"Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." - Goethe
This is a guest post by my friend, Achim Schreiner, about his own journey to living an extraordinary life. I am always inspired by what Achim has to say, and am deeply touched to hear that he finds my posts and those of my contributors here at Rousing Rowena, likewise inspiring. - Ro.
Reflections - by Achim Schreiner
I have to confess that your blog and contributions, as well as the ones of your marvelous friends, are a continued and daily inspiration to me, especially these days, where I have to struggle with certain physical issues. I've been reading about your personal struggles in the last 16 years and how you found your way to go and the way you see yourself now, leading an extraordinary life in so many ways, which is what you actually do. What an inspiration.
My own life has been at several junctions as well and, as always, we know of the importance of some decisions only afterwards. Being one of those kids which were different from those who go with the flow, I always wanted to lead an extraordinary life as well. Not necessarily in the material sense but in the way of doing something extraordinary which would make people remember who I was - to leave something behind one day which would remain in people's memories.
From early childhood I knew I would be a musician and/or writer. There was just no way of anything else. Impossible. Having lost my Dad at the age of 4 in a car accident didn't make things easier, even less for my Mum who had to carry on with 3 little kids and very limited financial leeway. Seeing my dreams almost broken, I started to work even harder to achieve little things. Selling things I didn't need, doing little jobs here and there, making a bit of money and saving it for my big dream, an electric guitar.
I was jobbing when my friends were partying, I was practicing guitar on my Dad's old acoustic guitar from the 1950's while my friends went to the cinema or elsewhere. It did hurt to stand at the window as a 14 year old and see my classmates walking by, joking and laughing, on their way to a party while I was "sentenced" to stay at home for various reasons. Where was my extraordinary life? It seemed to be disappearing in a puff of smoke.
But one day I realized that my life was indeed already extraordinary and I reflected about life, the things that really matter and how superficial and naive common life often is, lacking any kind of depth or sustainability. The "living for the moment" philosophy was, in my eyes, just another cheap excuse for the endless egoism which is getting worse every year. By 16 or 17 years of age, I realized how much more ahead I was compared to my friends and classmates at that time and that we indeed lived in two different worlds. I knew by then that all my working on myself, practicing, thinking and whatever else I did, would payoff in the end - and it did. By the age of 18, I already had written several hundred songs, was giving lessons to young aspiring schoolkids trying to do their first steps on guitar, was involved in bands and giving concerts. Seeing people's faces after they heard my songs - I could see in their faces that I had touched them. How much more valuable this feeling was than just being sad of having missed a party at 15. Receiving emails, snail mail and all kinds of messages and feedback about your music and how you move people, making them reflect, happy or even crying, is the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced, exceeding all my expectations as a kid. It feels really extraordinary.
I am not "super famous" like Phil Collins, for example and I don't need to be for what I'm doing. I already achieved what I always wanted to achieve. To lead an extraordinary life, feeling special and when I can make someone happy with what I do, I am the happiest man on earth myself first and foremost. When your life finally starts to revolve about what you can give to others, in whatever way this may be, and not what can I gain from this life (in a material sense), then you feel suddenly a harmony inside of you, a peace within which is hard to describe. You are just at ease with yourself and the world again. You don't whine, you don't complain anymore (because things always could be worse), you just try to make the best of it or to improve things for yourself and others without big words. Life can go many ways and we are only aware of the results afterwords. But we should never give up and always try to follow our inner voice, no matter what obstacles come our way. We learn an awful lot on our way to get where we want to be. These are the life experiences that make us become what we are and who we are. Extraordinary people.
Notes from Ro:
Achim is a multi-instrumentalist, session musician, singer/songwriter, composer and music teacher from Southwest Germany. He has three new albums out, and I am a great fan of his music! Later this week I will be posting my personal interview with Achim. In the meanwhile, you can learn more about him and his music by checking out the following links:
Are you interested in finding happiness through pursuit of your passions? Are you trying to figure out exactly what your passions are? In either case, I have some excellent blogs that I would like to recommend to you:
Now go out and live your extraordinary lives!