Chris Wilson

Age: 36

From: Allen, TX

Instrument: French Horn

Job Title: Freelancer

Favorite Brew: Black Coffee, Double IPAs

"I always look for things to be thankful for from where I am now, I don't wait for the grass to get greener later. I saw a Calvin and Hobbes strip once where Calvin's mom was divvying up the last piece of pie and he says, ‘this piece of pie is too small! I want a big piece’ to which his mom replies, ‘things could be a whole lot worse’. He looks at her and says, ‘yeah, well things could be a whole lot better too!’. The last panel is him on his bed with his arms crossed and a pouty face, and he’s thinking ‘but worse is more likely’. That is the culture we live in. We live in perpetual dissatisfaction. We are conditioned to think that if we expect something more, then we need to be dissatisfied with where we are and what we have. That is just a lie. Whether it is a car, a product, a lifestyle, it is a trap that makes us devalue ourselves, and robs us of the joy we should have now. We may not always be able to immediately understand what to be thankful for, because sometimes it takes time, but we need to look and find something to appreciate in the midst of our circumstances. That doesn't mean we are giving up on something better in the long run, but to me it is far more satisfying to be thankful in the now than to always be frustrated because I am not where I ultimately want to be.”

How do you define inspiration? How do you define motivation?“I think they’re related but not the same. I believe that inspiration creates motivation, and I think inspiration is what gives you purpose, or rather it is purpose driven. It is something that moves you in such a way that you want to get off the couch and doing something, which then becomes motivation. Motivation is you acting out that purpose. Inspiration gives you direction, though sometimes you may not necessarily know what direction to take, but motivation gives you the desire to start to do something and make adjustments as you go. At least at this point in my life, that’s what it means to me.”

Advice to others: “Lately, what has really helped me is being part of communities. Communities have the power to inspire and motivate us, and I am so thankful for the several communities that are part of my life that have helped to inspire and shape who I am. Specifically, my friends in the the music community have been a huge blessing. From seeing and listening to what other people are doing, and being inspired by what they’re doing, they have motivated me to get out there and work to get better and move forward. We cannot do without friendship, we are not islands unto ourselves. We need each other. One of the most amazing values of friendship is that we can help each other out and give each other a little nudge. I would just say that I am most thankful for are the relationships I have with other horn players, other musicians, and just other people that I know professionally. I just can’t stress it enough. The friendships and relationships I have with people in the community have motivated me to stick with it.”

Quote/Mantra:For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Hobbies: Biking, hiking, wine/beer tasting, baking and cooking, especially cheesecake

Charity/Cause: The Living Room

How do you define success?: "I think while in school I thought that success was defined by winning jobs, working with the people I’ve always looked up to and admired from afar, by how well I performed, and what kind of jobs I played. But often times life doesn't go how you expect it to, and things are not accomplished within your time frame, but that doesn't mean that's the end. I've found success to mean having a clear purpose, and as I go through life I find ways to meet that purpose. Life is just a journey. We need to constantly be learning and growing through our experiences and interactions with others, and we have to find the good in the moment that we are in. I don’t really believe that we’re meant to just work, work, work, work. We need to take a moment and enjoy what we’re doing, because it is valuable for us to be mentally healthy. Overall, my idea of success is just very different from when I was in school."