What song lives in you?
I had the opportunity to listen to Kai Kight speak this past week in Austin, Texas. He titled his thoughts “Composing Your World.” Using his violin and stories from his journey, he poignantly drove home two oft-repeated life lessons.
1. Don’t regret what might have been. Kai related how years ago his mother, with tears in her eyes, told him of her breast cancer diagnosis. The tears were not tears of fear, not tears for the unknown or the chemo treatments that lay ahead. No, they were, Kai told the audience, tears for the past. Tears for experiences not lived.
2. Play your song. Kai is an accomplished violinist. He can masterfully play the masters. But as he developed his craft he remained restless. He wanted to play his own music. Every opportunity he had, he would construct his own pattern of notes and melodies. These excited him. The scripted music that his conductor led the orchestra through did not juice him.
Video recommendation of the week.
Kai’s metaphor gives us a another powerful reminder to use our precious time to construct and live a life of meaning. Rather than shedding tears for an unfulfilled past, embrace the promising present, play your song, and think of the wonderful opportunities in front of you.
A number of years ago I delivered a breakfast keynote to a group of realtors. As the audience finished their meal, I encouraged them to evaluate their lives and consider being “responsibly selfish.” That is, I challenged them to take care of their needs. Get to the gym, pick up the musical instrument they always wanted to learn to play, write that novel that was inside of them, or make the difference they can in their communities. Live their authentic lives.
I remember how one person in the audience got upset with my message and later sent me an email stating that “selfish” is easy but not good. For me, that is where “responsibly” comes in. Think of it as an “investment” in yourself. It’s not license to ignore responsibilities, go into debt because “I deserve [fill in the blank],” or lead a hedonistic lifestyle for the sake of meaningless pleasures.
We all have responsibilities to tend to (children, business, partners, financial obligations, and our own health and well-being for instance). AND we have an opportunity (obligation?) to experience our lives, embrace the present, and create our own songs.
What notes are inside of you? What song can you share with the world to make it a better place and you a more complete person?
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(c) 2016. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.