I’ve had the privilege of playing with some really talented musicians in my days, and have had more nuggets of wisdom dropped on me by them than I can even begin to count. One that often comes to mind was from a drummer who’s worked with people like Neil Schon and Sean Combs. He always had a smile on his face whenever he was behind his drumset, and I once asked him how he was able to keep smiling and playing, while at times being surrounded with other musicians who are, well, just bad. He simply said, “You just smile and play.” In other words, suck it up, don’t allow others to see your frustration, and keep doing your job with a smile on your face. Wow. Easy to say but personally, I don’t like to let my frustrations go, sometimes I prefer to dwell in them for a bit and fully exercise my “right” to be frustrated. The downside is that it doesn’t take too many times of doing that before others start to notice and a reputation starts to form. I do really strive to “smile and play” in every day life, whether I’m talking with someone with whom I disagree or crossing paths with those who simply aren’t at my place in life, albeit unsuccessfully most of the time. I’m never going to agree 100% with anyone, musically or otherwise, and I certainly can’t control their actions or perceptions. What I can do though, is just smile and play.