In a sunlit room in the middle of Berlin, 24 young musicians sit in a circle of chairs. They listen attentively, while the artists Balbina and Andrra share their experiences on the stony path to musical success.
It is about very practical tips, but also about wrestling with doubt. In almost all respects Andrra and Balbina agree, complement each other’s comments in detail. But then it comes at some point to the question of how much you as a musician or musician for the career expects. Suddenly the ghosts part. Balbina is sure:

“Career-critical opportunities require victims. And by that I mean only the important. Not the urgent, what sits on the outside of the neck and actually has no relevance. You have to make the difference. But then: A clear yes to long studio nights, even if you have the next day for the money job a 10-hour shift in front of him, and a clear yes for several jobs at the same time to finance their own CD production. ”

Andrra replies: “For myself, I have determined that it is only possible to do my own time planning and resilience. If I know that I have to sacrifice too much for a spontaneous performance or for a PR opportunity, then I will not do it. I am aware that this will give me chances in the wind. But over the years, I’ve learned that this is the only way to get there. Although it may take a little longer.

These positions reflect a very current struggle for priorities in a modern service society. The question of whether we give in to the demands of others or listen to ourselves may be pointed out in the career of the young musicians, but we all have to ask questions of a similar kind on a daily basis.

On top of that, we have so many ways to balance and bring more mindfulness into our lives. Yoga, mediation and other mindfulness methods should help to listen to ourselves despite stressful external influences. These techniques have become popular in the western, wealthy world primarily as balancing methods for a merciless meritocracy. But just in contrast to this creates a new challenge. While on the one hand, the return to the ego and the great slowdown are praised, many career counselors continue to invite you to set up outside the comfort zone for the great success.

Wilding argues – as the singers Andrra – for the sustainability of a career through the careful and conscious use of their own resources. But the question remains: how do I find a healthy balance? How do I know where my limits are, if I move up my career and constantly face new, difficult-to-assess tasks? Especially those who have once been shipwrecked with the limits of their performance may not trust their assessments in this regard without any restrictions. So where does endurance stop and where does self-exploitation begin?

Scientists Steven Southwick and Dennis Charney write that the key lies in mental flexibility and the ability to reassess a variety of situations. In their book “Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges” they define a resilient personality based on these two criteria.

For them, staying flexible means accepting the situation first. Even if it causes feelings of fear or pain. Southwick and Charney are confident that only by accepting a realistic assessment of the solution options is possible. After the acceptance comes from their point of view a flexible view into the future. Because their research has shown that people are particularly resilient when they adapt their handling of stress factors again and again to changed situations. People who tried it again and again with the same strategies, regardless of the situation, often did not get on with it.

This means that sometimes it is the right way to communicate unpleasant emotions, but in other cases it is correct not to allow all emotions and even to reinterpret them. Here, the scientists come to the above positive revaluation. The feelings say: I know that, that’s terrible, I’m done. The head says: Okay, I accept the feeling, but how could I see that? What can I get out of here? As a superpower to positively reinterpret challenging moments, Charney and Southwick see a healthy sense of humor. He combines realism with an eye for the tragic and the optimistic.


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