The Unlikelyness of Winning, a Primer for Songwriting Success

An Unlikely Team

I’m sitting here and thinking about the San Francisco Giants and their win last night over the Texas Rangers.  What strikes me is that this is a team that is somewhat different from the expected World Series team.  It has been touted as an accumulation of misfits and unlikely heroes, and they not only accept it but they revel in the title.

Whether or not you are a Giants fan, this team as it is now labeled, is metaphorical for the Spirit of America.  Unlikely winners!

This is not a little ” Go Giants” essay on how great my favorite team is, but it is a reflection on how we can extract role models from what’s going on around us.  Take me, for example.  By all rights I should be retired by now.  Most of my friends are retired.  I, however, have decided to do something with music.  It is the one thing I have toyed around with for most of my life and either have not had the time or the guts to see if I could succeed at it.  I have decided that now is the time.  I am an unlikely candidate for success.  And yet here I am knocking on its door and asking, no demanding, for a chance at it.  But I do not think I am the only one trying to do something as wildly crazy as trying to kick some musical ass for the first time as 67 years old.

I know there are a whole clutch of folk out there who are attempting to live out some impossible dream or another.  We’ve been told by some non-believer that whatever it is we want to do is not for us because we clearly do not have what it takes.  And yet we are bucking the odds.  I am a songwriter, I also want to be a recording artist and a well known singer, but you may be a weaver, a race car driver, an inventor, a writer of great books, a poet, but you are going to give it your best shot no matter what anybody else says to the contrary.  And while you may not actually win, you will not lose.

And contrary we are!  But the 2010 Giants baseball team are not the only model for success I have.  There are songwriters who are hugely successful and only have eight grade educations.  The point is that somehow all of us out there who are trying to do whatever bigger-that-we-are thing, realize one thing–we can only fail if we quit.  No one else can make us fail but ourselves.  And we will win.


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