Taking Command of External Factors

Logan Damery

Tue Jan 19 2021 | 4 Minute Read

In life, there are only a certain amount of things that we have absolute control over. We have the ability to make decisions. These are internal factors. It’s the external factors that we have no ability over the outcome. (Bear with us - this topic can get pretty deep, but we will keep it as surface level as possible.)

Key Takeaways


What exactly are external factors? 

External factors are various circumstances, events and elements that we as humans have no control over. (To preface, all examples in this blog are assumed to be everyday external factors, not necessarily events such as tragedies.) 

For example, we have no control over the weather. Why should we allow the weather to influence our mood? Influence whether we practice or not? We shouldn’t because we have literally no control over the weather. But we do have control over how we react. It simply comes down to a choice.

How does this relate to music? 

The past year is a fantastic example of this. Most musicians were, and still are out of work over the past year. A lot of musicians have probably quit while others have chosen to adapt. Those who have adapted are the ones who have not allowed an external factor to ruin their career/passion/livelihood. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to why you picked up your instrument to begin with. Every day is a choice to continue no matter what happens around you in life. 

How do you overcome?

Let’s talk about some alternative ways of thought. If you find yourself constantly weighed down by external factors, know that this is okay. Being aware is the first step to correcting your mindset. Once you have awareness, you can start correcting. 

Every time you catch yourself in a situation where the outcome controls your mood/decision etc., stop yourself and decide in that moment that you will not be moved based on said situation. This has to be a recurring shift. Every time you are in this situation, you must actively seek change. Otherwise, you will fall complacent and never change.

Bottom Line

We can’t control much in life, but we can control how we react. This is all decision based. You have the ability to control your thoughts, your actions and ultimately your moods. It’s okay to feel negative emotions from events, but don’t allow it to get in the way of your productivity. Ultimately, our goal is to become better musicians. Don’t allow excuses and external events stop you from achieving this!

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