It takes a lot for an artist, or anyone for that matter, to come to the understanding that everything you thought you knew, you didn’t. Oh the humility that suddenly washes over you when you know the truth. Adam Cohen, son to the great Leonard Cohen, in all his raw talent, in all his past-perceived mistakes, shouldn’t be so hard on himself. As teens and young twenty-something’s we all feel infallible and sometimes smarter than most. The ‘years-gone-by‘ are such good teachers for modesty – because in reality, we each play a small but very important part to a much greater whole. It is a realization that comes from empathizing with others and learning more of who we truly are when we finally stop being someone else.
Quitting at Failure
Cohen briefly quit his family trate when he walked away from the music business in 2007 – despite reaching minor accolades over the releases of three albums, 1998’s self-titled debut, 2004’s French-language Mélancolista, and 2004’s Ex-Girlfriends. He expected much more fame and fortune than realized. The above video clip was released in August of last year. You can hear that Cohen’s done a lot of growing since his self-titled debut in 1998.
“Success has been a fruit that has been very slow to ripen for me…” says Cohen. “I had really, really given up being in this business. Luckily I was given another lease. My goal wasn’t to be good. My goal was to be successful. And I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to learn that you’re supposed to merge the two.”
Why are we talking about this now?
Because it’s interesting (and perhaps because I’m also pushing close to 40 myself). 38 is such a small number and we’re all getting older – no matter how old or young we are. The term “coming of age” exists for a reason. Wisdom takes time. Very precious time. And that’s what makes our lessons learned so valuable – because they are learned at the expense of these precious pods of time. Cohen’s story is a perfect example of what this journey of growth is all about. Aim for the real stuff (what I’ve always referred to as the ‘meat and potatoes’ of it all) – and if it’s good, the rest will follow.