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Know Your Music

By Dan Miller


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 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:

  • 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.)
  • 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?
  • 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?

Article originally appeared at 48days.com. Used with permission.

Dan Miller, President of 48 Days LLC, specializes in creative thinking for increased personal and business success. He believes that meaningful work blends our natural skills and abilities, our unique personality traits and our dreams and passions. Dan is active in helping individuals redirect careers, evaluate new income sources, and achieve balanced living. He believes that a clear sense of direction can help us become all that God designed us to be.

Dan is the author of the New York Times best-selling 48 Days To The Work You Love, No More Dreaded Mondays and Wisdom Meets Passion. He has been a guest on CBS' 'The Early Show,' MSNBC's 'Hardball with Chris Mathews,' Moody MidDay Connection, and the Dave Ramsey Show. Dan has spoken at the White House Christian Fellowship, and is in high demand at national conferences speaking on aging and changes in the workplace as well as at universities and churches. Over 130,000 people have subscribed to his weekly newsletter, his 48 Days Podcast consistently ranks in the top 3 under Careers on iTunes, and the 48Days.net business community is viewed as an example around the world for those seeking to find – or create – work they love. Book Dan to speak or check out 48 Days products at www.48Days.com.

Committed to personal priorities, Dan and his wife Joanne are approaching their 45th anniversary and have 3 world-changing children and 12 amazing grandchildren.  

What does it mean to be fully alive in your work? Many of us are not yet doing what God put us here to do. Dan looks at the changing work models and outlines a plan for integrating your dreams and your passions into your daily activities. If you’ve ever buried your dreams in an attempt to be “practical” or “realistic,” Dan will show you how embracing those very dreams is the most practical way to enjoy life and achieve the success you’re looking for.

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