Often times stepping back is fundamental to stepping ahead. It’s only by stepping back that we see the bigger picture, what’s going well, and what’s not. At the end of the journey, rapper Kelvyn Colt explains in our latest video, all of those individual life moments begin to make sense and one final step back will reveal a beautiful picture, our life’s work.

This is the advice the emerging musician gives to young artists looking to breakthrough into the music industry, and something he’s trialed in his own life. In celebration of the New Balance 574S‘s audacious new look, we recently shared his inspirational story of quitting law school to become a rapper — during this time he managed to look beyond the immediate situation, take a broader perspective and capitalize on a less obvious opportunity. In our latest video, he gives some valuable advice based on his experiences to up-and-comers like himself.

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Avoid tunnel vision and look at the bigger picture

His guidance is based on perspective and how, in hindsight, small bumps in the road become trivial. Concerning oneself with every small detail is a dangerous game because, in isolation, individual details don’t tell a full story. Particularly for those that are unduly self-critical, minor setbacks are easily blown out of proportion; equally, the overly confident might inflate their value after a few small successes.

Kelvyn Colt suggests looking at the bigger picture instead. If every individual success or failure impacts your attitude and emotions, things like self-worth and motivation will constantly fluctuate. Whereas the bigger picture shows the progression from the beginning to now, which is far more valuable than one bad day.

Learn from mistakes and past experiences

A broader perspective can also be the biggest teacher. Free from initial, impulsive feelings and with the intention to learn from past experiences, successes and mistakes can be viewed objectively and valuably. It also allows one to compartmentalize individual challenges and take on sections of what Kelvyn Colt compares to a lifelong art piece one-by-one. “I break it down into little bits that I can work with every day,” he explains. But the ultimate goal isn’t to have a master plan, rather have a broader view of the overall task, “Just wake up in the morning and look at how you can get ahead today.”

“I’m turning my dreams into reality. I wake up every morning with a crazy idea—it that might be a song, show or clothing—and I go online, reach out to the people, find what I need to know to make it happen, and I do it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or if I need money, I’ll find the money. If I need skills I don’t have, I’ll find somebody that does. I’ll get somebody else so passionate about it, that they’ll work with me on it. That’s how you make shit happen.” – Kelvyn Colt

Slow down and reflect

Kelvyn Colt’s advice could mean forming new habits that involve regularly stopping, stepping back, regaining perspective, and reevaluating at different stages along the road. Slowing down and stepping back sounds counter-intuitive, but constantly progressing forward at full-throttle is unrealistic.

He himself took the ultimate step back when he left a valuable place at a law school to reassess what success meant to him and how he could make himself happy. After moving to London and beginning to take his music more seriously, the step back eventually became a greater leap forward.

However, the central idea isn’t necessarily to quit everything and chase a wild dream. Despite there being the odd encouraging story of a billionaire having quit school to start a hugely successful business, the reality is that hundreds more have given something up and failed. Instead, the idea is to step back from what’s right in front of you to get a broader perspective on one’s own life and what’s going on around it. Only then can a person decide on the right path, be that scrapping everything and starting over, pivoting in a slightly different direction or deciding that everything is going to plan.

Find out more about Kelvyn Colt by watching our previous video and reading his full story. Listen to his music over on Spotify and find the first single from his upcoming EP here. Keep up to date with the artist on Instagram and for more information on the New Balance 574S, visit the link below.

Words by Aaron Howes
Branded Content Editor
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