Pursuing Your Passion? Prepare to Give Up These 5 Things

music miscellany Jun 05, 2016

Lately it's all about passion. Pursue your passion; follow your dream. Are you just going to pursue it, or do you really want to succeed?  What price are you prepared to pay for the level of success you want?

We know that big dreams require big sacrifice. We see Olympic athletes live apart from their families for months at a time to attend the best training center. They keep strict food, training and sleep regimens. A huge commitment made in the hope of a gold medal.

Business people call it opportunity cost. "If I take advantage of this opportunity, take this chance on my vision, what will it cost me?" They know that by choosing to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of their vision, they are also choosing not to do some other things. That's the cost of opportunity.

Every dream, big or small, comes at a cost. Any level of music study requires sacrifice. Are you ready to commit, to pay the price for the success you want?

I've identified five areas where you must expect to sacrifice for your musical goal. But it's not all grim news; I've also listed five rewards that will come your way if you decide to pursue your passion.

Pursuit of Passion's Opportunity Costs
  1. Time. When you set aside time to practice, to play, to take lessons, you are obviously taking time from some of the other things in your life.
  2. Money. You will need to pay for those lessons, instruments, supplies, music, workshops, etc. What will you stop funding because you prefer to fund your music?
  3. Distraction.  Focus on a single goal is powerful. When you dilute your energies by devoting them to other projects, plans or activities, you undermine your success. There are some things that will have to wait while you pursue your goal.
  4. Preconceived ideas. You likely have some expectations about the path your progress will take. In my experience, those expectations are almost always overturned. Your path will sometimes be fast and direct, other times slow and plodding. But it will be unpredictable, and your best plan will be to let go of your preconceptions and go with the flow.
  5. Ego.  Music study demands honest self-evaluation without guilt or frustration. Don't take your mistakes to heart, or criticize yourself. Let go of the blame and just seek to improve.
Pursuit of Passion's Rewards
  1. Pride earned through achievement.
  2. Confidence in the process and in yourself.
  3. Experience that will help you reach higher goals.
  4. Knowledge that will speed your learning.
  5. Joy in making music.

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