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Last weekend I felt inspired watching Ani DiFranco belt out songs full of joy. She sang to a sold out show with people wondering - why choose such a small venue when she can fill a hall triple the size? Tonight I watched as an old friend rolled with the crowd and played passionately in front of a miniscule audience. At the Cedar show, all though jam-packed to the gills, the crowd felt small - honored to be included in such a comparatively little venue. Tonight, the tiny crowd felt intimately huge. We made just as much noise as the Ani fans, despite being one tenth in size (if even that). My friend on stage laughed and joked with us as though it were a sold out show.

Both these musicians were under-selling themselves. I marveled at the similarity and remembered a friend advising me that people's joy in their job tends to be inversely related to their paycheck. I felt honored and inspired by watching these musicians' joy and dedication to their art. I realized that although they may get compensated some for the show - that isn't why they are doing it. When you consistently under charge for your labor, while it could be because you devalue your talents (and I hope not) the alternative is because you never want to feel like doing a task for the money. It is much better to feel underpaid but that you are doing the job because of love, devotion, friendship, or a dozen other more pleasant reasons than monetary value. True, the world takes money and we need it to pay our bills. However, money doesn't buy happiness; the only thing that provides happiness is joy and satisfaction that comes with doing what you love and loving what you do.

Understanding this is very important these days, as I feel awakened from a long slumber - like I am finally falling in love again. Seeing these musicians following their hearts could not come at a more inspiring time as I contemplate pursuing my own passion and realize how scary that is.

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