Can You Hear Your Music?

Posted by Judy Anne Cavey on Jan 6, 2011 in , , | No Comments

In Life Coach Dan Miller’s article, Is Your Music Still In You?, he quotes

Oliver Wendell Holmes, “Many people die with their music still in them.”

Why is this so? Too often it’s because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out. This could be a wake-up call to unemployed workers, or college grads, who now find themselves questioning what they want to do next.

As Miller points out, “Having no dreams traps people in jobs they hate…” Going through the motions day to day–going to work at a job not suited to your innermost aspirations–you will become an unhappy drone. Are you missing out on your personal calling in life, which is where your “music” comes from? It’s time to find out.

The Questions

Here are important questions Miller asks readers; What is your life saying to the world? Are you living it too small, leaving no room for the work that makes your heart sing? Are you pushing so hard to do more that you’ve lost the sense of being more? Does more activity really equal greater accomplishment, or does it at some point tip the scale and begin to diminish the meaning of our life? All great questions to begin asking yourself, they might set you on a course to where you really want to eventually be in life. Give yourself the opportunity to step out, dream your dreams, and “play the music” that is deep in your heart.

Living Someone Else’s Dream

Several years ago, I interviewed people for an article I was writing for a monthly publication. One woman, a well paid accountant, stated (with sadness in her eyes) that she went to college and got her degree in a subject that was not her choice. It was her parents choice. Now, in middle age, she wanted to go back to school and get the degree she longed for in a field that had always held her attention–medicine. No longer was she the obedient young daughter allowing her parents to dictate what she should do with her life. It was time she did what she felt would make her life complete. What awakened her? A major life change. It prompted her to remember the dream she stuffed deep inside.

Having a difficult time remembering what your dreams were? Ask yourself this question; when you were a child and adults asked you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, do you remember what you answered? Usually, that is what’s calling to you while daydreaming. Even if you may not be able to do the exact thing you dreamed about, you certainly are capable of doing something similar. For example; you dreamed of being a writer but never pursued that avenue in college, instead getting an MBA. Now, you can begin to write for your local paper, become an online blogger, or write articles for business publications using your business knowledge. If you feel you have a book in you, start to take writing workshops, join a writing group, and understand the book writing process.

Take inventory; what are you doing now that was actually someone else’s dream for you? Whatever your dream was, let it become a reality now that you make decisions for your own life.

Where to Begin

Dan Miller is also the author of No More Mondays, a book designed to help readers redesign their career path, matching talents, passions and interests. In his book, he will help you discover when you’re not true to yourself, you lose authenticity, creativity and imagination. Miller believes we too often become “performance-based” and then compromise in all areas of life. This brings much dissatisfaction.

Miller states; “The drastic economic changes resulting in the sudden loss of jobs are causing many people to think they’ve failed. But what if such an unexpected closing door is really a necessary step toward finding your music?” Our failures need to take on new meaning. They may be rerouting us to where we’ve secretly wanted to go all these years. Those detours might lead to rough roads ahead, but inevitably we find our way either onto a newly paved expressway…or back on our old potholed two lane road going nowhere. We have to make the best choice which way to go this time around. Focus on what is ahead of you, not what you’ve left behind.

Fearless or Foolish

Stepping out with fearlessness into a new chapter of your life is admirable. But where do you draw the line between fearless and foolish? I recently saw a show with a panel of successful business people who defined where you draw the line. Basically, if you have a dream and you have mortgaged your home, cashed in your IRA, and used up all of your savings, you have successfully moved into the foolish zone. Never carry out this type of personal financial destruction to reach your goals. What this carelessness creates is a nightmare, not a fulfilled dream.

Hold onto Hope

Many people have lost jobs, homes, and their relationships are on shaky ground, leaving little hope. But hope is exactly what must be held onto tightly. You can hope that tomorrow will bring a new opportunity after you’ve made an effort in the right direction. By acknowledging you can and will survive what has happened, then find the strength to move forward, press on to a new beginning.

Keep searching for ways to contribute, to do what you really love to do–to “hear your music”. Don’t be afraid to tap into those ideas that have followed you for decades. Push aside the voices that tell you your ideas are unrealistic or impractical just because they don’t fit the “norm”.  Remember, the “norm” is highly overrated!

©2009 Featured article in the JobAngels online newsletter, “Taking Flight”, August 2009.

Judy Anne Cavey, who resides in the S.F. Bay Area of California, is a credentialed, certified, higher education instructor who taught Work Experience/Cooperative Education and ESL at three community colleges. She is also a freelance writer and grant writer currently authoring a textbook, has designed other learning programs, and worked with several nonprofits. Her Edublog, “Work Experience”, is a not-for-profit endeavor designed to assist job seekers of all ages.