It’s not about the 18 minutes…

One of my favorite songs and music video (from the MTV era…) was Van Halen’sJump!” If you haven’t heard the song (well, shame on you!) here’s how the lyrics go…

I get up, and nothin’ gets me down
You got it tough, I’ve seen the toughest around
And I know, baby, just how you feel
You got to roll with the punches and get to what’s real

Ah, can’t you see me standin’ here
I got my back against the record machine
I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen
Ah, can’t you see what I mean?

Ah, might as well jump
Might as well jump
Go ahead an’ jump (jump)
Go ahead and jump
Ow oh, hey you
Who said that?
Baby, how you been?
You say you don’t know
You won’t know until you begin

Jump!, MCMLXXXIV by Van Halen
Van Halen, Jump

I can’t quite explain what made the song so special to me but it sure was one of my driving anthems during teens. (Perhaps that’s why I “jumped” into conclusions! :-P) And David Lee Roth was one of my heroes. I might have listened to all his albums (from Van Halen days, didn’t have a clue he was focusing on his solo career as well… you see, Wikipedia didn’t exist back then) on repeat like a hundred times! No exaggerating a bit!

And the other day, to my surprise I got a notification for a new podcast download waiting for me to listen — the Joe Rogan’s Podcast featuring David Lee Roth! I was waiting for my flight to take off and boy, was I excited! I put on my headphones and listened to the whole conversation for the next three (almost) hours. It was the best three hours I could’ve invested. Getting to know one of your heroes up, close and personal is a great feeling. And it sure did leave me inspired and want to listen to some Van Halen right after I landed (despite that it was close to 5 in the morning and I hadn’t slept a wink the whole night)!

Of the many great things discussed during the interview, one insight struck me quite significantly. I couldn’t help but write it down.

When Joe asked how long did it take to write (the song) ‘Running with the Devil,” David replied...

I should well the true answer is: if you watch a thousand movies, many of the multiple times. If you played thousands and thousands of hours in clubs and bars. If you read 500 books and tried to memorize all the good parts. It took about 18 minutes! And it took 22 minutes to come up with the basic theme and the rest of it was improvisation.

And here’s the best part:

“But it’s not about 18 minutes. It’s the whole lifetime before… it’s everything that led up to that.”

I’d say read that several times before you go back to your life’s biggest frustration right now. It just may be trivial compared to what others, whom we think have ‘made it,’ have gone through. There’s always something more to what we see as an achievement or someone making a difference.

I guess it’s all about that arduous climb than reaching the top. Isn’t it?

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