We know that when you’re stuck and feeling down and foundering in a hole that the First Rule of Holes is to Stop Digging — but what if you’re trying to create a hole?  What if your entire purpose is to dig deeper than you’ve ever before dared?

An old Blues musician friend of mine told me a long while back it is my duty, as a guitarist, to keep digging.  He doesn’t want other musicians abiding the First Rule of Holes.  He wants you to divine the deep water.  Feel and taste the soil as it changes beneath you.  You want bedrock.

When you hit bedrock, then keep digging until you “come out the other side.” That advice has stuck with me for many years.  When you’re feeling stuck and uncertain, you don’t necessarily have to turn around and go another way.  You can stay right where you are, but you must come up with something new and unseen and never before experienced.  You need to dig out that virgin soil and get a sense for where it’s been and what’s been pressing down on it for millions of years to make it something valuable.

Understand the struggle of the boulder into the rock into the gravel and look underneath to find the secrets you’re searching to unearth. I think it’s harder to stay in the same place, and continue to find the determination to remain stolid and stoic and to continue to press onward and downward where the eye cannot see, and the mind must imagine.  It’s interesting how the valuable things in the world are hidden far in the dark from us and are often placed out of reach below us.

Reaching up, and exploring outward, is a more esoteric task and ethereal experience.  The stuff you hold in your hands in real time — and then internalize for future value — is embedded beneath your feet and the richness of pulling it up to you is one of the most exciting discoveries of a lifetime of searching for meaning. We must always dare ourselves to find our bedrock and then break through to find the secrets planted there and waiting to be released by only us.

Keep digging the well.


  1. Great advice. Reminds me of the original Willy Wonka movie where he advises everyone that they can’t turn back and have to move forward if they ever want to go back… really great advice.

    1. Yes, that’s a good point. Too often, when faced with insurmountable problems, we have been taught to turn around, go another way, or try something else. Sometimes, the best thing is to just keep digging right where you are and find a whole new path that nobody else before you dared to explore.

  2. I would love to have a conversation with this friend of yours David. They sound like a wonderful person and to have the ability to give such advice is truly amazing gift indeed.

Comments are closed.