Has anything ever become so important to you that you thought to yourself, “I can’t live without this?” Do you sometimes have trouble “Letting go and letting God?”

In this episode of Creativity Excitement Emotion, David shares how to reduce significance and how that can help you unlock desired outcomes in your artistic career.


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00:17 – David’s discovery
00:34 – What does “reducing significance” mean?
01:08 – Desires are achieved in three ways
03:50 – How reducing significance works
07:04 – How does this apply to music?


Today I wanted to talk about something, I guess you could say it’s maybe a little bit esoteric. But I’m always excited about sharing my new discoveries with you as well as how they can apply to your music career. So, I hope you enjoy this. I hope you find benefit in it.

And today’s discovery is around reducing significance.

Now, I will do a little bit of work here to set this up. I’m going to lay the groundwork and create some context for you, so it makes sense.

But reducing significance is quite simply… sometimes you have big goals in life and you want them to happen. And because you want them to happen so badly, they don’t happen.

We just become more and more significant about it. It’s like, “This has to happen. Why hasn’t it happened?”

And then years go by, and decades go by and we’re wondering like, “What am I waiting for?” In those situations, one of the best things you can do is reduce significance. And we’ll talk about why that is.

Now let’s talk about desires here for a little bit. Desires are achieved basically in three ways. Okay.

So, number one is we set a goal. And we attain them.

All of these have their pros and cons, but we’ll get into that as well.

So, number one, we set a goal and attain them.

Number two is we imagine having the thing already. Because the mind doesn’t know the difference between reality and imagination, I’m not sure if you’ve heard that before. Assuming you don’t deny your imagination, whatever you’ve imagined is true.

Assuming you don't deny your imagination, whatever you've imagined is true. Click To Tweet

And the third way to achieve a desire is we cancel the desire completely. It’s just like, “God, I don’t care. It doesn’t need to happen. I don’t want it to happen.”

So, when you think about it, most people go about accomplishing using just number one, right? Brute force. “Let me just get this goal happening, I’m going to work my ass off every single day, get up at 5, go to sleep at 2, and work my butt off for 18 hours a day and get this thing happening.”

And yeah, there are things that can be and have been accomplished that way. But it’s usually not the quickest way. And sometimes it separates you from your goal long term. And I mean years and sometimes decades.

Or they use number two. In other words, they imagine having it, but then they immediately go back to striving, like using number one brute force, go back to set goals, set more goals, make it happen, make it happen, make it happen.

Now, of course, this is not a chat about don’t take actions. Not at all. I’m a big believer in taking actions and I take all kinds of actions daily to move my things forward.

And when I say “All kinds of actions,” usually on a to-do list, it looks like two or three things at most. But within those two or three things, there can be many things to do, so that’s what I’m referring to there.

In a way, we kind of undo what we did right? If we imagine having what we want to have and we can feel it, we can taste it, we can touch it, we can smell it, but immediately go back to number one… “Well, I just had a nice meditation, but let me get back to my desk and work my ass off to make it happen,” we end up negating the work we did in imagining in the first place. Because striving is a sure way to keep you distance from your desires.

As time goes on, the desire becomes more and more significant and seemingly unattainable, which is the very thing that keeps us distance from it. We keep noticing the distance between where we are and where we want to be, what we have and what we don’t have, what we’ve been striving for, what we’ve been trying to get, and all we can see now is the distance.

We feel further and further and further and further from it because what does striving do? Striving attracts more striving. So, we’re inviting more striving into our lives by striving for things.

Therefore, reducing significance, at least the way that I think about it. An act of faith. It’s saying, “Hey, I know it’s coming, and I can peacefully and patiently wait. I’ll go about my day knowing that my desire is on its way.”

But then the whole question is how do you reduce significance in such a way that you feel neutral about it?

I want to give you an example. And let’s say the example is “I want to build a seven-figure business.”

You’d want to look at a spectrum. “On a scale of 1 to 10, where’s my desire?”

Maybe when you’re first getting started, you’re somewhat neutral about it, but kind of unlikely, right? The reason people get into business is they’re excited. So, chances are you’re starting at a six or seven, and then the significance over time kind of inches its way up to like seven, eight, nine, maybe 10. And then it wavers between eight, nine, 10, eight, nine, 10, depending on the day and how you’re feeling.

It’s so significant and so important to you and the goal has become so monumental over time that it continues to create more distance between you and having it.

