Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Music and Your Success

Music and the rest of the arts are an essential component of a successful life. Experiencing the depth of emotion expressed in great works of art and music enriches our life and strengthens our soul. The fine arts have powerful effects upon the brain, helping integrate knowledge between diverse subjects.

Music can be particularly helpful when you are trying to learn a great deal of information. It can help you learn faster and better if you occasionally take a break from your studies, relax, and listen to some music. This process allows the brain to find and make connections between the individual facts you are studying. The result is a greater understanding of the subject, and ultimately, a depth of knowledge and wisdom that you could not have acquired any other way.

Listening to music, either on an iPod or just singing something silently in your head, can help you perform better physically. Take a look at the professional athletes as they are preparing to compete. Frequently they will be listening to some music to help them get mentally psyched up, and help their body get in the rhythm of the sport.

Art and music also bring greater meaning to your life. Any knowledge you gain needs to be applied wisely. This requires that you develop not only your intellect, but also your spirit. The arts are what help develop your soul, so you can become a person of wisdom, help more people, and enjoy life more fully.

Does any art accomplish this goal? No. To get the most from music, it is important to listen to a wide range of styles. Listen to some pop music, listen to rock, listen to Mozart. A wide exposure to the masters of music will enrich your life, help you enjoy life more, and help you get the most out of life.

My personal music program consists of practice, performance, and listening. I practice the piano to help develop my discipline, give my hands flexibility, and to free my mind if only for a short time from its day-to-day thoughts. I perform, even if only for myself, to help develop and deepen my emotions. I try to get to the heart of the song, to forget myself and get wrapped up in the music. This helps develop my emotional strength and stability. It does not make me unemotional, rather gives me emotional depth. Finally, I listen to a wide range of music. For me, it is important to listen to the great symphonies and classical masterpieces because their depth of beauty and emotion greatly exceeds what can be experienced in the few minutes of a typical pop song, yet I also enjoy contemporary pop, country, and rock music.

A similar program can be established for the visual or literary arts. You may prefer the culinary arts, or even physical art expressed through sports or ballet. Sports such as the x-games go beyond the physical, and can become great works of art. What is important is to experience the beauty and the great emotion that art brings into your life. Life would indeed be a drudgery without art. And life would be shallow and have little meaning without experiencing the great works of art, whether it be Shakespeare, Mozart, or Van Gogh.

Commit to practicing, performing, and experiencing art on a regular basis.

Perhaps you are a software programmer. How can you make this an art? The people at Wordpress have made their slogan "code is poetry." Can you view your code this way? Practice the fundamentals of programming, write a complete program or routine that expresses the poetry (a performance), and finally, look in-depth at a wide variety of programs, so you can experience the poetry written by other people. Look for the beauty in the code, look beyond the numbers and beyond the fundamentals and find the art in the programming.

Perhaps you perform freestyle sports as art. Then practice the fundamentals. Put together a routine and perform it, even if only for yourself. Finally, look at what others are doing and don't just analyze their freestyle, try to also experience the art, beauty, and joy behind their performance.

Live to the fullest. Art helps you do this.