TAG: Success,

Fighting Your Way To The Top: 5 Ways to Manage Inner Conflicts

We live in a complicated, interesting world today where many in the classical music world are wringing their hands because of perceived lack of opportunities for making a successful career, while others (myself included) view our world today as one of tremendous possibility and opportunity.

This is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about teaching musicians how to look at the world as one of opportunity.  One of my objectives is to help my students adopt a positive attitude towards their lives and their careers since I believe very strongly that happiness and optimism breed success and not vice-versa!
Optimism is also essential to the mindset of the music entrepreneur of the 21st Century.

In my class, we start by examining the different attitudes that one can bring to a music career. This attitude is formed by past experiences and perceptions and it translates into energy:

•    stressful energy for things that make you feel hopeless, fearful, angry, or conflicted or

•    motivating energy that makes you feel that you can manage your life, inspires you to keep moving forward, be of service and find opportunity.

How Happiness Breeds Success: 5 Tips to Enhance Your Career Success

For those who know me, it should come as no surprise that positivity is one of signature strengths (under the StrengthsFinder 2.0 strengths assessment), something that I am truly grateful for.  So when I learned that there was a branch of study called positive psychology, I was most intrigued to find out more. 

Positive psychology, a field that emerged in the 1980’s, is the scientific study of what makes people thrive and excel.  Simply put, it is the science of what makes us happy.

Happiness is often defined as “subjective well-being”, involving pleasure, engagement and finding meaning in life.   This can include:

•    Realizing that you have the capacity to change
•    Experiencing fulfillment
•    Joy in striving towards your potential

Happiness comes along with a positive mindset that looks at the world through the lens of learning and opportunity. For professional musicians, cultivating a positive mindset is an essential element of music entrepreneurship. Let’s take a closer look at how the science of happiness can help musicians to create greater career success.

“Be good” vs. “Get Better”: Optimizing the Experience of Performing

I have just returned from my summer vacation in California wine country where I learned some valuable lessons about optimal goal setting while improving my piano skills!

Where did all this happen?

At pianoSonoma, a festival that brings together serious adult piano students to study with Juilliard faculty members Michael Shinn and Jessica Chow Shinn, and collaborate and perform chamber music with Young Artists ( current students at or recent graduates of Juilliard), as well attend concerts by the faculty and the Young Artists.  It is a thrilling week where I can indulge in my passion for learning and playing the piano and share the joy of making music with superbly talented musicians.

On the plane ride out to California, I had a chance to catch up on my Kindle backlog and settled into a short book called “9 Things Successful People Do Differently” by psychologist  and goal-setting expert Heidi Grant Halvorson.  Now success is what I teach, coach on and advocate so I was interested in her 9 points.  And the one that resonated most powerfully with me was point #5:

Focus On Getting Better, Rather Than Being Good

What does she mean?

Music Entrepreneurship: Out with the Perfect, In with The Impossible

Recently, marketing guru Seth Godin wrote an explosive blog post entitled “Perfect and Impossible” wherein he takes on the digital revolution in music and examines how a once “perfect” business

“Radio, record chains, Rolling Stone magazine, the senior prom, limited access to recording studios, the replaceable nature of the LP, the baby boomers”

has now died. And for him, that’s a good thing because it’s a revolution that “destroys the perfect and enables the impossible.”

I immediately thought of my class and what we are teaching:  to help musicians think and act like entrepreneurs so that they can create their own version of success.

How to Develop the Mindset of a Music Entrepreneur: 5 Tips on Positivity

I was quite taken with a recent blog post in Music Career Juice on how musicians should not look to businesses as a model for how to operate but instead to aspire to be expressive energy grids – generating, transforming and distributing energy continually.  Since I teach musicians how to create career success, this got me thinking more about the kind of energy that one brings to a situation in order to be successful.

We have all heard about “negative” and “positive” energy.  Think of what it is like to be surrounded by a group of people who complain and bemoan the state of the world, which we hear a lot of these days in the world of the arts:  orchestras like Philadelphia declaring bankruptcy, fewer spots available in orchestras, the weak economy.  I could go on but I don’t want to add to the doom and gloom!  That’s what negative energy can do-bring you down.  And because energy is transferred, if enough people in the room are spinning out negativity, it tends to drag down others.
Let’s look at another scenario:

Managing Career Transitions: How to Make the Most of Your Career Cycle

 

“The only constant is change.” –Heraclitus

When you think about life, we are constantly changing. This includes our career paths. Many people believe that once you find your “perfect” career, you are set for life. That only sets up an unrealistic expectation that leads people to feel frustrated that they have not found “it” and to ignore the marvelous process of growth and change.

Cultivating the Positive Mindset: Using Your Best-Self Flow Affirmation

We all have a “best or Flow self”.  That is the side of us that comes alive when we are in the Flow, doing what we do best, feeling confident and joyful and successful.  You can discover what your best Flow self is by following this simple process.

The great thing about this Flow Affirmation is that is draws on actual experience.  Having the affirmation is the reminder of who you are at your best.  This affirmation can be a powerful way for you to make choices to live that best, Flow self.  And by doing so, you are incorporating Flow into your life and cultivating a more positive, success-oriented mindset!

What are some ways to do this?

Play to Your Strengths–Literally–to Feel Self-Mastery and Fulfillment

I advocate playing to your strengths instead of compensating for weaknesses as a way of creating self-mastery and empowerment in your life.  Helping my clients to recognize and use their strengths is one of the hallmarks of my coaching and my teaching. Recently, I had this very experience in a domain that is near and dear to my heart-my piano playing.  See how I learned the different between playing to my strengths and struggling to overcome my weaknesses.

Declutter and Open Yourself Up for Success

Welcome to 2011!

Are you one of those folks who made a solemn New Year’s Resolution that this is the year that you will lose 10 pounds, start working out or learn French? 

How long has this been on your list?  And what’s your pattern? 

If you are like many people, you devote yourself to this new activity for the month of January and then, a month later, that life-changing resolution has fallen by the wayside.  Often, these new goal are “shoulds” or are motivated by fear rather than things that you genuinely want.  Another reason is that you may not have cleaned up your house enough to let in new habits.  Think about all the things that are sucking the energy out of you and do not leave you with enough time or energy to devote to your authentic self.  You may not even have the energy to contemplate your authentic self.  So instead of making a lofty New Year’s Resolution, maybe what you need to do is to declutter and get rid of that negative energy.

 

Discover Your Life Purpose in 4 Steps and Supercharge Your Search For Fulfillment

Do you feel stuck in your life right now? 

Do you have that unsettling feeling that you know that you can do more with yourself but you are not sure where to turn?

Do you long to be successful (however you define that success) but you do not know where to begin?

If you are someone who seeks deep fulfillment in life and longs for true success, you may need a Life Purpose Statement. This is one of the keys to success in life since discovering your purpose will give you a sense of clarity around what you want to achieve, a sense of direction in where to start and the motivation to make it happen. Learn the four-step process that will lead you to discover your life purpose and supercharge your search for fulfillment.