How to Overcome the Last Stumbling Block to Excellence

Working on a new project we often come to a point where it just doesn’t seem to move forward. We work hard, do all the steps but we feel it’s just not ‘it’. Have you been in such a situation? What’s that last necessary step to make it the ‘it’?

As an ambitious, aspiring violin student I practiced 8 hours a day to achieve my violinistic dreams. I had a great professor at the Academy, one of the foremost violin pedagogues in the world. Two years into my studies I could boast of an excellent violin technique, good musical knowledge but somehow I wasn’t happy with my playing. It just wasn’t ‘it’. I started practicing more, studied harder but I still seemed to be missing that last step to performance excellence.

At the time my father visited me and went to my professor to inform himself of how my studies were continuing. My professor told him I was diligent, hardworking and that I had made a huge progress. However, I was still not reaching top level performance.

‘What should she do? Practice more?’ asked my father.

‘No, Bibi should just go for regular walks, let her mind go and excellence in performance will follow’ answered my professor.

He was right. Reflecting now, it was the most valuable information he had given me and for me this method works up to today. If you are facing a similar situation, go for a walk, jog or do some activity that, as my professor said, ‘lets the mind go’. The stumbling block will fall and excellence will follow.

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