Back in the early 1990’s I interviewed Tommy Shaw, co-founder, guitar player and back up singer of one of the most successful rock bands in history: Styx. What I didn’t know during the interview was that I was about to get one of the most important mental toughness lessons of my life. I’ll look forward to your comments ( 5:03 )
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.
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4 thoughts on “Mental Toughness Lesson from Rock Star Tommy Shaw of Styx”
If your going to use an example such as Tommy Shaw… should apply a little mental toughness and research before you write…
1. Tommy was not a founder of Styx, they started around 1970 and was founded by Dennis Deyoung, Chuck and John Panazzo… Tommy joined the band in 1976 as a replacement for a member that left…
2. Tommy is a lead vocalist, not a backup vocalist… he can do backups for the harmonies… but his main role is lead vocals and is credited with lead vocals on many styx hits…
That’s a fantastic story around Tommy Shaw, Steve. From 1969 to just into the 80s I performed locally in Kalamazoo, MI usually solo but once in a duet and for a year trio. We were acoustic and a combination of folk/blues/contemporary and our own.
Eventually I returned to college and became a middle then high school teacher and teaching was something I was a natural at – it totally inspired me everything about it beginning with the kids.
Anyway, as a musician – a jumbo Guild is at my side as I key this in and I keep it warked up at all times – I always wanted to go to the top whatever that meant to me at the time. BUT I didn’t always work to the extent that I could reach the top.
Nevertheless, I became a fixture at two local places for four years and absolutely loved what I was doing and everything about entertaining – I loved the songs, the sounds and stories the songs made, my fingers dancing over the strings AND I loved bringing anyone in the audience up to do a song or two.
When I gave it up as a full time career and pursuit to the top it was to put family first – I didn’t have confidence I could be successful entertaining and keeping my family together at the same time. I’ve never regretted that decision, I consider it to be a take-it-to-the-top decision, and a world class decision of another kind.
Today as I work from home I have all the time again to compose AND perform at my grand daughter’s elementary school – and do a walk on open mike night if I want.
Your World Class emphasis which I began understanding from your book and web site the last few years is something I’ve been working with our business team – delusional thinking is a killer and you have to begin with yourself every day as it’s invisable AND a master at disguising itself well.
I appreciate everything you’ve done that has helped me get a handle on these things – thank you. Mike
Thanks for your comment. I congratulate you for holding yourself up to the scrutiny of objective reality. From my experience, this is the first and most important step on the road to world-class success.
I’m predicting large scale success in your future.
Steve Siebold, CSP
Hi Steve, Yep this one applies to me. My performance up till now in my life has been very middle class (I only realised it when I read your book).I have had moments where I have broken out of this level but generally I’ve been deluding myself. Here is a quote for you Steve, that sums up what you said about the marketing gimmick: ‘Progress comes to those who train and train; reliance on secret techniques will get you nowhere’ – Morihei Ueshiba (founder of Aikido)
Thanks for your insight. Staring reality in the face is truly the first step.
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