To reach a world-class level, we humans need years of training, live under the wing of a master coach and commit to survive the insuperable obstacles. Some of which will present themselves as mental and physical.
People like me do not like to think about these obstacles. We have such a desire to experience the outcome that we fantasize of being at the finish line and enjoying the rewards. That's when people like me start a journey destined to fail. 90% of them, me included, will never see the finish line.
That's because people like me do not know WHY they want to become world-class.
People like me want to be awesome. And since the world seems to reward every single world-class performer, that's where we aim; even though we have no clue what we are getting into.
People like me have no idea what the personal lives of world-class performers look like, the sacrifices, the downside of being world-class.
People like me can only see the glory of that level.
A better approach would be to stop for a second and think about the WHY? Why do you want to become a world-class performer?
My younger self wanted to become world-class at everything. Some months I wanted to become a world-class soloist. Then when it got tough, I wanted to become a world-class composer. Three weeks later I thought of becoming a world-class film composer. Then I tried jazz, because, maybe I could become a world-class jazz violinist. So many options, so little time!
Humans cannot become world-class in four different subjects, there is simply not enough time. We need to sleep, take our kids to Disneyland and make love—if we want to live a sane life.
I remember not caring about those things; I wanted to reach my highest potential no matter what it took. I would set off on my journey to become a world-class musician and soon crash, emotionally and physically. Then I wasted a couple of weeks recovering. I was young and inexperienced, so I kept trying, and the story kept repeating itself.
Today I think differently. I am older and have read extensively on personal development, and growth.
This is my definition of happiness these days:
I will never be happy focusing on one thing for the rest of my life (to become world-class).
Instead, I want to live a life where I get to grow (slowly but steadily) at everything I love.
And in that regard, becoming a music teacher was the best thing that happened to me. I get to explore and teach every aspect of music. Everything without the anxiety of becoming a world-class musician.
Am I mediocre? Maybe. I have not figured out everything yet. And to be honest, I feel guilty for not following my life dream of becoming an orchestral musician.
For now, I am just thrilled with this lifestyle.
I've experienced happiness, real happiness, from living a balanced personal and professional life.
People like me may be able to live a balanced life and still go through a world-class training at the same time. I couldn't make it happen, but it's OK because I found my unique way of growing as a musician and ultimately live a happy life.
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