Changing Your Soundtrack

Earlier this month, the 56th annual Grammy ceremony awarded Thomas Newman a Grammy for the score he composed for the James Bond movie Skyfall.

It was a brilliant work, enhancing the emotions throughout the intense journey of Agent 007. Newman’s masterpiece was the connective tissue that stitched together scenes and characters, allowing us to savor all 143 minutes of the film.

While the soundtrack was a significant aspect of the overall production, most of us who saw the movie could not hum a single bar of music from it if our lives depended on it. We may recall Adele’s incredible performance of the theme song, but the powerful soundtrack that greatly influenced us all was not the main focal point. Far more than background music, musical scores deeply impact our emotions, opinions, and overall enjoyment.

In the same way the soundtrack of a movie or TV show can dramatically alter our viewing experience, your own internal soundtrack plays an enormous role in your life’s experience. Your inner-dialogue is always playing and can drive not only your feelings but also your behavior. Positive or negative. Helpful or destructive.

If your internal score is the equivalent of a dramatic tragedy or the heart-thumping pulse of a horror flick, you’ll tiptoe through life afraid of every shadow and dark corner. You’ll restrict your ability to impact the world and seize your full potential. If your soundtrack mainly consists of the wha-wha-wha of a slapstick comedy, your silliness may inhibit your ability to build mature relationships or a successful career.

On the other hand, if that self-talk is positive and deliberate, pushing you to reach new heights and achieve what’s possible, it will play a pivotal role in helping you achieve life’s equivalent of a Grammy or an Oscar. Instead of the haunting melody of a perfectly tuned cello or the intricate rhythms of a timpani drum, your internal soundtrack should be filled with hope, optimism, and confidence. Refrains of “Yes, you can” and “Leave it better than you found it” can replace the piercing shriek of a trumpet during a musical crescendo.

The good news is that you are in charge of what soundtrack gets played. You are the composer, conductor, and orchestra. You get to select each word of the lyrics, and get to change the channel if you don’t like what you hear. You have the ability to create an award-winning soundtrack that becomes the foundation of an award-winning life.

Even if you can’t play a lick of music, take responsibility for crafting a masterful soundtrack to replace doubtful or timid self-chatter. If you compose it in a purposeful way, you’ll undoubtedly be giving an enthusiastic “two thumbs up” when reflecting back on a life well-lived.