Q: What helps you become better?

Yesterday, I received a message from a sweet listener named Maliwan who had a great question.  I thought you might want to know the answer too!

But first, no one ever feels that his/her work is insignificant when you have someone sending you positive energy like this. 

So, thank you for the kind words of praise and support, Maliwan.  It means so much to me. 

Onto your question...

1.  GET IN THE ARENA.
I discovered that I grew the most when I put myself in front of the microphone, on the stage, by the stereo, in my vocal studio…wherever I needed to be in order to grow as a vocalist and performer. 

Most of my vocal ability came from listening to other singers constantly (Growing up, I shared a bunk bed with a sister who slept with Mariah Carey on every night).  My parents knew nothing about music lessons, and when they did, putting food on the table was more important.  So in order for me to grow as a singer, I would listen to other singers and emulate their tone, their emotion, and their range. 

Till this very day, I still do that.  I believe there is no better way to grow than to get in the arena, actually start the work, immerse yourself in it, and watch yourself grow.   

Here's a quote that really sums up what I’m trying to say.  This quote lives in my workspace and was posted by my intellectual artist friend/comedian Sai Vang back in October 2012.

2.  HAVE A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM.
Back in October, I shared this throwback with you.  It was of a cassette tape that held the music tracks for my first vocal competition ever in 2001. 

I noticed that the handwriting on the tape did not belong to me, but the name, the event, the date, everything written on that tape did.  Someone took the time to find a pen, to know the exact competition name and date, and the order of my song choices so that my tape would be prepared well in advance. 

That someone is my oldest sister, Nancy. 

She believed in me (and is my biggest supporter till this very day).  The day I shared it, she messaged me later that night to tell me the exact songs on that cassette tape.  It was 14 years ago and she still remembered!

In sharing that throwback with you, I realized I have the most phenomenal support system consisting of my closest friends and family members.  It is true when you hear people say their biggest supporters have been with them from day one

I sing better, perform better, and am a better human being, because I want to always be my best when someone else expects that from me too.
 

3.  BE AROUND LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE.
This is a subject that I have only embraced within the past five years.  However, I have found that when I dive into the energies of people who dream big and work hard toward their dreams such as...

  • Taylor Vang, nurtures aspiring artists & creates inspiring music for the good of the world
  • The Kong & Shu Project, moves people through their uplifting music & influential ideas
  • M-Pact Lor & VillN Lor, inspires everyone they meet through dance & their positive mindset
  • Pa Chia Xiong, driven to create beauty within the world through various mediums as a professional graphic artist
  • Pa Kou Xiong, who says moving to LA from a little Wisconsin city to pursue her dreams as a professional make up artist was "the best risk ever"
  • Oprah, a powerhouse and one of the most influential people of our time
  • Beyoncé, one of the hardest working and powerful music artists in the world
  • Tony Robbins, filled with the most real words of wisdom for living the life you desire
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, a very giving, funny, brilliant writer & traveler - (I look forward to her Facebook posts everyday!)

...I am a better person for myself. 

When I surround myself with like-minded people, I am inspired to thrive and excel just like them.  I have a stronger faith, a wider lens, a kinder heart, and a bigger dream catcher. 

I genuinely feel that my dreams are possible when I am in the (online and offline) presence of those who have a similar dream or mindset that I want in order to acquire my life dreams.

 

So there you have it!

I hope my answer to your question inspired you in a way that makes you want to be better in what you do, whether it is getting those vocal riffs down, completing that required course you could live without or becoming the truest version of you. 

Tell me in the comments below what resonated with you most or share other ways that have helped you become better at what you do.  I’d love to hear from you!  Until next time…

Dream BIG,
Pagnia  


Be the person you want to be;
Do the things that the person you want to be does; then you will
Have what the person you want to be has.

- Robert Kiyosaki