What Maxwell And Lucas Holliday Teach Us About Keeping Our Dreams Alive
In 2017, 26-year old Lucas Holliday went from obscurity to fame. By day, Lucas worked as a cashier at a Michigan-based Dollar General. By night, Holliday pursued his music career aspirations as the lead vocalist in a local band. At his cashier job, Lucas made a practice of singing covers of hits made famous by his favorite R&B artists. Each shift, he would sing to customers while bagging their purchases. In 2017, a customer videotaped Lucas singing Maxwell’s hit, Ascension and posted the video to her Instagram page. Within hours, Holliday’s powerful acapella cover went viral with millions of views, likes, and shares! Within days, Maxwell used the power of social media to not only contact Holliday, but to invite him to sing on stage at an upcoming concert in Detroit. Since then, Lucas has appeared on Good Morning America, NBC’s The Voice, and a host of other national media outlets.
Some might call Holliday’s story the perfect example of an overnight success. I would disagree. Lucas Holliday is a testament to the power of doing it in the dark.
What does ‘Doing it in the dark’ mean?
Successes that seem overnight, all of a sudden, or serendipitous are actually the work of practice and cultivation during seasons of obscurity. Many of us are in a space of doing it in the dark. Like Lucas, we are maintaining ‘bread and butter’ careers that keep the bills paid while we hustle and grind to birth the true dreams of our hearts. The habits, practices, and routines in the obscure spaces of our lives often set us up to occupy the dream spaces of our hearts. Here are some principles artists like Maxwell and Holliday teach us about doing it in the dark:
Principal #1: Do it because YOU love it, not in response to who approves of it.
Best-selling author Seth Godin was once asked why he blogged daily. He responded that blogging made him come alive. He went on to say that he was committed to blogging daily whether people read his writing or not. Doing it in the dark demands motivation rooted within. Being internally motivated will fuel your passion to pursue your craft and perfect your gift whether the world takes notice or not.
Principal #2: Discipline, Consistency, and Investment Required
In the dark is where you cultivate the habits and practices needed to sustain a presence in the light. Doing it in the dark requires ongoing learning and relentless dedication, time, energy, and investment toward perfecting your craft.
Principal #3: Remember: Darkness is temporary and light is coming.
Don’t define yourself by where you are at the moment. Before he was an award-winning artist, Maxwell himself worked as a busboy clearing plates from tables. Until your desired change or dream takes flight, you may have to work jobs that meet your ‘in the meantime’ financial obligations. Don’t be discouraged. Don’t lose heart. Don’t doubt your gifts, purpose, voice, or presence. Many visionaries experience obscurity before notoriety.