Do you have music in you all the time–a tune, a melody that’s just there, springing from somewhere deep inside your being that isn’t exactly a thought nor is distillable into words–music that is you and that only you could hear?
I didn’t, but I do now.
And it’s one of the most thrilling realizations I’ve had about myself the past week.
Some years ago I realized people existed who lived like this on a day-to-day basis–people born with music in them, as if their souls were instruments that create sounds, much like how a writer may see the world through words and stories, or a painter through shades of color, or a mathematician through numbers and the interplay of values and angles.
I took such things for granted; either you were born with it or you were not, and there’s just nothing you could do about it except be the best with whatever you were given. I also had the same thought towards personality, personal perceptions, and approaches to life–that you were either this or that, and that you wouldn’t be able to change, add, or remove certain things about what made you you.
So there I was, a dreamer who saw the world through words.
And I stayed there for several years, thinking I couldn’t or wouldn’t change no matter what I do. I felt this so strongly that sometimes I’d hold myself back by reassuring me I shouldn’t be different, or be more.
But I had know. So I experimented with the first premise: that people are born seeing the world differently, and that your default “medium” is all you can experience, or at least be excellent at. And nothing much changed for a while…
Until one day I heard music from within, pouring out in voice and through whatever instrument I had available to me at the moment. Not some song I heard or memorized, or those mindless tunes you hum to yourself. No–this was a throbbing, living narrative told through melody, harmony, and rhythm.
Now I realize how significant that one song was. I forget the exact notes or whether there were words to go along with it; but I know and now live its message.
I have proven, if only to myself, that the frameworks I was given to live with are not boundaries. They are the springboards into other frameworks, other systems, other realms.
Yes, I still see the world through words and stories, and I’d never lose that part of me; but now I also have music. And if my next experiment is successful, I shall soon also have mathematics, formulas, and equations.
And what of the second premise–that of adjusting and amending your “default settings” for living life?
I’d taken for granted my state of being a dreamer with nothing to show for it since Obstacles was published. I loved the creativity, hated the lack of completed work, and despaired over ever bringing my ideas to life.
But in 2023, the shift towards action (instead of staying in theory) began. Trickles of actual steps taken in projects turned into tiny rivulets of habits, which built into a steady stream of bigger actions, going on to build more habits and encouraging more action. Through this I’ve developed a bias toward action, in that whenever I have an idea that flows downstream from my first principles, and have the opportunity to act upon it in any way (often jotting it down), I immediately do so.
Did I lose the dreamer side of me, as I’d initially feared? No–to the contrary, my capacity for idea generation and experimentation grew exponentially thanks to increased and repeated engagement with reality.
Nowadays, I’m often in the whitespace between ideation and action, where lies a 7-D blank canvas. Anything can happen. I’m no longer tied to being just a dreamer or an “action person”–I can develop both until they become equally strong default settings.
This reality is vivid beyond technicolor, because it touches so many areas of life and of being. The possibilities of customizing your self are just waiting to be explored. Are there limitations? Yes. But they might not be the ones you’ve been telling yourself to live by. It’s up to you to discover the real ones.
Isn’t life thrilling?