The Competition

I was visiting with a former student recently, who has completed his first year of music school. He’s entering the second year with eyes wide open: knowing exactly what’s coming, he’s better prepared for success.

He also reflected on his abandoning of Netflix-binging over his two freshman semesters. Simply put, he discovered his passion needed work, and he couldn’t both 1. Do the work and 2. Watch Game of Thrones. (Or whatever it is).

As I put it to him: he is aware that his “competition” in the marketplace after graduation isn’t necessarily a classmate here: it’s someone in New York, Miami, L.A. – and he has no idea whether they have the strength to turn off the media, but he has to assume that they do.

Before long, he’s leaving the protection of school, and then he’s either have the skills to succeed, or will have to struggle to survive. He’s doing the smart thing and choosing to leave the short-term pleasure of media consumption for another day; instead he’s making a long-term investment in his craft.

What about you? Are you passionate enough about your work to set aside Netflix? YouTube? Facebook?