That title either intrigued you, or scared you away! But a life in performance is likely to have moments that encounter something we call competition. It’s worth taking a moment to discuss what that word means to us.

So I’m of the belief that there really is no competition in life. Sound crazy? Well ask yourself this, can you be either bad or good at being you? Can someone else do a better job? I think this is obvious, right? As long as I am thinking of life from this perspective, I can’t lose. There is no competition, and I’m free to know that whatever I do, I am always being the most authentic, honest version of this human called me. In any moment, with what I know in that moment, my choices are my best guess as to what I should do. Later I may and likely will get more information that would change or influence my decisions. Then I can course correct. But I am doing my best, in that moment. I have my skills, my intelligence or lack thereof, my experience, and all come to bear on what I do. But there is no competition. Others make their own choices, based on what they’ve learned, lived, etc. But is there really anyone that can be better at being me? Even a better, later version of me can do no more, until and unless it moves forward, thus gaining more data to add into the calculation.

But don’t we have to compete all the time? For jobs, for love, for money? Do we? It seems that way, in a country that focuses on who’s number one, how much do you make, where do you live? But we are musicians, so what’s the real goal? Making music, right? Even my best performance is less than perfect. But is perfection the goal? Expressing emotions, feelings through sound, is that the goal? If I have moved someone, even with a few “missed notes” isn’t that the real goal? So how can you possibly lose? If you have enjoyed the process, moved another human to share some feeling, that’s a win very time. And no one loses or wins. No competition.

And perhaps some “competition” is good. It can push us harder, to reach for that which otherwise, we would not try to achieve.

We have auditions, chair placements, jobs to win, or not. So somehow, I have the goal of being my best version, in any given moment, and let others make their judgments. Sometimes it goes in my favor, sometimes not. But if I have done my absolute best in that moment, how could I lose, regardless the outcome. If it’s meant to be, then it will be. It does get a whole lot easier to see this as you stand at the end of a career and look back. It’s the Benjamin Button effect. (movie with Brad Pitt, you need to get out more!)

So adapt the attitude of, be your best self, have faith, learn what you can every day, then take that information, add it to the database, and move on. We don’t have to buy into the prevailing myth. There are no winners and losers, no one is keeping score, we all play the game of life as best we can, and in the end, we keep what we came in with…nothing. Except of course, perhaps the love that we’ve shared along the way. I think we get to keep that. But the competition, did it really exist, except that we thought it was real.

You can’t be anyone but you, no one can do it better, and no one wins. You do your best. Try to enjoy the ride. Laugh more, love more, share what you have more, share the unique thing that is all you really need to share….be you, share you, enjoy you. It’s your only job, you can’t win or lose it, and no one else can do the job.   coming soon, Part two, Rejection…..

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