“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
We often underestimate the possible impact we have on others. Our potential influence is enormous. Gigantic. And yet, it is underestimated.
At the deepest core of our being, all of us want to make a difference. We want to have impact. We want to leave a legacy. We want to be of service to others. But how? That is the question that gnaws at our core. In the moments of silence, we think about our influence. I do…often.
We get up every day and follow established routines. The practices that have become habits. We put one step in front of the last step. We go to jobs and do the same thing we did yesterday. Even if we are at home or in retirement, we subconsciously step into set patterns.
We may be having fun. Perhaps we are making money. It may be a good life, or at least it is okay. But at a deep level, we want more. The privilege of ‘having’ is not enough. Enjoying what life offers leaves us still unfulfilled. We want to give. We want our offerings to matter. How can we satisfy this inner yearning to make a difference?
First, we need to be aware of our potential influence…which is off the charts. Enormous. Far more than we ever thought possible. And what stifles the awareness of our potential is, in part, the steady stream of negative messages sent our way every day. Our electronic world supplies a constant flow of communication—much of it harmful and adverse to our success. How can we combat the volume of negative messages?
Among my personal solutions I have discovered and daily use a powerful tool that is available to everyone, easy to utilize and effective in creating an environment that is positive and inspiring.
Listen daily to music you choose.
I am not talking about the most common ways all of us hear music. Such as listening to local radio stations while in our vehicle. Or the music we hear in a weekly church service. For some of us, myself included, we have signed up and pay for Sirius music, which allows us to play advertisement free songs of a category we like. Perhaps, a less common way to hear music is to actually play it as I do now on the piano. As much as I like these options, all which I find worthwhile, none of them provide the benefit of my daily choice.
I choose my own music.
My choices are powerful and influential. My music helps to set my day in the right frame of mind. With this tool, I have a powerful asset to overcome the steady stream of negative messages that all of us receive daily.
I choose my own music.
I have seven tracks of music for every single day of the week on my phone and computer. I have other tracks with specific titles chosen by me, including spiritual and country. Many of the songs have been carefully chosen because of a unique significance. Some are related to a special memory, some are inspirational, and others are positive and encouraging. A few of the songs are a combination of special memories and inspiration. The music I have chosen to play lifts my spirit and inspires me to be my best.
One good example of the kind of choices I have made are the songs from the musical, The Phantom of the Opera. My wife Carol and I attended this musical in New York when Michael Crawford played in the role of the Phantom. We were treated to this event by Carols’ brother Ron Stevens and his wife Becky. Becky’s cousin Becca (Rebecca Luker) was playing a supporting role in the play. We will never forget that special evening. We love this play and all of the songs. Twice, on wedding anniversaries, Carol and I saw the play again in New Orleans.
When I am walking on my treadmill, I play these songs. As I listen, I remember the gift of Ron and Becky, multiple anniversaries and my marriage to the love of my life, Carol. In these moments, I find myself extremely thankful for others and for so many wonderful memories. Gratitude is the greatest attitude and one on the most inspiring and positive ways to begin your day.
Listening to music I choose inspires me to be stronger, therefore helping me to be my best self. I listen when traveling on a plane, in the early moments on a day in which I give a presentation, or on a treadmill in a hotel. I embark on the day, riding high and ready to conquer any challenges. I am more able to deliver an inspirational keynote because I am already inspired by the music I hear.
The potential power of music is covered in greater detail in my second book, The BET. Along with music, I identify in this book a number of other powerful options that will help to inspire you and encourage a positive attitude. You can and should create a personal platform of inspiration and positivism for making a difference in this world.
Do I fail? Yes. Do I have down moments? Yes. There is sadness, sickness and death among families and friends. Life is full of challenges. In a world that imposes much negativity and trials, there is also hope. And, I hear the words of hope as I listen to the music in my life.
Why would I not listen to the music of my choice? Why would I not play this music often? There is no reason. I do listen to songs I choose. And that music inspires and provides me with much hope. Whenever this world floods me with negative messages that undermine my perception of influence, music provides hope and inspiration. A reminder of the impact I can have, the difference I can make.
Today, I will listen to the music of my choice.
Today, I will counter negativity with an abundance of positivity.
Today, I will have an attitude of gratitude.
Today, I will not underestimate my influence.
Today, I will make a difference in the lives of others.
Today, I will listen to the powerful music of my choice.