Can You Hear the Music? - Common Sense Living Newsletter
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Can You Hear the Music?

Sep 09, 2014

Can You Hear the Music? 

A few days ago I was mesmerized by a musical performance by singers Javed Ali and Richa Sharma. Though both are Bollywood playback singers, their repertoire strongly reflects strains of Sufi music, bhakti sangeet and folk influences. Their music transported me to a different place and even the compere recounted how the soulful songs made her feel like she had seen God. To which Javed Ali replied that until he did not successfully connect with Him, he would not be able to connect with the audience. Words that continue to stay with me after the concert.

What stirred me that evening was more than just a great performance. It was seeing a commitment to music and a connection to your craft that only the greats demonstrate. It was the humility to the audience and to the gods... it was a feeling of looking inward as one looked outward. It was the ability to combine passion with hard work... to create music from seven swars. Sometimes, that's all we have... seven notes. But the power of them strung together, in different combinations never heard before, can create melodies that live on forever.

I often get e-mails from readers asking how they can start doing something... following their passion. A question I can't answer in any absolute terms... because maybe I myself am still discovering my own passions. Life and work, like love, is 'a many splendored thing'. Our passions keep changing and evolving, our goals keep shifting, our work keeps gaining newer dimensions. What mattered when we were in our twenties differs from what matters in our thirties and forties. And maybe in later years our purpose for work will change again.

I used to joke with my colleagues that I don't know how many callings I have. Every few years the compass points me to a new direction. But that's the joy of life, right? The ability to take on new challenges, to conquer some and maybe even fail at some. But still continue on your path, discover new ideas, meet new people, gain some and lose some. And through it all to continue staying true to yourself, to your own values, to your own sense of purpose, to your own spirit of adventure, to your own understanding of right and wrong, success and failure, good and bad.

Because each person is unique, each one sings a different song and each one marches to the beat of their own drum. All you need to do is listen very carefully and try to follow the rhythm of that music in your heart. And sooner rather than later, sing along with it, sing loud and clear, sing with unabashed joy... simply revel in who you are. And when that happens, you will watch the audience stand up and applaud.

Dear reader, in this great melody of life, here are some notes that can help you identify your very own grand purpose... I say grand because by design we were all meant to be grand, we were not meant to fit into any 'bigger picture', 'we' are the big picture. And once you recognise that, you will view life with a very different lens. In fact, you will throw away the lens altogether and simply keep your ears open... to listen to the music.

Say yes to your dreams: In the book The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes: It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

So identify your life purpose and then say an emphatic "yes" to pursuing it. Give your dreams wholehearted involvement, dedicated time and effort and a passion that does not lose steam. Be strong, stay committed and embark on your chosen path.

Recognise your strengths: Before the attainment of any goals comes the ability to know what you're good at. This skill, service or talent becomes the product we supply, it becomes our USP, something we will eventually get acknowledged for.

To quote best-selling author Marcus Buckingham, Strengths are not activities you're good at, they're activities that strengthen you. A strength is an activity that before you're doing it you look forward to doing it; while you're doing it, time goes by quickly and you can concentrate; after you've done it, it seems to fulfill a need of yours.

Gallop toward your goals: In a fast-paced world, with technology making everything much simpler and quicker, we need to work with speed and urgency. So buck up before it gets too late.

Life coach Anthony Robbins in a blogpost titled Hunger Will Destroy Your Fear of Failure said: The good news is, you are coming of age in an era of accelerated ideation and fast and furious innovation... The bad news is - you should've started five years ago!

Master your craft: We become excellent by doing excellent things. Over and over and over until they become a part of our wiring, lines by leadership expert Robin Sharma in his Little Black Book for Stunning Success.

Thus success results from several hours, days, months and years of practicing your craft and skill day after day, of being committed to your work, of refusing to give up and making it a discipline like none other.

Patiently wait for the rewards: When you start something new, know that the reward will take a long time to come. Patience by far is one of the strongest virtues of success. Sometimes, it takes years to see your work find its true rewards but wait you must.

In the words of Buddhist monk and teacher Thich Nhat Hanh: We can't make a flower bloom when we want it to. In some cases, it might not bloom at all. But we can set the best possible conditions to support its happening. So we fertilize the soil and provide water and sunshine. Then we must wait, patiently and without expectations.

Watch the Dhan multiply: Once you have given expression to your dreams, pursued it relentlessly, worked hard toward perfecting your craft and finally put it to test, get ready for the gains. An enterprise with soul will always find the means and funds to support it. And what's more it just may make a lot of profit. But beyond profit, it will impact the lives of many others and in that you will find greater wealth and satisfaction.

Business tycoon Richard Branson puts it well: For a successful entrepreneur it can mean extreme wealth. But with extreme wealth comes extreme responsibility. And the responsibility for me is to invest in creating new businesses, create jobs, employ people, and to put money aside to tackle issues where we can make a difference.

Stay Nice despite the odds: Turbulent times will be aplenty. People may not understand your journey, support may sometimes be far away. But don't let that affect your positive approach, don't let it stop you from being a kind and helpful person in all situations. Simply do a good deed and move on.

To quote the late Princess Diana: Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.

The syllables Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni can be sung forward or backward or in the chosen order of the raga. You can even create your own raga once you have done years of riyaaz. But for that you need to start practising listening to your heart from today. After which your life will resonate with soul-stirring melodies.

Image Source: kellyreekolibry / Shutterstock


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3 Responses to "Can You Hear the Music?"


13 Sep, 2014

Ritika, What a nice knitting of Swar and WBC ! Very good work.

Gurpinder Singh

10 Sep, 2014

Really inspiring. It has given firmness to my belief system.

Like (1)


10 Sep, 2014

Kudos Ritika, The writing is truly inspiring. It motivates me to take action, and think loftily.. Good work keep it up.


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