Success is about doing the right thing, not about doing everything right. Isn't that a relief. Gary Keller speaks about this in his book “The One Thing” Gary’s view is that trying to to do one or 2 things right instead of everything simplifies your life, and liberates you from having to monitor everything. I have to agree with him. When I selected one thing to do right all the time, the payoff was so much faster, bigger, and enjoyable. It allowed me to move on to the next thing quicker.
"It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world”
- Og Mandino
I love teaching, maybe (a tiny bit) more than performing. When I decided to focus only on teaching (I quit two jobs, and cut back on performances) an allowed my passion for teaching to thrive, My students began to flourish, they became as excited as I was. Those students told their friends, who became more students. I had more time and money to polish my teaching skills attend more conferences and make beneficial relationships. I could enjoy the fruits of my labor because I wasn't exhausted, I wasn't burnt out, I was on fire! Now that is the short version. It took me a while to understand and appreciate the benefits of focusing on one thing.
The reason why it took me so long was that I believed what most people believe:
I need to be disciplined with everything all the time.
Multitasking is where it's at.
have to have a balanced life (whatever that is)
If I can do all the above, I'll be successful
Spoiler alert, This isn't the case.
You don't need to be as disciplined as you think when you're doing the right thing not everything.
Multitasking is the slowest way to your goal and the quickest way to burn out. The most successful musician concentrates on One thing at a time then builds on that thing.
Everything doesn't matter, (this is the hardest belief to shake)
A Balanced life, hold on to your socks, Does Not Exist. Expecting this will help eliminate the stress of trying to “balancing” your life.
The most successful, happy people do not do any of the above.
So how do you become a Lean Mean Musical Machine? Start with one thing. The Most important thing.
Ask yourself: What is the most important thing? Maybe it's just getting through the next lesson, getting a new instrument, or perhaps becoming a world-renowned concert artist.
What's the most important thing you need to focus on right now? Think small, do you need to get a new metronome, practice scales, just set up a practice schedule? Think about the one tiny important thing.
Say no: (or later) Here is where most of us get derailed. This is where that Everything doesn't matter comes in. If it's not the most important thing; say no (or later).
Ditch the multitasking: Multitaskers experience more life reducing happiness killing stress. Musicians have many things to do, its ok to do those things One thing at a time. The point is to give the one thing for however long you do it, whether it’s five mins or 5 hours your full and undivided attention. With all that being said. DO NOT beat yourself up for getting distracted, it's natural, just make a note and refocus.
Build Habits not discipline: Build being the important word. We all know Habits take time, 66 days to be exact. Build the right Habit starting with the most important habit first no matter how small. Then give the habit time to mature..
Use my Happy Musician Quick start Guide to get the ball rolling,
“...Doing the most important thing is always the most important thing.”
Being a musician requires a life of extremes, specializing in any art does.. I want you to understand that you can be a successful musician concentrating on one thing at a time. Other musicians will tell you-you can't, but believe me you can. You don't have to take my word for it ask some successful musicians. Go ahead figure out your one thing and be unapologetically successfully.
Your happy Musician