• Eric Dahl

Perception is Reality?

Frequently our friends, family and even people that only vaguely know us think that our lives are much more exciting and fulfilling than theirs. After several of these instances happening to me I felt that I needed to share it. I’m to blame for this limited view too. Seeing my friends achieving great interviews, traveling the world to do TV shows, having a hit album and being evangelists in Africa. And I think why not me, why am I not achieving more and doing more and setting the world on fire better and faster? The truth is we only see one dimension of a person’s life and we don’t see the struggle, hard times, desperation or the considerations of giving up the dream. Much like magazines once fed false perceptions now our social media feeds do the same. We as individuals perpetuate this view also in that who really wants to show all of their failures, weaknesses and darkest times? None of us do, we as humans are fragile in body and mind and it is daunting enough to face the daily challenges of life and work. Nobody posts on social media, “Here is where I lost the game and failed my teammates” or’ “This was the moment I didn’t get the interview and the publicist blew me off again.” It just doesn’t make for inspirational reading or viewing in our social media posts. Success of any kind takes hard work, planning and perseverance and sometimes practice. I wish my life was as exciting as others believe it is. But also, I’m blessed and thankful for the successes, friends and family I have. I don’t take it lightly that I was raised in a small rural town in Southeast Missouri and now live in Nashville chasing my dreams with my family. And without the guidance and support of co-workers, bosses and my wife I wouldn’t be here. Nobody does it alone. That is also why I am a big believer in helping others in my field whenever I can, because it feels good and it’s the right thing to do. Most of the overachievers that I know in Nashville work a regular day job and have at least one or more side hustles going. The hustle jobs are what they are truly passionate about, but they don’t generate enough income (yet) to be the fulltime job. The day job provides the money to live, stability and benefits and the hustle feeds the dream. Through my TV day job, I’m allowed the opportunity to conduct my TV music artist interviews since I book them, conduct them, schedule and promote them. My side hustles are my radio shows, magazine articles and hopefully the authoring of more books? I’m better known for my interviews and side hustles than I am my real day job, Creative Services & Program Director, that feeds and supports my family. But many facets of my day to day job aren’t exciting like cool music artist and band interviews. I’m in a lot of meetings, conference calls, planning media, managing staff, managing a budget and fixing programming issues plus more meetings. All the while I’m trying to creatively promote the three TV stations, Newscasts, Live Sports, local events and contests. None of those topics make for exciting posts and banter unless you are also involved in TV and a CSD or Promotion Manager. In a nutshell what I’m saying is Perception is not Reality, perception is only the cosmetic candy coating that others see or that we show them. When you sit down and talk with folks we are all faced with the same struggles and it is also great to see others succeed and feel that maybe we can too? None of us should be fooled by perception alone there is always deeper water underneath the façade if only we take the time to look.

What did it take for him to reach the Top?