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So I know I touched on Beatrice Rana a bit on last week’s blog but after she won second place Sunday in the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, I felt compelled to expand on what we can all learn from someone like Beatrice.

I was asked in May to be a social host for this year’s competition. I jumped at the chance because it combined two of my favorite things- music and being social 🙂 Social hosts were created for the competition in addition to the host family they stay with in order to take some of the burden off the host family. So that they wouldn’t feel compelled to entertain them all the time. And we, the social hosts, would be responsible for all the fun stuff.

When the competition began 3 weeks ago, I met Beatrice and her mom for the first time at the opening dinner and explained what my job was since she wasn’t familiar with it. Apparently social hosts are unique to The Cliburn. I left it up to her as to when she wanted to go out and explore the city and she assured me she’d let me know.

Well, as the competition progressed and she advanced further and further, all she wanted to do was rest and practice. Rest and practice. And while I was bummed that I didn’t get to partake in more than 2 dinners with her and her host family, her focus is evidence of why she won the silver medal in this top international competition.

And she of course apologized in the end that she didn’t want to go out more but I absolutely understood. In fact, I’d heard that this is common and unless a competitor is eliminated, they don’t go out. They’re here for a purpose and that purpose is to win.

Her dedication and unwavering focus is WHY she’s gotten as far as she has. If any of us expect to have the life we dream of we must recognize that it takes an incredible amount of focus. Especially as artists because it’s so easy to be consumed by distractions.

It’s about reminding ourselves daily of our goals and intentions, taking action each day toward those goals and cutting out any distractions that might be keeping us from those goals.

And I want to stress here, it’s not about the level of success necessarily. I’m just using Beatrice as an example of what wholehearted, focused, unwavering dedication can get you. It can get you the career and life that you love. Success will always be a byproduct.

So what’re your thoughts? Have you been toying around with a hobby that you wish were your career? Can you find time on a daily basis to dedicate toward your dream, if you’re not currently doing so? Do you feel you need help focusing on your goals and are easily distracted? I’d love to hear your feedback. After all, we’re all in this together. 🙂

Photo courtesy of The Cliburn