Are you listening for your music?

Last night Joanne pulled out an old movie for us to watch.  We went to see August Rush when it was first released back in 2007 and I immediately put it in my top five favorite movies of all time.  I wrote about my response back then and last night I was just as excited once again as the story unfolded.

The lead character had been sent to an orphanage at birth, but he always believed he had a Mom and Dad out there somewhere.  He believed that somehow music would connect them, thus he heard music everywhere he went.   He heard music in the trucks rolling by, as the subway clanked along and in the amazing compositions he created on the guitar.

In one scene with The Wizard (Robin Williams) they were talking about hearing the August Rush
music.  August asked The Wizard if everyone could hear the music to which The Wizard replied: “Only those who are listening.”

I see so many people who wake up to a skill or passion at mid-life or beyond and then wonder why they hadn’t recognized it earlier.  Artists who discover their hidden talent, musicians who sit down at a piano and just begin to play, and coaches who recognize their natural ability for calling people to greatness.  Just this week I’ve seen a new opportunity to potentially double my income in my own business that has been there all along – I just hadn’t seen it.  And those times make me wonder what else am I missing because I’m not seeing or listening well.

Here are some steps I’ve found helpful for hearing your music:

  1.  Start with 15 minutes of silence in the morning.  Don’t turn on the TV or check your email.  Just listen to the silence.  (Michael Hyatt just told me about having started this practice.)
  2. Clear extraneous input during the day.  What if you eliminated TV, radio, emails, tweets and other people for a period of time.  What could you “hear” without all the competition?
  3. Adjust your reticular activation system for new ideas and insights.  Reticular activation is the process of filtering out information you don’t need and focusing in on what’s important.  Let’s say you buy a red Volvo sedan.  The next day you’ll see six red Volvo sedans and you wonder, did everyone go buy a similar car the day before?  No, they were there all along.  You just didn’t have them at the front of your awareness.  Or if you’re standing on a busy street with the noise of traffic and a thousand voices.  And then someone calls your name – you instantly hear that above all the other noise.  If you are attuned to anticipating your music you are much more likely to hear it.

If you really listened, what could you possibly hear?  What message might you hear or what new opportunity might just be waiting – if you could slow down and allow space for something new and wonderful?

Can God’s voice be heard over the cacaphony of your daily life?

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  • Taking that quiet time in the morning is something that I need to do. I’m so use to the “noise”, always having music or a podcast. I’m going try it out Dan and eliminate a lot more distractions in my life.

    • 48DaysDan

      I think you’ll find the silence an amazing way to tap into your best self.

  • Robinson Mertilus

    Thanks for this post. I also read Michael Hyatt’s post and have heard your comments on the 15 minutes of quiet reflection, but until recently I’ve been an unbeliever so to speak. I’m reading John C Maxwell’s recent book, “…Laws of Personal Growth”. Guess what? He offers the same advice. Great mind think alike. The message was made very clear to me that I need to pause and reflect. I think I spend a lot of time consuming information and not enough time processing. Since the start of the year, I’ve incorporated more Evernote journal writing as well and it’s been very rewarding. I feel that more ideas are flowing and, in fact, I’m getting ready to launch a new project that I’ve been mulling over for a couple weeks now. Thanks for your continued sage advice.

    • 48DaysDan

      You are most welcome. I think you’ll find the time spent reflecting will have a big payoff in your life. Thanks for your comments.

  • What a wonderful post and I’ve never seen the movie. I can’t wait!

    • 48DaysDan

      Oh you’re gonna love it.

  • MrTravisScott

    I love the reticular activation system! I think that also works in reverse…where people just notice everything that is wrong in their life. I am just pointing that out b/c I think some people actually suffer from that type of thinking. If they would just turn it around and focus on everything that is good then I believe more good things would happen.

    Thanks for the post

    • 48DaysDan

      I think you’re absolutely right. We need to tune our activation system to recognize what is pure, wholesome and positive. It can indeed work against us if we allow it.

  • DS

    There is tremendous power in silence. I try to be productive in a variety of areas, that some times I forget to turn it all off. Even in the car I try to listen to positive audio, but found myself needing some thinking time. Thanks for the reminder!

  • Marty Wenger

    August Rush is one of my all-time favorites; a treasure. To hear one’s music– you’ve framed it well. Extraneous input so easily makes the noise blocking that still small voice in the soul.