Book Review : Slaying The Dragon by Michael Johnson

After you have stared long enough into the dragon’s eyes, there is nothing left to do but slay the dragon.”

I think as a musician, we can relate a lot to athletes. The dedication. The doubt. The thrill of achieving. We’re always in conflict with our creations and we find ways to cope. Mostly we gotta deal with how great we can really get.  Most of the time, our mind can be our biggest challenge. This is where books like Slaying The Dragon come in handy.

Your mind needs a good kick in the ass. And who better to do it then someone who won gold medals in the 200M and 400M and someone who beat his own record. If you want to be successful, you have to start acting like successful people do. And your actions are the one thing that you have complete control over.

How This Book Helps Your SongWriting

I think the two things that I really took from this book are the importance of routines and sticking to your time commitment once you’ve made them.

Make a routine. For example, mine is do my 3 page notebook writing exercise from The Artist Way and then watch a money visualization youtube video. And I follow that routine religiously. The only times I don’t is when Im sleeping over a friend’s house, but I try to at least watch the video. And I gotta start bringing a notebook when I know Im waking up somewhere else the next day. Routines help your mind get in the creative mode. Which is the most important state we can be in.

The other being sticking to your time commitments. If you say you’re gonna practice till 5:00 PM, GODDAMNIT!!!! Practice till 5:00 PM. No excuses. All the best athletes and musicians in the world put in UnGodly amounts of practice. Over and over again. They simply just outwork everyone. And believe the reward of just putting in the time is worth it.

Michael Johnson is a winner. Gold shoes !!!! If you want to start being successful, read about how he did it.

Slaying The Dragon


Here is one of Michael Johnson’s Mental Exercises

(1)    Dream Small

Think like a sprinter, in small increments. If your eventual goal is the Olympics, set goals along that path – “Improve my 800 time by 1 second” ; “Make the high school track team” Short term goals are the only reliable path.

(2)    Write Down Your Goals

This makes it formal and gives notice to yourself and others that the work has officially begun. And it keeps your goals and clear and in focus.

(3)    Be Specific

If your goal is to “get in shape,” you will – bad shape. It is far better to focus on specific goals, like a Run a 7 minute mile” or “do 50 sit-ups a day.” “In the office, finish the Wilkinson report by May 1” works; “Get caught up at work” does not.

(4)    Be Realistic

You can accomplish most things you set out to do, but it will take time. Don’t shoot for something unattainable – completely outside of your nature or opportunity.

(5)    Know Yourself

Find your core, that thing you are chasing. Set goals based on what you really want, not what other people expect of you. And don’t assume that goals are only for the competitive areas of your life. You can make goals, for family, relationships, anything.

My goals are for now are to get 100 hits on my blog everyday. To finish my acoustic album. And to play Warped Tour.



Filed under Books

2 responses to “Book Review : Slaying The Dragon by Michael Johnson

  1. Great review, I loved this book and agree with you. Dreams no matter of variety have a lot in common. As an athlete, slightly not bad guitar player and wishful writer, I find all three share a lot in common. Though for me, constant commitment to athletic training is easier than the other two.
    You are awesome!

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