Who can remember the songs of yesteryear that always kept us upbeat?
Whether it was the the crazed antic of David Lee Roth on stage singing to synthesising rock tunes, to the dance club melody arrangement of The Pointer Sisters, or the energetic pop-hip-hoppers fast talking duo kid rappers Kris Kross, and let’s not forget the slamming horn fanfare intro, high pitched squealing sound of House of Pain.
What do they all have in common? One word: Jump.
Jump was and always has been the word that’s been trending when it comes to getting us out of our seats and onto the dance floors. Whether it’s fully letting go or just amiably humming to the tunes, Jump- is it!
But how can we translate this evocative and visceral word into our everyday lives especially in the world of business and creativity?
It all begins with that little voice inside our heads which tends to speak the truth. That small voice that nudges at us constantly, regularly and we just have to channel into its frequency more often and go with our gut feeling.
It’s about vocalising it further and building it up from its source of smallness into something bigger than it should be. And about trusting that part of us instead of running from it.
Sometimes we get pitted with the logic side of things against the emotional one; choosing between the big voice of reason or the little voice of emotion. So, It’s really about turning up the volume on our little voice and turning down the volume on everything else.
To go our own way and find our identity. To jump, but, with a small jump to begin with. It doesn’t have to be going off a diving board into the deep end. A good jump is much more like walking from the shallow end of a pool, starting with getting the tip of your toe wet in the first step, and then the next step and the next step. Soon the water is waist high; it comes up to the middle of your stomach and maybe eventually up to your shoulders. Then at the very point at which you have reached the deep end, are comfortable with the risk, and feel like you have solid footing beneath you, or you are at least comfortable in the uncertainty of being in the deep end… that’s when you go for it.
It is a known fact that if we are to make progress in anything in life we have to jump and jumping can be scary, threatening, debilitating all those rolled into one but then again it really depends on how far you’re willing to jump because at the end of the day there’s a difference between crazy and stupid. The difference lies in knowing when to jump.
Big change happens in small ways, and it happens by choosing one thing after another after another. Some days it’s boring. Other days it’s a slog. Creativity has winter and droughts. To jump shouldn’t be that scary leap that we hear about having to take, it’s very much a giant to do list of little items that gradually build up over time into something fantastic. For example if it’s working on your showreel, portfolio, website or business plan; collating information from the internet; doing further research on google about your target audience; putting the elements all in one package; formalising an email; sending out emails; working on your pitch; making phone calls to potential customers or clients; getting feedback; taking notes and gradually progressing from there on. That’s how a jump starts. You prioritise learning as much as you possibly can and then jump to learn.
At no point in life is the ‘right time’ to jump. If you ever think ‘I’m not ready for this jump and don’t feel it’s the right time’ then you should be aware that it most definitely is.
Because if you’ve planned it out along the way, you’ll have created a situation where the actual jump isn’t as risky, and the stakes aren’t as high if it doesn’t work out. Yes, you may have made a mistake but you will be able to live with it.
Luck will always find you if you stay in the game and never stop moving. You just have to jump to experience it. When you make the jump you put an idea out into the world and see what happens. Some things are an immediate hit and some things aren’t, but that’s not to say that an idea is not going to have its time and is not going to come around in some way later. You just don’t know. But if you don’t take the jump, and you don’t put those things out in the world and put yourself in the position to get lucky, you don’t stand a chance.
Everybody wants to be doing something creative and something that they love. The most competitive market in the world is doing what you love. And the person who works the hardest is the one that’s going to be able to succeed.
That’s why jumping to follow your passion requires much more discipline than it does passion. Passion wears off after a few months but discipline shouldn’t.
If you’re still not convinced, here’s a good test: think up the WORST possible outcome of jumping and see how bad that looks. If you really want to try for something and you think about it every day, and it’s what’s in your mind when you go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning, the eventual pain of not trying for it is always going to be greater than the pain of trying and failing.
How many times have we come across a situation were our mind was holding us back from going forward; how many times have we faced a quandary about whether to go the left or the right route; how many times have we stopped ourselves from doing what was necessary only to look back at that moment and regret not doing it?
When you are eighty years old and in a quiet moment of reflection thinking about your life stories, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end we are our choices. So be sure to build yourself a great story by jumping every now and again.
What sort of book are you writing for yourself? Do you want to look back and say, ‘I worked another twenty years at this job that was never particularly meaningful for me. That was nice.’ Or do you want that story to be different?
If there’s one thing you can take from this article is the necessity to jump, every day. We saw at the start how bands made their success from a simple word but for us it has to be more than just that, it has to be a statement, a proclamation, a course of life, that we must fully embrace and take on board.
One way of making it filter through is by putting together a list of your own favourite upbeat songs (preferably one of those will be a jump song ;-)) and listening to them when you need that vigour, an injection of courage and maintenance of discipline to get you back on your jumping course.
Finally, to come full circle from where we began it wouldn’t be a proper fit if we didn’t end this article with David Lee Roth’s lyrics to the four letter word that got this all started:
I get up and nothin’ gets me down
You got it tough, I’ve seen the toughest around
And I know, baby, just how you feel
You got to roll with the punches and get to what’s real
Ah, can’t you see me standing here
I got my back against the record machine
I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen
Ah, can’t you see what I mean?
Ah, might as well jump (jump)
Might as well jump
Go ahead and jump (jump)
Go ahead and jump
Let’s get out there and do a DLR and start the Jump!