Here's me in the early 90s when I was a boy soloist performing at opera houses around the world, meeting various presidents and celebrities such as the brown-haired prince to my right.
I've learned three things:
1. Nothing is forever. A boy's voice cracks in the early teens, and so does every business model, eventually. Embrace change, or change will embrace you. Never get comfortable with your modus operandi.
2. Do something that you'd want to do for 7 days a week. If you feel like only doing it for 5 days, that means you don't really like it. And if you don't like it, you won't get very far. Of course it's fine to work a normal working week, but it ought to be something you'd want to do all the time anyway. Something you dream about on the weekends. I personally love working 7 days a week, because I do things that I don't consider 'work'.
3. The people in power are all inherently good, no matter what they do. They are trying hard, wholeheartedly sacrificing their personal lives for something bigger. Not many of us do. I have watched a lot of the shakers and movers from the 90s from the sidelines, through a young boy's eyes, from George H. W. Bush to Helmut Kohl to Leonard Bernstein. How they interacted, moved, what they said. And I only saw hard-working, dedicated superhumans who gave their everything. Don't envy them for being powerful. Don't resent them because they may have a different opinion. I have learned to never envy anyone who is more powerful, successful, wealthy, balanced or happy than me. Whenever I meet people who are, I am just genuinely happy for them, and can't wait to hear their stories and learn something. Not ever accepting envy as an emotion is the best thing I took away from that time.
Thank you to Tölzer Knabenchor GmbH for allowing me to learn these lessons early on!!