Success and humility go hand-in-hand, believes James William Awad

  (photo credit: James William Awad)
(photo credit: James William Awad)

Don’t let success go to your head. Most of us have heard this saying, sometimes in our favorite films and sometimes from loved ones. But what does it really mean? Is success like a cold draft that can make us regret stepping out in the Arctic without a warm cap and thus get to our head? If so, which is the warm cap that will not only prevent us from exposing our vulnerable and precious heads but also allow us to venture out despite the deadly winds? Success should not get to our head because it then leaves little room for anything else. The only thing that offers protection against such a scenario is our own humility. This is what James William Awad a.k.a Senior Musician firmly believes. For him, success and humility indeed go hand-in-hand.

James William Awad, the founder of TripleOne (111), has had a busy life as a musician. For him, music is life. This sense of entitlement felt natural to him and he felt drawn to creating music from an early age. Naturally, discipline, consistency, and diligence led Senior to success, or rather success found him. Now he had to make a choice – whether to let the success that felt so deserving and sweet go to his head or allow it to fuel his hunger for more. He weighed his decision upon the consequences of both actions. Senior reminisces, ''I think when we let success get to our head, we give over our life to something else. From that moment, something else takes over and we, that is, who we really are, are relegated to the background, suspended from executive duty. This results in a change in our attitude. We become too big for our boots, and others start feeling smaller. Before we know it, our circle of reliable friends begins to diminish because they can see that the change is not for the good. We can become solipsistic, too caught up in the world of our imagined self-grandeur, and eventually lose track of reality. So, it was either all this or continuing on from scratch, scared, vulnerable but happy to create. Of course, I chose to be the latter.'' 

Humility is a very misunderstood concept in our world. It's really unfortunate that most of us think of it as a weakness when in fact it is the highest courage we will ever have. To be humble is to accept that you don’t know everything because there's just so much to know. You are willing to learn and become good at what you do. This is the reason why humility and success go hand-in-hand for Senior. He states, ''It is all about keeping it real. That's where the good stuff comes from. Humility allows me to remember that neither I nor anybody else is invincible and irreplaceable. It keeps me grounded, neck-deep in work, and never lets me forget where I come from or how I got here from there. It's really like a good friend you never had. It keeps an eye on your movement, guards you against a mushrooming ego, and therefore keeps you safe and secure in life at all times.'' 

It's surprising to notice how little artists and other successful people talk about investing in humility. For most people, success is simply a pass to be an arrogant prick who believes they can get away with anything. That's not success, that's the misuse and abuse of success. If true success gives you anything, it is the license to create and continue doing what you do. It doesn’t take away the sweetness of being loved, remembered, and recognized; it just creates a place in you that nothing can touch. A place that is too sacred for both failure and success, the most secret place within the depths of your being. For Senior, that is exactly what an artist needs, a place of ''internal meditation, a permanent cave within the recesses of your soul that allows you to see clearly and create beautifully. Humility is the bridge that connects our work to ourselves without tarnishing it with fame and all the frivolities that come attached with it. It keeps us on our toes and does not let us forget that beauty is an outcome of love and hard work and not success.''

James William's words of wisdom will resonate with people of all ages. Because they have in them the power to guide artists and entrepreneurs and people, in general, to bring humility in their life at no extra cost but at a desire of the will.

This article was written in cooperation with DN News Desk