years ago, in Real Simple (it was a phase), i read how everyone should have a power song. meaning one that perks you up, invigorates, and inspires whenever you think of it.
according to the article, you must sing it aloud before any stressful or challenging situation. not because singing means you’ll necessarily succeed. but because getting juices flowing and adrenaline pumping allows your best self to surface. it gets you in the right frame of mind.
there are so many considerations for choosing! plus the wretched caveat: you need to sing it, too, not just listen. here are some tips...
think back to a time when you feel unstoppable and amazing. you were confident, positive, and radiant. you were so excited you’d: gotten a promotion, met a goal, scored a winning point. we’re talking ear-to-ear grin as you walked down the street alone.
the article described a salesman who needed to improve his communication skills. his life coach, and writer of the article, talked to him about past achievements. it turned out he’d been a high-school soccer star. incidentally, before every game, he’d listen to “My Sharona” by The Knack and sing it in his head while he played.
if straight-up time traveling doesn’t appeal, try the indirect route. sort your iTunes library by play count, or review the “Top 25 Most Played” list. ask yourself why you like those songs, how they make you feel, and what was happening the first time you heard them.
your designated song can contain an element of “fake it ‘til you make it,” with a rub-some-of-that-on-me sentiment. at times, borrowed buoyancy is all that’s available. for example, a college friend who performed the classic Manhattan trek from work as a paralegal to LSAT prep class would, without fail and regardless of the weather, listen to Kanye West’s “Stronger” before heading inside the Princeton Review building.
clearly, i mostly remember other people’s songs. in a weird way, “My Sharona” has become mine because i’m too indecisive to choose. but part of me thinks, “let’s figure this out!” and cheers me on with the vigor of a Little League coach. here are my issues with the aggressive one-song-for-life policy:
it sounds unrealistic. over use leads to dullness. familiarity breeds contempt, you know, especially when singing power songs. if you use the song constantly and it loses its potency, you’re no better than the rest of us. it must stay fresh and relevant in your consciousness.
on a related note, (ha!) music that resonates with me is constantly changing. arguably, this is also known as “moodiness.” sometimes “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” by Wham! is the one. other days, “Shoop” is required. last fall i loved “Holdin On” by Flume.
the song should be allowed to change and evolve as we do. because although the song that got you psyched in high school might still work, it’s worth finding a backup.
plus, i take lyrics too literally. who’s this Sharona? (a band member’s girlfriend) is that even a name? (obviously) the song doesn’t need to perfectly align to your life. in fact, it most definitely won’t. the point is how it makes you feel.
the solution to these drawbacks is options. create categories: professional use, social/romance, workout. since singing “blurred lines” just before a job interview is unlikely. then again, it depends on the job. and think of three top songs per category so they don’t get stale.
or you can just have a general top 10 list to choose from. so far, my list is just the songs i mentioned through the post. but if we’re getting all commitment-y, probably “My Sharona.” those drums!