What Makes Your Heart Sing?

Steve Jobs once said, “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying, “I’ve done something wonderful today, that’s what matters.” Steve Jobs followed his heart his whole life and that, he said, made all the difference.

If Jobs had not pursued his passion for music, he might never have created an MP3 player that fit in our pockets. If Jobs had not pursued his passion for animation, millions of children—and adults—would never have experienced the joy of watching Toy Story, Finding Nemo and Cars. The list goes on – the iPhone, the iPad, all came about because of one man who followed the song in his heart.

Years ago, Lady Byrd Johnson said, “Do what makes your heart sing.” The wife of former president Lyndon B. Johnson was known for her beautification efforts, particularly in the planting of flowers throughout the nation’s countryside. State highway tractors were told to stop mowing along the highways in the spring, and wildflowers began to spread. And seeing those wildflowers bloom again every year makes the hearts of many sing in amazement at their beauty.

So here’s my question, “What makes YOUR heart sing?” Most of us reading this newsletter would say playing our dulcimer makes our heart sing. Going a little deeper, here are things that make my heart sing.

  • It makes my heart sing to learn a new tune on my hammered dulcimer. And if I can arrange it for my guitar or piano as well, I’m a happy camper.

  • It makes my heart sing to play along with other musicians. And I much prefer to play back-up than solo or lead. Actually, back in the day, I got plenty of jobs as an accompanist because musicians felt I was intuitive in following their interpretation of a piece and making them look good.

  • It makes my heart sing to buy yet another stringed instrument. Some folks would say that owning 2 instruments is owning 1 instrument too many. They claim your practice time will be too stretched out, and you’ll never become proficient on either one. But I disagree. I get motivated to practice when I see all those options for practice hanging on the wall or propped up in their stands.

  • It makes my heart sing to fellowship with other dulcimer players at jam sessions and festivals. I always come away motivated to practice more, or excited about a new technique or tune I learned.

In this crazy world in which we live, too few of us take the time to let our hearts sing. Some of us of us have allowed the cares of this world steal our joy. If this has happened to you, stop to evaluate your life, how you are spending your time, and the choices you are making. Every day, challenge yourself to do at least one thing that makes your heart sing.

For myself, it’s as simple as taking the time to pick up my hammers and play Amazing Grace on my hammered dulcimer.



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