These 10 Things Will Help You Define Your Own Path Toward A Meaningful Life And Career

I’ve spent my career helping Classical Musicians find success, and I still don’t know everything…..

But I do know these 10 things will help you define your own path toward a meaningful life and career:

1. Believe in your path.
Classical Musicians need confidence to accomplish their goals. Adopting a positive mindset will help solidify your direction.

2. Control what you can control.
Focus on your immediate, personal goals and routines that enable you to move your life and career forward, even when things beyond your control may not be working in your favor.

3. Understand why.
Happiness comes when you can figure out why you are called to be a Classical Musician in the first place.

4. Overcome your fear of failure.
Classical Musicians pride themselves on their ability to achieve perfection in their work (or, at least, being as perfect as possible). Perfectionism keeps you from taking risks and stifles your ability to look for opportunities in your life and career. Give yourself permission to take some risks and try new things. The worst that can happen is that the new thing won’t work and you learn a valuable lesson for the next time.

5. Ride the peaks and valleys.
Just like your time in the studio, your life and career won’t only be a series of wins. There will be amazing highs but also complicated lows. Your ability to take them all in stride will help you remain level and ultimately level out your entire experience. Remember, even though they may seem to have had a rapid ascent to stardom, even the most successful people have had as many valleys in their careers as peaks.

6. Develop a plan.
One of the best ways to ensure the life and career of your dreams is to map it out. While it’s OK (and often recommended) to change or pivot your plans, taking the time to figure out what you’d like to be doing over a period of time and writing it down in actionable steps is the perfect way to plan for the future.

7. Set up a routine.
If you don’t set up a routine for how you will tackle your plans, your plan might simply sit on a shelf and collect dust. Setting up a monthly, weekly, and daily routine ensures that your big, long-term plans come to fruition.

8. Be open and flexible.
Flexibility is the key to a successful life and career. Be open to new things, accept that a career shift might be in order, and remain flexible when things don’t go according to plan.

9. Don’t stop.
Classical Musicians face small instances of adversity in their routine every day and often consider stopping their practice altogether. The same goes for the steps you take on your career path — the more you build a routine and practice for how you will build a successful career, the more your chance of success.

10. It’s all about timing.
Pursuing your path can be evolutionary, which means that you develop a plan to move on your path over the course of two to three years. It can also be revolutionary, which means that you plan to move on your path over the course of two to three months. Both can work.

Is there a time that you remember one of the 10 points above being particularly helpful in the advancement of your career? Tell me your story in the comment section and share this post with your friends so they can join the conversation.

Photo Credit: Lilli Popper

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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