"Many people die with their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out." Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Years ago I read an article by Dr. Robert Anthony called 'The secret of "Doing without doing". He was pointing out that many of us are pre-occupied with "doing" and yet most of the "doing" involves struggle. He said "If you analyse it, 90% of most people's actions are spent trying to compensate for inappropriate thought."
I hadn't thought about it like this before, which is why I so clearly remember the article.
Life gets difficult because we over-think, over-analyse, over-plan and use our minds in ways that work against us rather than for us.
Take confidence for example. Many people do not take action because they think they need to feel confident before they begin. But no one lacks confidence or any other quality such as motivation, focus or discipline. They just think they do. There's a difference.
As young children the energy of life just flowed through us with no hindrance. We were open, curious, present, joyful and incredibly productive. We soaked up more information, gained more knowledge and learned more skills than most people will do at any other time of their entire lives. We were not afraid to fail because there was no such thing as failure. To a child the very idea would be completely absurd.
I remember when my two kids were little. They just wanted to create. It could be 7am, they just got up and immediately they want to draw, paint, colour, glue and make stuff. I can never remember them once saying "Daddy, I don't think I have the confidence to complete this painting of a dinosaur."
This zest for life does not disappear. It just gets covered up with thought habits we have taken on. But our mind is designed to clear itself and return to the present moment.
The key to this is understanding.
When we understand that the feelings we get are thoughts, then this is enough. We do not need to 'work on ourselves' to improve. The design of the system will always do the work for us. It really is this simple. As we spend more time in the present and less and less time preoccupied with our thinking then we just naturally reside in the flow of life far more of the time.
Our 'music' can be anything. It is not about finding some unique calling. It is about how you show up to whatever you are doing. It is about expressing yourself in your own way. It is about being unattached to the outcome, which gives us incredible freedom to do whatever we want because we are unafraid of how it turns out.