In the past several days, I've read news media articles about Major League pitchers Adam Wainwright (NYT) and Jordan Montgomery (The Athletic) and listened to an NPR interview with Bela Fleck, probably the best known and certainly one of the most gifted living banjo players in the world, all of which reinforced a similar point. (I have attached links to the NYT article about Wainwright).and the NPR interview with Fleck. Unfortunately, The Athletic article about Montgomery is behind a paywall, so I can't share that with you.)
Themes that run through all three articles about these three superlative performers, their secret sauce, if you will, is that they have realistically self-assessed their talents and limitations, sought out guidance from others they respect and listened to them, worked smart. not just long and hard, made adjustments as their bodies have changed, in the case of Wainwright and Fleck, as a result of aging, and in the case of Montgomery, as a result of major surgery on his pitching elbow, and enjoyed doing what they do.
If you have not listened to Bela's new album, I strongly recommend it. I can't recall the last new album by any artist that I enjoyed as much as this one. Almost the entire album is magical and beautiful music made by masters of their respective instruments. (There are one or two cuts i don't love.) Similar to Miles Davis, one of Bela's strengths is to set a path and then allow, no, create, opportunities for the other musicians to shine. Of course, Bela shines too.
'Change' 4 hrs
'May Bell Queen' 5 hrs
'Gentle on my mind' 11 hrs