Beethoven’s 40,000 Hours of Dedication Shows That the Only Way To Succeed Is Through Hard Work

Andrei Tapalaga

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Ludwig van Beethoven (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

It is quite sad how the greatest artists of all times to have walked on this Earth are slowly forgotten as the new generation sees no interest in them or their music, nor their success stories.

Classical music is an absolute diamond for inspiration for me, however, what is more, inspiring is Ludwig Van Beethoven’s life story and how he managed to be acclaimed as the world’s greatest composer as well as a great pianist.

His life does not only show how much dedication and hard work it requires to become the best, but also that you can become the best at something even if you are the worst at the beginning.

The Childhood Influences That Lead Him To Success

It all started in the year 1770 when Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany. He was named exactly after his grandfather Ludwig Van Beethoven who was a musician locally known to the townspeople.

One of Beethoven’s greatest inspirations from an early age was his grandfather’s portrait which he looked upon as a talisman to remind him of his life as well as achievements within his career as a musician, even if these were quite small compared to what young Beethoven was to become.

Beethoven’s first teacher, and who eventually persuaded him to follow a career as a musician, was his father. He started playing the violin and study music vigorously which meant at least eight hours a day besides all the other schooling.

His father was very inspired by the life of his grandfather and he really wanted to see him succeed. Even if he did not have the greatest talent from an early age his father would promote him as a prodigy.

In reality, young Beethoven was terrible at music.

This is what probably made his father abusive to him, as he wanted so much to see him become successful that he pushed him over the limits.

Once he began fifth grade his father introduced him to a family friend by the name of Tovias Friedrich Pfeiffer which was offering piano lessons. As he was getting taught one of the hardest instruments out there, Pfeiffer did not make it easy for him to the point where young Beethoven would end up in tears from how intensive his lessons were.

His new teacher Pfeiffer was suffering from insomnia so often at times he would drag young Beethoven from his bed to the piano and make him practice for hours in the middle of the night. As you can see from such extreme examples, it has taken an extensive amount of time for him to become one of the best out there.

A Crafted Talent

It is amazing what determination, with the help of others, can get you. We are looking here at a person who loved music and wanted to be an artist even if he never had much talent, to begin with. It all comes down to hours and hours of beating down on your craft to achieve what today is considered the best in its own category.

If you are still not convinced that there is simply nothing more melodic than Beethoven’s 5th symphony then you either didn’t listen enough to it or you need to see a live performance in order to get convinced.

A masterpiece that required the experience of over 40,000 hours before managing to create something of this excellence. That number is in fact correct since the age of seven Beethoven had been practicing for at least eight hours a day vigorously on different instruments throughout his life. This is how he has also managed to develop a musical ear.

Spending so many hours doing the same thing over and over again may seem to some as “a waste of life”, but if you truly love what you do no seconds have been wasted.

What made his journey even more difficult is starting to lose hearing and becoming deaf by the age of 26, however, by that time he had so many hours of practice that he was able to sort of feel music.

Many acclaim Beethoven because some people could live 10 lives and still not achieve as much as Beethoven managed to in his 56 years of life.

Success Can Bring Happiness

Philosophers like Plato and Cicero came to the conclusion that you can’t have everything in life as you need to sacrifice something in order to get something else in exchange.

In Beethoven's case, this can be seen as sacrificing the time he could have spent with this family to work on his craft. This should teach you the most important lesson about success.

This success also brought him a lot of joy, although you may say that from his sad childhood he was never happy you can also see that later in his life he had many chances to quiet, especially when he went deaf.

It was simply the love for his craft, built over the harsh years, that never let him stop, not even on his death bed.

Success only comes with sacrifice, so if you want it you need to be ready to make those sacrifices, whatever they may be. However, be sure that success can bring a lifetime worth of joy!

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