Are you a musician ? Who are you exactly ? Have you ever competed ? Or auditioned ? Do you plan to ?
I believe that, no matter who we are and which path we have chosen, we all have to confront ourselves to such a competitive situation sooner or later. Nowadays, I can't think of a job that you don't have to audition or interview for, a sportive event with no competing purpose, or even a hobby without the aim of doing one's best.
So, I think everyone could benefit from the book I am about to present.
I swear, I won't make any benefit from you buying it, I don't have an agreement with the author !
It just happens to be THE book that helped me the most in my life as a competing and auditioning musician.
It is called "In pursuit of excellence", it has been written by Terry Orlick, and it is full of amazing eye-opening advice that everyone can relate to.
The subtitle says it all : "How to win in sport and life through mental training".
But wait ! If you don't have a very competitive soul, don't quit this page just yet !!!!
This can be about winning, but this can also be about just being able to have better focus through your daily life, and about bringing joy back to your daily routine.
It is full of interviews of athletes who worked with the author and managed excellency afterwards, but also of people whose life was really hard and found closure and purpose through the mental exercises included.
As far as I'm concerned, I am a pretty competitive person, but I am also very hard on myself, and it results in lots of self-doubting and insecurity.
This book was recommended to me by Vincent Cortvrint in a masterclass when I was preparing for the Geneva Competition, and I can tell you that reading it totally changed my perception of what I should think about during the event itself.
I remember vividly my first Kobe competition : I was scared like I had never been in my life, and I wished I would just die on the spot instead of having to play. And thanks to that book- well, competing didn't become easy, it just never is- it became more manageable. I didn't ever want to die behind the stage again. And that is a biiiiig step, believe me!!
So, here are random things I learnt from this book, and surely I am forgetting some of them, because there were so many or because now they seem so obvious to me:
-Competitions are not about the others, they are about you, and you really have to stop thinking all the time about how they are performing and how you think they are better.
-Whether it's cold, or hot, whether you are fully rested, or not, you have to focus on what is under your control and stop being distracted by things beyond your reach, because it is only going to stress you and exhaust you.
-If you decide you want to improve yourself in an area, then you have to be committed to it. You are the only one with the power to decide you are going to be better.
-The mind can make incredible things, but you have to let it work its magic.
-You have to discover for yourself what works for you and enables you to perform to your very best.
-You actually learn a lot more from failures than from victories.
And some more.
But you could discover it for yourself, and maybe the book will speak very differently to you from how it spoke to me.
There are lot of exercises in it that I didn't feel the need to do, and I think if you read it, you will feel what is right for you.
Everyone is different, but I think regardless of who you are, there has to be an area of your life Terry Orlick can help you with !
Let me know if you read the book, if you already did, or if you've got a different coaching book that helped you along the way.
Until next time,