Ever found yourself listening to music but spending more time skipping through your playlist than actually listening? I'm sure most people do it and it's pretty obvious why - we're searching for music that matches our mood. Nothing sinister there but I was doing this recently when it got me thinking about how closely music is linked to our lives and how much it influences us. In particular I was interested in the correlation between music and our mood, attitude and general outlook on life. If we search for certain songs because of our mood then can those same songs create that specific mood in us at other times?
I believe so and there are plenty of examples of research that backs this up. I'm not going to list any here because there really is a lot of it and you just need to do some active research if you're interested. I don't want to prejudice you by only picking research that suits me. ;)
After doing all this research it reminded me about a question I was asked a few years ago:
What is the theme song to your life?
It's a great question and it got me thinking again…What is my life theme song and what does it say about me? And how does it influence me, my decisions, and my life as a whole?
My Life Theme Song(s)
What would I say is the theme song to my life? That's a very tough question to answer. I'm not sure if I have just one theme song.
At any given time I may have a particular song which would suit as the theme for my life in that specific moment but this changes from day to day, and even from minute to minute.
Having a single theme song for your entire life doesn't make sense because your life will take many twists and turns and no one song can cater for them all. But you can certainly have a theme song (or a theme playlist) that defines where you are in your life right now.
I find it hard to even limit that to a single song, or even a handful of songs. There are many songs I like, and listen to regularly, that could easily be a theme song for my current situation in life. It's hard to pick specific ones but I do notice some similarities. They generally have most, if not all, of the following qualities:
- Funky, "happy" beat
- Clever lyrics/witty wordplay
- Positive message
- Make me smile
So what do these shared characteristics say about me?
What My Song Choice Says About Me
If you said that, based on my music choice, I am a happy, clever, positive person who likes to smile then you would be right but you could also have determined that from reading the articles on this site so don't go patting yourself on your back just yet.
It's completely true - I listen to happy, clever, positive, smile-inducing music because that is the kind of person I am - but I think that is oversimplifying it. I think my music choice also says a lot more about me and my life. It shows where I am, attitude wise, and how I am orienting myself for the future.
My current position in life is a positive one. In fact the only negative in my life is that I still have to work a full time job when I totally disagree with the concept of working for the majority of our lives. But everything else in my life is great! I have a wonderful woman who is crazy enough to agree to marry me, fantastic friends, a nice house, my own software development business, and a loyal dog that loves me (even if he goes to toilet where ever he bloody wants to). All in all it is pretty positive.
My orientation to the future is also quite positive. I have much to look forward to and am already preparing myself for more positive changes in my life. I am excited by the prospect of quitting my job and becoming fully self reliant which removes the only negative in my life. But I am also looking forward to getting married (and having the honeymoon), traveling, building my business up, and a number of other exciting projects that I have in the works.
So it is obvious that my current position and my orientation toward the future are outlined by my music choice. I am building a life that is happy, clever, positive, and fun (i.e. makes me smile all the time). I am focused on this attitude so it makes sense that my music choices support this. I believe that if I were listening to negative songs then I would be less likely to achieve my goals and more likely to turn into a sad, depressed, bumbling mess of a person.
But that is not the path for me. I love being positive and I love my positive music. I also love that these aspects seem to feed off each other. When I am having a negative day I can listen to some positive music and suddenly I am perked up again, or when I am feeling positive I can hear the positives and find joy in songs I would not have otherwise noticed.
I listen to happy and positive music and I am a happy and positive person. Coincidence? I don't think so. So what sort of music do you listen to?