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Kevin Vinci is a musician with over a decade of experience with multiple instruments. Kevin is currently the Music Director at his Church in Canton, Ohio. Here's the top 6 topics I took from episode number 35: 

1) Always Learning

“I’m always growing. As an artist, the moment you consider yourself “there,” that’s it… You’re always learning.” - Kevin Vinci

I thought about naming the podcast “Always Learning” or “Living. Learning.” or something around that neighborhood, but it just felt cheesy. 

Nevertheless, the importance of learning have been made clear in almost every episode we’ve done, and this quote by Kevin embodies the spirit of what the guests and I have been pursuing this whole time: To learn. 

Kevin loves learning about music. I love learning about people. What do you love learning about? 

Now more than ever is the perfect time to love learning because of the ocean of information we have available to dive into. 

Whatever you’re interested in, you have a global “brain”  that you can tap into to draw education from. 

No longer are the days where you’d need to be extremely wealthy to get a high level of education, or would need to move to another location, or even meet people who are difficult to reach. 

You can simply use search bars found on Google, YouTube, Lynda.com, Coursera or even the Podcast app to find tons of information on whatever topic you’re looking into. 

It’s no longer the question of how to learn because learning is now more accessible than ever. It’s now only a matter of know what questions to ask the search bar and what to look for from there. 

2) 10 or 10,000

Kevin and I talked about the ten years or ten thousand hour rule coined by Malcolm Gladwell that presents the theory that to become a master at any craft; one must practice for ten years or ten thousand hours to get there. 

But the word “practice” is the crucial word in this concept because practice doesn’t mean merely showing up and going through the motions. Practice on the path towards mastery is considered to be dedicated focused practice that forces you past your comfort zone. It means committing yourself to an undisturbed time where you can focus on the deep work that will push you and your skills forward. 

In Kevin’s case, it may mean that he tries a new song that he’s never played and after he’s gotten the bars down pat, he might want to see how fast he can hit each note and making himself push himself past his comfort level. 

For you, it could mean lifting more, reading more, or trying out the other approach that doesn't make sense now but you have a feeling in your gut that it may make sense later. 

3) Taking What Comes our Way

During the podcast, Kevin and I talked about the first time we met. He and our mutual friend Nick Hartman are bandmates, and they were having a “jam session” in which they were kind enough to let me listen in on. 

Nick asked me to get on the keyboards, and I was hesitant. I did it anyway despite my discomfort and felt out of my element (which I was).

Kevin didn’t care if I was an artist, all he cared about was what was going on at that moment, and he hitched his wagon to whatever vibes were coming out of the keyboard through my fingers. 

It was trippy, and it was fun. Kevin was able to take my nonsensical beats I was trying to make and would just roll with whatever came his way by turning it into something better with his guitar. 

That was inspiring not only in the sense of art but also for life in general. Being able to take whatever is being directed towards you and making the best of it is a lesson we all should take on and remind ourselves frequently of. 

If Kevin can take my horrible sounds and create something of meaning out of it, what does that say about the other frequencies we put out into the universe? It’s not up to us as to what comes our way, but it is up to us on how we handle whatever does come our way. 

4) Doing Nothing

What has the smartphone given us? A lot. Both good and bad. But It’s given us the ability never to be bored. 

Any time we feel bored, we can always turn to our phones by checking the scores, the Facebook feed, or our email. 

I am just as guilty, filling in the gaps of life with artificial stimuli, but are they gaps of life when you’re alive? Just to be alive is something to be amazed over and if you’re alive, then you can experience being alive. You can “be.”

The practice of being is a practice of doing nothing. Can you sit with doing nothing? Or do you feel like you’re missing or missing out on something? There’s a tension that arises when doing nothing and comes from the stories we tell ourselves about the world. 

Being able to remove yourself from those stories and bringing yourself to what is, allows you to practice nothing and that nothingness may open up space for more meaningful experiences to enter. 

5) Move On

“Acknowledge it, and allow yourself to move on.” - Kevin Vinci

Kevin’s statement was in regards to the bombing on stage as an artist, but even we non-musicians can take this advice and apply it to our day to day situations. 

The problem isn’t the “problem” itself but rather how we deal with the issue in front of us. 

If you didn’t do well at work, with your partner, with your own goals, what does that mean? None of the previously mentioned issues are issues at this moment in time, so what matters is what you’re going to do right here right now given the current situation. 

By acknowledging what happens, you allow yourself space to be with the way things are and take the next best step moving forward. 

Digging up the past or forecasting the future does nothing to help what needs to be done right here right now. 

Acknowledgement merely is detaching your thoughts from you. Allowing to see them for what they are rather than identifying and being consumed by them. 

6) Meet Them Where They’re At

“If you can meet people where they're at, it allows the moment to flourish.” - Kevin Vinci

This statement is so beautiful that I think it’s “Etsy material” that could be placed on plaques and hung up around living rooms across America. 

So many times I’ve gone into interviews with agendas, stories, and noise in my mind about the other person that it’s clouded my vision to honestly see the other person as they are at that moment. 

Being able to meet them with sincerity and openness and free from my projections is the only way that allows me to get the most out of the interaction. 

How many times have you been in a conversation with someone else while thinking about what you just did before or what your plans are after your done talking to them?

When this happens, are you truly getting the most out of such exchange? Or how about when we’re with a partner or a close friend, and we start projecting our wants on how we wished they’d act? What does that do for them when you’re not entirely there and present with who they are as a person right then and there? 

Being able to meet people where they're at is being able to bring yourself fully into that moment, and that’s the only way you to be fully present in what’s happening in your life. 

It’s difficult, and after 35+ interviews, I can attest. It’s difficult not to have your mind being jerked around by so many inputs when you’re with another person, but that’s also an opportunity for you to become more aware of your distractions and practice the ability to bring yourself to wherever you find yourself in the present moment.