Whether brain-dead or hyper-stressed – music is my favourite solution when it comes to making whatever I do completely effortless and focused. Depending on whether it is work, exercise, relaxation, whether I need a good energy boost or help to relax, music can be used differently to achieve the perfect result.
Remember the article that I wrote on How to Exercise without any effort at all?
Well, music can be a key support in that as well! In this case, I listen to music on full volume and I allow it to be my complete focus, while the body just does as it does.
Doesn’t running come so easy when we are just carried away by the music? Or martial arts? Isn’t it so beautiful to move the body in alignment with the music?
No matter whether we are leading a camera to the sound or whether we are cooking in a kitchen or building things!
I think we all have experienced the focusing and unifying effect that music has, no matter whether it is the background sound in a cafe or the all-encompassing sound in a concert or club night.
Have you ever experienced it when a track would suddenly and unexpectedly stop?
One notices how suddenly there is something missing. A wake up call for a split second, but soon one notices how there was something bringing everyone together, and suddenly there is some kind of “lostness” or “unconnectedness”.
In that way, music is extremely powerful.
No wonder why it has been used in advertisement, in movies and in shopping malls.
In Beverley Hills, there are a few very high-end shopping streets that have very popular music playing on loudspeakers.
I am not sure if they have it every day or just on the weekends.
But I could feel very powerfully the vibe that was created – one of cheer, and readiness to buy – when walking in these streets.
There is something magical and powerful about sound. So good to be aware of the effects it can have on our mind.
Wonderful to know how we can use sound to support us. And to be aware of how it is used how to manipulate us.
Music for Manipulation
Before I go into the many beneficial ways, that music supports me in my daily life, I want to point out that it is really good to notice, that not everyone has our best interests in mind.
The knowledge that music is powerful is nothing new.
We all know it.
We all have felt so sad when listening to love songs or more “minor” composed music.
I should know. Being into gothic music in my teens, I absolutely loved it. But there is no doubt there was an underlying sense of sadness all around.
Nothing bad about it. Just a fact.
And we also all have felt the explosive joy after a really good break in a song.
How everything seems doable and perfect in the world.
I also have been to perfectly orchestrated marketing events. Scarily perfected marketing events.
Events that were perfectly designed in every single aspect to get the visitor to buy.
Where it definitely felt like being at the dark side of the force.
Where everything seemed totally fine and ok in what was being said.
It was very believable and made sense.
But still, when looking into it, the manipulative techniques were so palpable.
Music definitely plays a great role in such events.
It is good to listen up when we hear music in public environments, especially the ones that have a business or political interest in mind.
Why is the music being used? What is the effect that it has? And does it make sense, when we consider the message that is being communicated?
Is it in line?
Reflection is always powerful. As is being clear about what is really needed in every moment, no matter what everything else around us seems to be telling us.
Using Sound at Work
Work life for most of us humans on the planet is what daily life means. We spend most days of our life at work.
So having all kinds of tricks at hand that help us focus, enjoy our work and make things run smoothly can be very helpful.
My own experience…
When it comes to words and thoughts – my mind is all over the place. One thing streaming in after the other. One idea replaced by the next. Loving one thing first completely, then finding it no longer interesting a few moments later.
What I am thinking is usually new and fresh – with a few old-timers circling around here and there ;).
While this keeps life extremely new and fresh every day, sometimes this quality can also be a hindrance.
As you read along, you will see exactly what I mean by my wandering mind.
I may write four to five blog post ideas, that I may even write out into full-blown articles, in a week. But by the time Tuesday arrives, the day that I have dedicated as my Weekly Blog Post share – all of these articles and thoughts are already no longer interesting to me.
I always like to write something that is fresh. It comes fresh from my mind. Seems relevant to me today, and hence feels like it has the energy and force to communicate something that I feel can be of value to others as well.
So you can imagine, usually on Tuesday morning, is the time when I force myself to make a lasting decision. This is the article that I am writing, and this is what I am going to stick with.
So what is different on Tuesday? How can I make me do it and ensure that I am entirely focused to do what I needed to do?
(Can you see my mind wandering?)
A. Really, there is no other choice, when you have set yourself a deadline.
A completely fictional deadline by the way. Completely made up by myself. Not real at all. Nothing will happen if I don’t make that deadline.
However, it is a good support structure for me, as you can see, to get myself to write something.
I want to be consistent in my writings on the blog. As I feel the benefits that writing brings.
I am very grateful for the feedback that I have already received. Such sweet words and also ideas! Thank you all so much for taking the time to read what I write and even take time to comment on it.
