Outside of the Limelight

limelight“The limelight isn’t the only light worth seeking. Achievement is often anonymous. Some of the greatest achievements have been accomplished by people you’ve never heard of. Quietly dedicating their lives while improving your own.”

I have to be honest, this quote was in a TV show last week, but I thought it was great and it basically inspired this whole post.

We often think of the music or the art that we make as something to show off, or be at least known for. We think if we are that special, we must be headed for greatness, notoriety, and our time in the sun. But sometimes our creativity, our work, and our service are not meant for us at all. It’s meant for someone else, or everyone else, or perhaps just our serve to our Creator.

Many times our talent is best used in our own backyard. No, it’s not quite as grand as you’ve dreamed. And yes, I know you’ve had vivid dreams of singing in front of tens of thousands in a stadium. But I’ve had dreams where I’m flying through the air using a swimming motion, and that likely won’t come true either.

In truth, one of the great breakthroughs I had in creating a life in music (#musiclife) was when I started serving others and their dreams, rather than solely my own.

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” – Cesar Chavez

Hey, no one said this creative life would be easy kid!

It’s a life fraught with doubt, depression, and despair as much as it is prestige, accomplishment, and success. Those of us who attempt to make a life using our creativity face more obstacles and hardships than anyone would ever know. They see us on stage or online and think, “Wow, they have it so good. What an easy life!”

But they have no idea the struggle and years of work it has taken to get here. We didn’t just decide to get up on stage and be great. It took years of work, sweat, worry, tears, more worry, bleeding or numb fingers, and literally thousands of hours of study and practice.

“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” – Napoleon Hill

But we can be out of the limelight, off the stage, and behind the scenes and still have a giant impact…maybe even more. As much as I like my own music and stuff I create, the songs I’ve written, arranged, or produced for other artists who have then taken them out to the world may be my greatest work. I never saw THAT coming.

And maybe your creative work may or may not be for you! Maybe it’s to help others in some way, maybe even to find their own creative life. There’s nothing like spreading creativity.

“Creativity is a great motivator because it makes people interested in what they are doing. Creativity gives hope that there can be a worthwhile idea. Creativity gives the possibility of some sort of achievement to everyone. Creativity makes life more fun and more interesting.” – Edward de Bono

So think about how your music, your talent, or whatever you do may not only affectyour future, but the future of those you lead, teach, or come into contact with. You could be saving a life by living somewhat out of the limelight and bringing to others the creativity God made you to share.

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson

Have a great week!


Eric Copeland is a creative producer, composer, and lots of other things, and he regular infects people with creativity around the world. If you’re ready to use your creativity to help the world, contact us here!

More quotes on this:

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.” – Robert H. Schuller

“Art is a critical component in a well-rounded education. Art is the level playing field – no matter how rich or poor, tall or short, pretty or ugly to the bone, if you can draw, you can find personal fulfillment and build self-confidence. Art is the highest achievement of mankind.” – Lynda Resnick

“Helping someone come to a saving knowledge of Christ is the greatest achievement possible.” –  Charles Stanley

For more blogs like this one, go to http://www.forthecreativesoul.com

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