Fundamental Beliefs of Successful Musicians
The concept of “fundamental beliefs” is a very vast topic. A belief can range from a simple thought or opinion about something all the way to a way of life (as in a religious belief). One of the most important things that a person can do in the search of excellence is to find behavioral congruencies in successful people, and if you search for these congruencies, you can find that successful musicians seem to share some common fundamental beliefs.
Beliefs are extremely important to you as a person, because they give or take away energy to your actions. Positive beliefs give inspiration and motivation to your actions, and negative beliefs can take away your enthusiasm and energy and ensure your failure. If you are interested in reading more about the concept of belief, you can check out Unlimited Power by Anthony Robbins. The fundamental beliefs below are taken from chapter five of his book.
Belief #1 – “Everything happens for a reason and a purpose, and it serves us.”
Napoleon Hill writes in his book, The Masterkey to Riches, that “every adversity contains the seed of equal or greater benefit.” Successful musicians are able to pull information from every performance, audition, or lesson and can use that information for future benefit. It does not matter if a performance goes positively or negatively; there is always valuable information that can be used for future performances.
Belief #2 – “There is no such thing as a failure.”
In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson writes about success and failure. He talks about how most people feel that the opposite of success is failure, but that really is not true. The opposite of success is quitting, and the reality is that failure occurs along the pathway to success. There is not a successful musician alive that has not had a failure or two. In fact, it is really interesting to ask musicians with symphony orchestra jobs how many auditions they took before they won their first audition. Many people will tell you ten, twenty, or thirty auditions that were failures until they finally succeeded. The reality is that those perceived failures provided valuable information to that musician, and they were able to turn their newly found experience into success.
Belief #3 – “Whatever happens, take responsibility.”
The reality is that you can really only control two things in your life: your actions and your attitude. With this concept in mind, successful musicians always have the mindset of “what can I do to create a better outcome?” By keeping that question in the forefront of your mind, you are taking responsibility for the outcomes of your life.
Belief #4 – “It’s not necessary to understand everything to be able to use everything.”
This concept is a hard one for many people to understand, because people tend to want to know everything about something before they try. There is definitely such a thing as “paralyses of analyses,” and musicians are guilty of this concept all of the time. Truly successful musicians take action first and then make adjustments as they continue through their task. When they are unsure of how to do something, they use “models” (examples of people doing things correctly) to help guide them to a desired outcome.
Belief #5 – “People are your greatest resource.”
Success in any endeavor occurs when people learn how to work with others effectively. In fact, I would go as far to say that no successful person has ever created their success by themselves, and because of this fact, this is one of the fundamental beliefs that is vitally important to understand. If you look behind the curtain, you will find that successful people have mentors that guide them, peers that inspire them, and people that work for them to help achieve success. Because working with others is a necessary ingredient in one’s life, it is vitally important to study people skills and learn to network properly. If you would like to check out info on how to network properly with other musicians, check out our article, How to Meet Musicians.
Belief #6 – “Work is play.”
Truly successful musicians see their job as a “labor of love.” Let’s face it…the day in and day out of practicing, rehearsing, and performing can become routine and boring. The truly successful keep a love and a passion for what they do in spite of the perceived “routine” of it all.
Belief #7 – “There’s no abiding success without commitment.”
Hopefully, this idea is obvious. If you want to be successful as a musician, you have to be committed to your craft. Period.
Anthony Robbins writes in his chapter on beliefs that “success leaves clues,” and I think he is exactly right. In your search for success, continue to look for these clues, and it’s important to read great books to help guide you toward beneficial fundamental beliefs about how to succeed. If you are interested in any reading material, check out our article, Great Non Music Books for Musicians.
Photo by jpellgen. Used under Creative Commons License.