How to hustle

This is my mind. Too many little projects. Muddled. I’ll never reach the sea nor the horizon this way.

I think I’ve found out what I lack.

I lack the hustle. I think I work quite hard at a lot of different things at once. I like working a little on ideas here and then working on another idea there. But I lack the hustle of focusing on one or two things INTENSELY.

I start some series and then drop it when I feel like it’s not going in the direction I’d like it to. Or I’ll watch a movie, and get distracted it and look up something on my phone. Or blog.

What’s one crazy thing I can do to make me hustle better?

Is it having a clear goal and banging the hammer on the nail of it every single day?

The entrepreneur and musician Derek Sivers has this amazing gift of being able to focus. Only WANTING to focus on one thing until it’s done. Sometimes that meant isolation.

I need to practice the art form and discipline of focusing on one thing for a long time. I need to enter into Deep Work. This is the only way I’ll succeed.

I need to be clear with my goals, clear with my daily intentions, and disciplined in my practice. If I dedicate one hour to something, that hour is dedicated to it.

I will not veer, I will not get distracted until that goal is done. If I get distracted, like meditation, I will return back to it.

Competitions done right

Me in Taipei for the Maestro Taiwan International Piano Competition having a great time

How do we make music competitions a positive and nurturing experience? How do we navigate through the competitive, win-lose, and often tortuous nature of these contests? On top of that, how can jury members, organisers, and the administration ensure that competitors will WANT to come back because they’re able to get so much value out of the competition?

That is the challenge I want to tackle. I’ve been asked by a really good friend to collaborate on a competition. My first thought was: how can we distinguish ourselves from all the other thousands of competitions? Prize money? Concert opportunities? Prestigious jury members?

Or shall we go down a route where we try to offer each and every qualifying competitor the best and most valuable lessons in music, art, and life? So that even if you do not attain the first couple of prizes, you don’t feel like you lost. You would feel like you have the tools to get better. I want the competitors to feel like they’ve gained something either in technique, career advice, musical and artistic experience, or even something as simple as encouragement from the competition.

This is so we can build a world where artists feel like they are a part of something larger. That they can incorporate art and the lessons learnt from honing a craft, into their own lives.

For me, this is a prize that I can offer everyone and it will be something invaluable that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.