He was playing the piano at age 3, composing by 5, and performing at age 6.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart started his career early. As he grew older – he would take full command of his career in ways most of us would not consider today.
Over 200 years after Mozart’s death, we review what the world’s most famous composer had to say about doing things his way.
I pay no attention whatever to anybody’s praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.
When was the last time you listened to your gut? Really listened. What other people say about what you should or should not do will never be as accurate as your own heart. Mozart had the unique ability to ignore not only criticism, but also praise – choosing to be his own judge of career highs and lows. Take charge.
When I am traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly.
We’re all a bit like Mozart, often coming up with our best ideas in the middle of the night. They sneak up on us when we least expect it. The secret? Relaxing the mind. When we are stressed, we’re not our best. But when the mind is at rest, it can produce amazing plans, scenarios and surprisingly ambitious goals. Let your career be guided by your inner calm.
To talk well and eloquently is a very great art, but that an equally great one is to know the right moment to stop.
According to history, Mozart was a big talker. But he also knew when to shut up. Today, many of us literally talk our way out of career success. Your ability to not just hear other people, but intently listen to them, is likely the number one skill in career development. I will never forget the day I listened to an old boss lament the burden of his responsibilities. Later, he said “It has been great talking with you.” I hadn’t said a word. Months later I was promoted, and can’t help feeling that “chat” had a lot to do with it.
It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied.
Many people mistakenly believe that Mozart’s success was due to his natural talent. But in truth, his studies and practice sessions, which began at age 3 and lasted a lifetime, made the difference. Today, if you learn everything you can about your chosen field, you will soon become an expert. And in demand.
Mozart was no stranger to hard work.
In 1784, it is said that he appeared in 22 concerts in just five weeks. According to his wife and others who knew him – he worked long and hard, often with little sleep. In his words: “I work hard so as not to have to work hard any longer.”
He set his own worth, refusing to accept the salary paid to him as a court musician in Salzburg.
Mozart produced 600 pieces of music – all of which live on today in concert halls the world over.
His life was short, lasting only 35 years, ended by an unknown illness.
Listen to your heart. Relax your mind. Know everything you can.
Footnote: When Mozart was very young, his father taught music both to him and his sister. Historians say Mozart’s sister Maria Anna was as good as Mozart. In the 1700s, women were not permitted to have careers so her father stopped teaching her as she grew up. Had she lived today, she would likely have been a star of classical music.
Mozart put an incredible amount of feeling and passion into his music – evident from this Vienna Philharmonic performance of Mozart’s Symphony number 36.