That’s really what it is about!
B. But now back to music!
You see, whatever it is I do, I do it with great love for it. Whether it is blogging, photography, online stuff, cooking, taxes.
But I also get carried away easily. Life is not limited in any way. My mind doesn’t understand – here is this topic and here is that one. Everything is completely and perfectly netted together. One stream of thought flowing into the next.
Because I have decided to live a life that is very free, autonomous and self-driven, it has been crucial for me, to find structures and ways that support me in staying focused, on point and simply motivated.
It is much easier when one is working for someone.
The project is given.
That means the context is given.
Usually, brands go through a very detailed process of defining exactly who they are talking to.
Usually no matter what we do, we try to keep the focus narrowed down on that subject. in order to get the job done.
At the same time, it is the free-flowing mind that brings about creativity, innovation and openness.
Music can help us achieve both states.
In all of this creativity and flexibility, spontaneity, music really helps me to focus exactly on what I want to do in the very moment.
Music fuels my mindstream with a consistent thought strain.
That is, as long as it doesn’t have clear vocals that I love.
Once there are vocals in there and I love the song, you will probably find me singing and dancing and completely lost in an entirely different world, rather than doing what I was going to do :D.
So there are certain considerations when I use music to support me in my daily life:
- I am clear about the fact that I am listening to music to support what I do. The work is the primary focus. The Music doesn’t have to be super quiet, but it is in the background. Maybe I listen through headphones rather than through the speakers. That’s not just better quality and doesn’t disturb people around me, but it also doesn’t fill my entire perception and allows me to focus on what I need to do.
- You might not have guessed that of me, but I am someone who likes primarily Tech-House, Techno, maybe some House here and there. As well as classical music, especially Mozart (Austria is my home country after all ;)). The benefit of this type of music, when it comes to supporting my day to day activities, is that the vocals are mostly simple if there are any at all. There is a continuously rolling beat or rhythm, that fuels my mind as well as my typing fingers, or running feet. While at the same time there is no need for me to focus on song texts. This makes this kind of music perfect as a background or motivating sound that brings all focus to what I am doing right now (and avoids me having 10 other ideas at the same time while I am trying to do something specifically).
- On the other hand, no matter what type of music I listen too – whether it is pop (I also like Rihanna, and lots of old 90s, 00 songs) or hip-hop, or whatever it is. When I am not working at written work, or on the computer and when it is something that doesn’t specifically require me to think and put words together – then any type of music supports me and helps me get into the vibe. So when I am taking pictures or film, listening to the music that I want the vibe of the imagery to be in, really helps me when it comes to making the right movements, which in turn later helps with the editing process.
- Dance Breaks! Sometimes it is really good to be carried away by the music. When busy doing lots of things, then a good dance break here and there is so relaxing and fun. I have the great fortune to work from home a lot, so I can just dance around when I feel like it. I do keep it down when working from cafés. And like everything, when already listening to music, dance breaks come spontaneously – when there is a great beat in the music. Or simply a part that I really liked!
- Sometimes it is time to turn off or turn down the music. I often use music to get into a workflow, rather than keeping it on all day. I use it to be focused. So when I have completed a task that required a lot of focus and or concentration, then stopping the music not just marks the completion of the task for me, but it also opens my mind again, from that narrow focus into looking at what I want to do next and into the uncontrolled, uncontrived and wild mind that it is.
Music for Relaxation and Healing
I also want to briefly mention, that of course, music can also have an extremely relaxing effect.
It can open up our minds.
Strip away all ideas of how we have seen the world.
And open us up to go into the world clear and without any agenda.
Totally open to connect with anything that comes into life.
Ready to receive.
Pure love enjoyment.
A really beautiful way to be.
Music is as manifold as is our mind.
Music is powerful. It has an effect on our state of mind, which is what makes it so powerful.
It is good to be aware of that power and the effects that music can have so that we do not fall into the trap of being “convinced to buy”.
But we can use the effects that music has purposefully to support ourselves in our day to day lives.
It can help us to be focused and concentrated, to be able to do exactly what we want to do.
And we can use it to relax and open up when we want to let go of any kind of concentrated focus at all.
This is the magic of music.
Use it wisely 😉
What music do you like to listen to? At work? When working out? When relaxing?
Do you feel that it has any effect on you?
Have you noticed it being used in public places? How do you feel impacted there?
For anyone who is into Tech-House and Techno – here is my September/October 2018 playlist that I listen to during work and exercise. Which includes dancing around the house for 3hours :D.