Week 12 – Giving The Best

I missed last week’s webinar. I was playing a concert with the Dutch jazz pianist and composer Jeroen Van Vliet who received the prestigious Boy Edgar Prize that night. The whole evening was a huge success. The Bimhuis, the well-know jazz venue in Amsterdam, was completely sold out. The audience was warm and enthusiastic. Radio and TV were recording the event, press all over the place. And yet something didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel right…

I haven’t been performing much since five or six years now. I’m actually hardly playing at all anymore these days. A conscious decision, wanting to live a more balanced, healthy and regular life. I just play a handful of concerts a year, mostly because I have a hard time saying no to my musician friends…

So I was standing there on stage, doing “the best I could”, considering the circumstances. And then I messed up big time… Usually I can live with that, I feel kind of detached from it all, for this is not my life anymore. I feel I don’t have to prove anything. I’m not a professional musician anymore.  But after this concert I felt really depressed, something that hadn’t happened in a very long time. I felt I let my friend down… He was counting on me, knowing how I used to play. And here I was, kinda winging it…

The next day, at the hotel, it suddenly became clear to me. I didn’t give the best. I was giving the best I could… or something like that. And that’s definitely not enough, whatever the situation is. Music, relationships, business… So I realised I have two choices. Either stop playing completely – and I’ve considered this option seriously – or practice every day, keep in shape, and when one of these rare live performances come into view, remove ALL distractions, several weeks before and focus, zoom in completely. Practice, practice and practice – 8 hours a day – give it ALL, and learn the music by heart, inside out. So that no matter what happens, I would be standing there, giving the best. I’m pretty sure I’ll go for this option…

Interestingly enough, obviously due to the state of my mind this week, several not so happy events occurred. I thought I was about to go bankrupt before the end of the year. And for a moment I thought of letting it all go, give in, disappear into the woods, and live a simple and secluded life. But, you know what ? I will persist. And I will win…


Thanks for visiting and reading this post. Please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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8 thoughts on “Week 12 – Giving The Best

  1. Dennis Andrews

    Erwin I will say with confidence that you will make the right decision, and whatever that decision is will free you to go forward with renewed energy. Every challenge has a seed of brighter days.

    Reply
  2. Dee Martin

    I love your honesty. I feel like I’m often a jack of all trades & a master of nothing, kinda like I get by but…Then I have controlled resentment towards myself for not giving it my all. You inspire me!

    Reply

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