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Balancing the Music Life: Depression and Motivation

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

Written by Andrew Potthast. Thoughts from a 20 year old’s weekly grind:

Andrew Potthast, thoughtful jam sessions, music industry productivity, balancing the music life, depression and motivation

The music industry is tough physically and mentally, but no one figures out why or gives these problems logical/reasonable answers. I’ve been working in the music industry for over 6 years now as a freelancer and owner of a online project manager, moving from city to city demoing my abilities; so why do I still not feel fulfilled helping the amount of people I’ve interacted with? Are we all shallow? Are we all dead on the inside? No, we’re people who all get overtired especially with the work we do.

General problems, always have detailed answers pertaining to the individuals perceptions. So in essence, go fuck what you already know, and start to ask questions, why, and fix the problems you know how to fix, and learning about the ones you can’t, that way you can be prepared & deal with the hardest problems later (which you will solve!).

After awhile you’ll have built an empire over problem solving, and you’ll realize it wouldn’t have just been for you. This is where good business is born.

Whether that’s taking time for yourself away from work, finding and making the right meals/drinks, or holding your values accountable on a daily basis, everyone has to schedule their time differently. But that’s the lesson: SCHEDULE. Having a routine that you can get lost in, and feel comfortable with is what we are all striving for: balance.

Some things I’ve told myself in the mirror on the tough days are:

-To keep yourself energized and active takes a certain personality, so ask yourself, how far would you go to see your passions through. Giving up is the most common problem of our industry, so holding certain values like persistence and confidence is what will differentiate you.

-When the going gets tough, push harder

-When someone else falls in life, pick them up. You can’t save everyone remember, that’s your choice.

-When someone asks for help, try & help.

-Loyalty over royalty

-make sure you have time for yourself & and be cool with it, especially doing nothing

-most importantly: you are the best you u can be today, can’t change it, so slay dude slay.

-rant over-


Deaf Child starts managing depression by focusing on the biological reasons behind the feelings, and using that reasoning to decide what to do next. Recognizing the roots of depression begins with acknowledging human nature. Remember why the human mind responds the way it does with some concepts from Josh Kaufman's The Personal MBA.

Humans have caveman syndrome. Human biology is optimized for conditions that existed 100,000 years ago, not for the world in which we live today. Part of the challenge of working in the modern world is that our brains and bodies are tuned for physical, and social, survival, not 16 hour work days. Business hasn't been around long enough for our biology to adapt to the new demands we are placing upon ourselves. We are running demanding new software on ancient hardware.

Motivation is an emotional state that links the parts of our brain that feel with the parts that are responsible for action. You can break down the experience of motivation into two basic desires: moving toward things that are desirable and moving away from things that aren't. In general "moving away" takes priority over "moving toward." Reasons go back to caveman syndrome. Motivation is an emotion- not a logical, rational activity. Very often, mental simulation, patterns, conflicts, and interpretations hidden in the mind can get in the way of making progress toward what we really want to accomplish. Eliminate the inner conflicts that compel you to move away from potential threats, and you'll find yourself experiencing a feeling of motivation to move toward what you really want.​​​​​​

People hate to lose things more than they like to gain them. There are very few relationships that psychology is able to quantify, but this is one of them. People respond twice as strongly to potential loss as they do the opportunity of an equivalent gain. Explains why threats take precedence over opportunities when it comes to motivation and why uncertainty appears risky. Loss aversion leads to next action, or the next specific, concrete thing that can be done right away to move a project forward.

Core human drives have a profound influence on our decisions and actions: 1. The Drive to Acquire, 2. The Drive to Bond, 3. The Drive to Learn, 4. The Drive to Defend, and 5. The Drive to Feel. Social signals are tangible indicators of some intangible quality that increases a person's social status or group affiliation. Signals sometimes have little or nothing to do with the reality of what the signal is supposed to communicate. The best way to build wealth is to earn a lot of money without spending it. But people who want to signal they're well off spend their money on items that communicate wealth and status- large houses, luxury cars, designer clothing, expensive vacations. Social signals have economic value. Signals go back to the core human drives: acquisition, bonding, learning, defending, and feeling. People want to signal they are wealthy, attractive, intelligent, high status, interesting, and confident.​​​

Every business has a purpose that includes, but is more than, making money. By focusing on its higher purpose, a business inspires, engages, and energizes its stakeholders. A business needs to create value with and for its various stakeholders (customers, employees, vendors, investors, communities, etc.). Like the life forms in an ecosystem, healthy stakeholders lead to a healthy business system. Conscious leaders understand and embrace the higher purpose of business and focus on creating value for and harmonizing the interests of the business stakeholders. They recognize the integral role of culture and purposefully cultivate conscious culture. This is the ethos -the values, principles, practices- underlying the social fabric of a business, which permeates the atmosphere of a business and connects the stakeholders to each other and to the purpose, people, and processes that comprise the company. ​

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