“Success is none of your business,” says Mrs. Goldberg in her book Long Quiet Highway. “You must write (in our case practice) because it’s in your nature; it’s something you cannot live without doing.”
Art is not about end results/success. Art is about the process.
Here’s what I think about the quote:
1. Musicians CAN be successful without big results. When you level up one tiny bit, you are immediately successful.
2. Your focus should be on creating good art—not money, not power, not fame. You entered the field to create beautifulness.
3. Stay ambitious and competitive on a personal level. It’s hard to keep trying to beat your best record, but that’s how you’ll level up—not by competing with your peers. The race is against yourself.
4. One day be an artist and level up for the love of art, the next day be an ambitious musician and level up to reach your personal goals (for results!). Always find a balance.
5. Realize that results are none of your business, and that, no matter what, you’ll be playing your instrument tomorrow; even if you never get to play at Carnegie Hall, even if you never get a job with the Berliner Philharmoniker.
6. If you take your time you’ll be successful; but again, who cares? Success is none of your business.
7. Show up every day. Make a schedule before you start your day.
If you must take one thing about this post, let it be the importance of consistent work. Remember that quality goes in front of quantity but CONSISTENCY will give you the results/success you are after.
Work for success, then relax and enjoy your craft. This will bring happiness, focus, discipline and purpose to your musician life; which in fact will help you find…success. But who cares, right?