So, how do we reduce significance? How do we bring ourselves back to neutral or at least close to neutral… four might be a little on the negative side, but a five or six is perfectly acceptable, right?

You would say to yourself, you would start to imagine quote unquote, “negative scenarios.” It’s not like these are going to happen.

It’s not like you’re calling these into existence, but you just go to yourself, “Maybe running a seven-figure business would be stressful and it would just take up all my time.” You linger on that thought and that inner significance goes down by a point.

Then you say to yourself, “Maybe I would sacrifice my health. Maybe my health wouldn’t be so good if I was working all the time and then grinding the hustle.” That that brings it down a point or two.

And then you say, “Well, maybe my relationships will suffer if I have a seven-figure business.” And then that brings you back to about a neutral.

Now, look, you must keep this in mind. This is all made up, right? Because we’re the ones making the rules, always.

So, when you say stuff like, “When I follow my bliss XYZ happens and bad things happen in my life,” you created that rule. No one else created that for you. That’s an observation.

“Oh, that’s not true, David. When I went and bought my guitar, then suddenly I went into debt.” Well, maybe you put yourself under financial pressure that you shouldn’t have at that time, right? We still need to be smart about the decisions we make, but understand that, by and large, we are setting our own rules all the time.

So, using the method I just laid out, you can quickly reduce significance around that desire. You can take a 10 down to a neutral state, like five or six, which would be about perfect. Now you might have to repeat the exercise occasionally to get yourself back to neutral, but reducing that significance…

You’re still going to do things today, chances are, that help you move towards your goals if you even care about them, but now you’re doing it peacefully. You’re thinking of it more in terms of “There’s a Christmas gift under the tree and it’s sitting there waiting for me and all I have to wait for is Christmas and then I get to open it.”

You’re saying to yourself, “Where does this apply in music?” And there are so many situations when you start thinking about it where significance could easily enter your world.

Like, “I really need this person in my band.” How about that one? Ever felt that before? Like, “If we don’t have them, then we’re going to suck, and we’re not going to succeed, and they need to lead the band, and they need to write the songs, and we need their help, or else things aren’t just going to go that well.”

And you could be in that state, and you’re trying to call them, and text them, and you can’t get a hold of them. And it’s like, “Man, you did your work, and if they’re interested, or if things change for them, they might get back to you. But if you keep bothering them, they probably won’t.”

Reducing significance, this goes for boyfriends, girlfriends too. Sometimes reducing significance… It’s a good idea to go have a life, right? Enjoy yourself, post your photos to social media, go out and enjoy yourself.

You could start to say things like, “Oh, maybe having this person in my band. Even though they’re so talented and skilled and great at what they do, they’ve got a bit of an ego, and I don’t know if that’s going to fly in this band.”

And then, your significance goes down by a couple of points. Then you go, “You know what? There are a lot of musicians out in the world. And all we need is a keyboard player. Maybe we don’t need a multi-instrumentalist.” Things go down by another point.

Or how about this one? “I need this gig to pan out.” You may have many reasons, like, “I need to make rent this month some way somehow and not getting this gig is going to be bad.”

Or “I want this gig because it’s going to lead to the exposure we need and then it’s going to lead to the next gig, and the press opportunity, and all these other things that we’ve been playing and striving for and trying to get in our lives.”

That’s an easy situation to have become very significant. But you could reduce the significance of that by saying things like, “Oh, there are a lot of gigs out there and there are many that could potentially lead to the same opportunities, if not better.” Right? See, you can reduce the significance of that.

What’s another one? “I want to finish recording this track today. I don’t want to spend any more money on studio time. It’s starting to cost a lot and we don’t have the money.”

But, who’s to say? You might have that money come in. But, like I said earlier, we don’t want to be naive about this stuff either.

So, “Maybe if I go and have a good night’s sleep and get proper rest, it would be better to come back to the studio and finish it the next day.” Or “Maybe there’s an idea that I would have if I was given a little bit more time that would turn this track from 9 to 11.”

There are always ways to reduce significance and be at peace with everything knowing that the outcome, the thing that you’re looking to create, the desire that you’re looking to create, is coming in. It’s on its way. It’s almost here. And there’s no striving to be done. There might be actions to take, especially inspired actions, but there’s nothing else to do. It’s on its way. It’s coming.

So, that’s what you want to do is focus on the result and the universe can take care of the rest. In the meantime, don’t become too significant about things. Go about your way. Enjoy life. It’s already on its way.

Focus on the result and let the universe take care of the rest. Click To Tweet