Have you found yourself stuck in relationship turmoil? Does it seem like every relationship you have ends in tragedy and you are left feeling alone and/or bitter? Do you feel like you are plagued with a black cloud of impending relationship doom? If so, you are not alone. With divorce rates increasing like they are trying to qualify for the Olympic trials, it is easy to get stuck in the belief that, “this is just the way it is.” Or “I am going to be alone forever.” The reality is, you don’t have to feel this way and “impending relationship doom,” is really up to you- the individual.In life, everyday we live we are making hundreds and hundreds of choices. Each choice we make begins to guide and mold our perception about our world, our life and our future. We have an imperative decision to decide what choice we are going to make and how we can use that choice to work for us and not against us. This imperative decision to make the right choice doesn’t lie solely in whether to wear brown shoes with black slacks or what career/ job you will take. This imperative decision takes place in all areas of our life including relationships.When you enter a relationship, you have already made a significant choice to begin merging your lifestyle and needs with another. If by chance, you have entered this relationship on the perception of the outcome of your last relationship, it can be easy to make choices in the relationship for the wrong reasons. Thus, you find yourself in a different yet similar relationship as the last. Instead of feeling joy and success, you feel frustrated and pessimistic. So of course you are going to feel like, “here I go again.”On the contrary, there are many people who have thriving and happy relationships. They too, can relate to a failing relationship and the pain of a breakup. The difference becomes, they have taken the time to analyze their past relationships. They have taken self-inventory and reflected on what didn’t work, what they need and how to get it the relationship they deserve more effectively.There is no such thing as good luck and bad luck in a relationship. Relationships are all about choices. Instead of jumping into another relationship hoping it saves you from the last, realize a successful relationship is built on RAPT©: Reflection, Acceptance, Preparation and Time. Below are four important steps I have created to assist you in having a RAPT© Relationship.1. Reflection- analyzing your relationship and drawing out the good and the bad in the relationship. Ask yourself, what behaviors did you exhibit in the relationship that you feel was effective, and what behaviors did you exhibit in the relationship that was ineffective. Next, ask yourself the same question regarding your partner? After you have compared both lists of effective and ineffective behaviors, the next step is to accept.2. Acceptance- acknowledging the experience as valid and a real part of your experience. Accept the emotions and feelings that accompany the relationship experience, and embrace them as you deserve the right to experience each and every emotion. If you pretend that you are unaffected, then you are sending the internal message that you do not deserve to feel the way you do, and therefore, paralyze any real healing from occurring. After all, how can you heal from something you deny you experienced? On the other hand, when you accept your experience as real, you can begin to prepare for something different.3. Preparation- taking what you have reflected on and accepted and making it into a proactive plan for better. Once you are able to identify what was effective and ineffective behaviors in the relationship and you have accepted those behaviors and the emotions tied to the behavior as real, you can then authentically make future choices that can assist in happy and effective relationships. It can also help you to clearly see at the beginning stages, if the relationship is worth beginning. Lastly, keep in mind before you make the choice to enter into the next relationship, you need time.4. Time- validating yourself and your need to heal before you carefully enter into the next relationship. Make sure you have truly evaluated, healed and prepared before embarking into the next relationship. It truly takes time to heal and prepare to do something different. Allow yourself the opportunity for self care before you begin trying to care for another.If you can allow yourself the opportunity to make your next relationship decision based on these four principles, you will find a new level of success and happiness. The great part about this method is that you will have discovered yourself as well in the process. The best way to get a better relationship with a partner is getting a better relationship with you. Finally, you can rid yourself of that undesired relationship misfortune and begin living and experiencing relationships that are RAPT© in love.
It is no secret that the music industry is struggling to survive. The advent of digital piracy has severely dented the profits of major record labels, and as such they are less likely to invest in new music. With the elusive ‘record deal’ now seemingly even further away from the grasp of most musicians, just how can today’s artists make it in the modern music industry?It is the ultimate dream of many musicians to one day sign a major record deal. It is the Holy Grail of many bands, yet unfortunately many talented musicians will never get that opportunity. The record deal, while always being an extremely difficult thing to achieve, has actually become even harder to attain, and here’s why. Record labels are running out of money.All businesses require money to survive, and the music business is no exception. Digital piracy is robbing the music industry of it’s cash flow, and a business without cash flow cannot survive for very long. Without cash flow, the major record labels will be tightening their purse strings and holding back from investing in new talent for two reasons. One is that new talent is always a risk.There is no guarantee that any band will be a success, but at least with a healthy bank balance a record label can afford to take the risk. The second is that even if new talent proves itself to be a very desirable investment on paper, the major labels know that a high proportion of music distribution will occur illegally. They will not earn a single penny from the pirates.So where does that leave talented musicians who would give their granny’s right arm for a record deal?It actually leaves them in a very strong position, and here’s why.For many, many years the music industry was a highly guarded, almost mystical business. Just how did somebody go from being an average Joe to being the planets most revered pop-star? With shows like Pop Idol and the X-Factor the ‘fame’ process has become more mainstream. Most people nowadays can understand, albeit on a very basic level, how someone makes that kind of transformation. Just look at the Susan Boyle story.When the internet came along, no one in the music industry really paid much attention to it. It was an interesting technological development but hardly worth getting too excited about. After all, the only way of accessing what little online content there was was via a painfully slow dial-up connection.When the MP3 file format was created, again the music business did not rush out and embrace it as a potential game changer. They assumed people would be very happy to continue paying over the odds for a piece of plastic and a pretty cover because it was something they could hold in their hands.Back then the major labels had no idea that these two independent, completely unrelated technologies would join forces to take over the only thing which gave them any real power. This ‘thing’ happened to be the global distribution of music.The day the web became robust enough to handle large file downloads, and move MP3’s from a PC sitting on a desk in London to a PC sitting on a desk in Australia, the single most important control the major labels had over the music industry was gone forever.This redistribution of power is what now gives a four piece garage band in Ohio the same marketing potential as the highest paid artists on Sony’s roster. Using the internet, there is no reason whatsoever why bands all over the world cannot get their music to the ears of music lovers in any country. The barriers to entry of the music business no longer exist.There is no longer any need for bands to plough hundreds of dollars into producing a CD album. It is much more affordable to produce an MP3 single. There is no longer any need to beg and plead for distribution into major record stores. You can now distribute your music globally via MySpace or your own band website. You can even get your song onto iTunes via Tunecore for around ten dollars if you would like to capture the iPod/iPhone market.Where the doors to the major labels remain almost impenetrable, the gateway to the music industry has been flung wide open for all those who dare to enter it.