Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Career in Perspective

Any career in the fast lane demands total commitment. Excellence always requires time, energy and the eliminating of competing interests. Sacrificing for success is part of what defines it. The problem is balance, priorities and perspective. Crossing the finish line isn't the only assignment, and winning the prize isn't everything.

Once we have found our lane we tend to go all out and press for that mark with eyes only on the goal. The thinking is "People don't care if Jack is a dull boy. His work made him what he is, and it is worth every sacrifice!" Well, Jack happens to be who he is, and he is not his work. Not only is Jack greater than his work, but he is also more important. The quality of a person will define his work, not the reverse. Hard to grasp is the idea that the better the person is, the better his work will be.

In the obsession to achieve success, we must realize that the most successful and fulfilled competitors have been running in more than one lane for a long time. Life does exist outside of universities, office buildings, practice rooms and concert halls. Each facet of life has its race, and the success of one part is dependant upon the success of the others. A career is a long time to have only one focus. Fulfillment seems to involve giving our best to all that has been put before us.

1 comment:

Lorenzo said...

Phil, I have to say first of all that I have been listening to your recordings for years. Your sound has been in my ears and has been an inspiration for me to reach higher.

I particularly like this post because I am currently struggling with my career. I am a trumpet player. There...I said it! Isn't the first step to recovery, admitting that you have a problem? :-)

I have a doctorate in trumpet from UCLA and pages of performance credentials, but as you know better than I, that doesn't make a career. I have been heavily involved with every musical environment that surrounds me in hopes of something leading me somewhere better. I'm a few weeks away from turning 29 years old, I'm engaged to be married in July, and I'm scraping and struggling to identify what exactly is my career.

Thanks for this post that was a helpful reminder that I have much more important things to focus on. I am taking the Colorado Symphony principal trumpet audition in a few months and I have been seriously focused on preparing for that audition. I know very well that even if I don't win that audition, I can still look forward to being a good husband and hopefully one day a good father. That's the main reason I really want to win this audition. I want to have a better job to support my family. I'm really hungry for a more stable life, and I hope that if I can find this balance you speak of, that I will achieve that stability. Thank you!