I packed up my little studio apartment on Westland Ave and left for the airport knowing that I would have to undergo surgery again but I was prepared for it and ready to take on the challenge.

A little conclusion:

A very smart person once told me that we are given challenges and tasks that will make us stronger and grow into the person we are meant to be. We will not be burdened with something we can’t handle no matter how hard it seems. I believe in challenges and in the things it does to us in a positive way. This is why I have always helped and guided my family, friends and students through anything they needed help with and I always saw how everyone broke through their limitations.

In the next blog entry you will learn much more about me and the dark challenges that came into my life.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

Part 3: A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Part 3: Overcoming one’s limitations or how to discover your true self

Hello and welcome back to my 3rd installment of my blog.

… Fulfilling my hearts desire, to move to America, begin a new life and study music. If you are not familiar with my story, please read the previous entries but we can just pick up here as well….

All I wanted to do in my life was play guitar, write music, perform and be a musician. It was an urge I felt at a young age and always followed through. It wasn’t always as easy as it might sound. I grew up in a interesting family with divorced parents and a lot of baggage to say the least. My grandparents were always very supportive in my artistic endeavors and helped me a lot and exposed me to a lot of different art forms.

I didn’t have a very successful school career. All my life I was told that I wasn’t smart enough, I was harassed and teased by the kids in school, beaten up and laughed at….I had internalized so many different fears and inferiority complexes, I thought that I was worth nothing. I think nowadays, I’d be diagnosed as dyslexic or ADHD, but back then you were called slow, or you needed extra time or work to get ahead.

Music and guitar was something that lead me through all the fears and pain. It was an outlet for my creativity, fears, and reestablishing my self-esteem.

Fast forward to fall of 1998, I was ready to begin my studies at Berklee College of Music. Yes, a school, a place I always had feared…but this time it was the only place I ever wanted to be. It’s funny how one can be so scared yet so drawn to a place of education. I was given a fresh start, a new life and beginning in which I can decide for myself what and how I want to life it without fears.

My first semester at Berklee went by so fast, I didn’t even realize the months pass. I was engulfed in my studies…learning about music and also learning about life at the same time. These first months helped me even more to realize why I am on this planet. I noticed things changing in me and I got stronger and stronger. Letting go of all my fears. For the first time in my life I developed a sense of self worth and joy.

We all long for something that fulfills us and gives us purpose and no matter what our history makes us realize what we have to do in order to find ourselves and make this world a better place.

I was lucky to have finally found my destiny no matter how long it took or will take.

In the next part of my blog: Destiny strikes again or the painful way to get to the goal.

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

The story continues, A Musician’s Guide to Self-help, Encouragement and taking Action

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Welcome back to my continued story.

I left off my last blog entry with talking about a mental strategy I use to accomplish my goals and place me in the right track.

The technique I use is called Affirmation. It’s a very commonly used mental exercise to understand ones goals and needs.

Try to imagine your goal, picture yourself in the situation and be as precise and detailed as possible. For example, if you want to perform in front of 200,000 screaming fans with your band, imagine yourself on the stage, precisely imagine the details like your band mates, what you are wearing, what song you play, how the place smells, etc….then internalize this picture, take a snapshot so to speak and follow the trace back to your point in life and time. This technique allows you to trace back the steps it takes to fulfill your vision.

To me it was imperative to use this to get me out of the situation I was in and get my new life started.

After I took care of my father who miraculously recovered from a grave illness after one year and managed to get in touch with the only place I wanted to be, Berklee College of Music, I began using this method. I had no one helping me getting started, getting the paperwork, finding a way to pay for it and much more….but all I wanted was to play guitar and study music….I pictured myself walking the halls of this famous place, being a student and perhaps leave a mark behind so that I won’t be forgotten.

I managed, step by step, to fulfill all the necessary steps to be accepted at Berklee and I still remember when I received the letter of acceptance on March 17, 1998…. A week before my Birthday, my life made sense again. I began selling off all my belongings and gear. I had lived with my mom and stepfather since age 16 and it wasn’t a good situation. Lots of fights, conflict and tensions. So for me, leaving all this behind was not hard, the only thing that was hard was leaving my grand parents and brother behind who always had supported me. But I was ready to begin a new life 4000 miles away in a new country, alone.

I left Germany in late August of 1998 to be a freshman student at Berklee college of music in the fall semester. All I had packed was 2 suitcases and a guitar and high hopes for my future.

I wouldn’t have been able to do all this alone if I didn’t have a clear goal and determination.

But life was just about to start, and things got very tumultuous but this is another blog entry :-)

Thank you for reading and I hope this gives you inspiration and positive motivation to deal with life and events. Feel free to comment, share or just email me at lightspeeder1@mac.com

For more info, please visit my website

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