Nas’s “Rewind” is genius. The whole jam is a story told in reverse, which I’ve never heard done on another track. It can be a little hard to follow at first, which really makes you listen to get the story. As I was listening, I realized an important lesson.
As Nas does in this track, take a “rewind” approach to your life. No, don’t focus on the past and what might have been had you made a few different choices. Instead, focus on the present and future, looking to the past as a lesson.
Study the choices you’ve made and the results that came of them. If you’re happy with where your choices have led, then continue doing what you’re doing. If you’re not happy, look back and see where you might have gone wrong. Rewind the story, figure out how you should have dealt with a certain situation and take this approach when presented with a similar situation now.
As your tracks play out, find time to rewind and evaluate how things have worked. It’s never too late to make some positive changes in your life.
Nas – Rewind
One of the hardest things to do in life is to step outside your comfort zone. We all like to be around people that we know well and do things that we’re very comfortable with. Being comfortable is a great feeling and one that you should be sure to enjoy when you have it. If we never stray from always seeking comfort, however, our growth will stagnate and over time, you will be less likely to accept new challenges. You will find yourself being comfortable, but never reaching your true potential. For some that is OK…for others, that is not an easy truth to accept. I tend to fall in the latter group.
Take time to reflect on your life and what you’ve accomplished to this point. Is that enough for you? Do you think you can achieve more? If you think you can, then you can. One way to start down the path of continued growth is to find ways of taking yourself out of your comfort zone. Seek new challenges at work and in your personal life. Doing new things will surely bring about fear, anxiety and a general feeling of being uncomfortable. As you learn more about these new experiences, however ,you will find that there is nothing to be afraid of. Knowledge overcomes fear and will lead to strength. In time, you will look back and be grateful that you accepted new challenges. You will realize that stepping out of your comfort zone has made you a stronger person, one that has overcome fear and replaced it with an excitement for becoming a better person in life.
“By deliberately putting yourself in situations where you have to face fear, you familiarize yourself with it and your anxiety grows less acute. The sensation of overcoming a deep-rooted fear in turn gives you confidence and presence of mind. The more conflicts and difficult situations you put yourself through, the more battle-tested your mind will be.” (Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War)
Ain’t nobody been where I’ve been…
They’re at a standstill…
I know that I ain’t got much time here…
Nas – “Let There Be Light”
A clean slate.
The start of something is always exciting. It could be anything from a new hobby to a new job to a new relationship. If you’re an artist, it may be a new song, new photograph or new painting. Any way you look at it, the start represents a whole new beginning. The past can be overlooked, the present is in focus and the future is bright.
Witnessing the creation of art or hearing the story of how a particular artist got their start is something I’ve always found motivating and inspiring. There’s something about hearing artists tell their story that makes me feel like I have the chance to do something important, regardless of where I am in my own life.
Look to different art forms as possibilities for you to start your own life, your own journey. Listen to a song and realize that an artist telling their story might as well represent you telling yours. Look to a photograph and see a sunrise as the sun rising on the next chapter of your life.
As it’s said in Nas’s “Back When,” “They love to hear the story how it all got started.” Tell the world your story.