The time to start pursuing your passions is now.
By six years old, Mozart was writing his own compositions and playing multiple instruments in public performances. He wrote his first great mass—Misa Brevis in G—when he was 12. The lesson: It’s never too early to pursue your creativity. Of course, it helps if your family is wealthy and you don’t have to work on that “job” thing.
Pick influential role models.
Mozart’s idols included Bach, Handel, and Haydn, even though the latter was already an established composer during Mozart’s childhood. In 1783, however, when Mozart was 28 and Haydn was 52, they co-headlined the bill at a charity concert in Vienna. “If only I could impress Mozart’s inimitable works on the soul of every friend of music,” Haydn once wrote, “the nations would vie with each other to possess such a jewel.”
The lesson: Choose your mentors wisely.
Learn to build and borrow from others.
Mozart sometimes took familiar phrases from other composers’ work and added them to his own, making him perhaps one of the earliest performers to sample music.
The lesson: Quiet your ego and embrace the work of other artists—for they may lift your creativity to new peaks.