This morning Howard Stern Interviewed Neil young. Before the interview started I was hesitant to listen because although Mr. Young is a great inspiration to his generation, I don’t know his music. I am not part of that generation so I thought “this is not for me”. Lucky for me, I listened.
The interview revolved around Howard’s admiration of Neil. When the topic switched to his songs and his inspiration behind those song, I was about to tune out. I don’t know anything about Neil Young and I can’t name one of his songs. Then the conversation took a twist that hooked me. It went something like this:
HS – “When you get a song idea, do you record it into a recorder or your phone so you don’t forget it?”
Neil Young – “No. I stop what I am doing and I shift my attention to the song. If I had an idea for a song right now (during this interview) I would stop and pay attention to it. Songs are gifts. If someone gives you a gift you don’t put it aside and ignore it. You acknowledge and thank the person who gave you the gift and you open the gift. When I get a gift (song) I keep repeating it and repeating it in my head then I go into the studio and record. I acknowledge the gift and give it the attention it deserves.”
Wow! That stopped me on my tracks…literally. I pulled over and paid attention to that nugget and sent myself an email so I would not forget it. I took the advice and kept repeating “Ideas are gifts, pay attention to them and acknowledge where they came from”.
Often times I get an idea and forget about it. That idea may have been nothing or it could have lead to fortunes but because it was ignored and no attention was given to it I shall never know. I am certain I am not alone in this.
If I learned anything today it is this.
1. If someone successful in their field is opening up about what made them successful – Listen.
2. If I get an idea, treat it like a gift and don’t ignore it
3. I need to become familiar with Neil young’s music.