Find Your Anthem!

Fighting traffic and snow last week was miserable until it was completely redeemed when the right song came on the radio.

Not only was the rhythm and all fun and upbeat, but the words resonated with me powerfully. They told the story of the journey that xiaoyi and I have started on. It has become an anthem for me,  an energizing piece that I can listen to when everything seems difficult or when I start to lose motivation or conviction. The song was “Counting Stars” by One Republic. You can find the video here:

I wanted to go through why the song traces the commitment to the journey. The first lines really set the stage for the rest of the song and driving support for our dream:

“Lately, I’ve been, I’ve been losing sleep

Dreaming about the things that we could be

But baby, I’ve been, I’ve been praying hard,

Said, no more counting dollars

We’ll be counting stars, yeah we’ll be counting stars”

To me, this sums up what we are doing with this journey. We are no longer living day to day at the pace of the rest of the world. We have taken our fate into our own hands and decided that we would no longer be fighting to make ends meet. Rather we would be fighting to live the life that we want, the one that we thought we would have. We no longer see money as the reason we go to work, the reason our lives are the way they are. Now money is what will give us the means to travel and live, to count our stars. Funny thing here, when I first heard the song I hear the line “I’ve been praying hard” as “I’ve been working hard”. To me, that fits better for the overall anthem of my life now. I will work hard at my fortune to make my life what I want.

That isn’t the end of the meaning for me in this song. All of the song really speaks with me, but these next lines are the core of my belief structure, one that will take me where I need to be:

“I’m just doing what we’re told

I feel something so right

Doing the wrong thing

I feel something so wrong

Doing the right thing

I could lie, coudn’t I, could lie

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive”

In our society today, everywhere you turn you are told to find a good job, to work day after day, week after week, year after year so that you can hopefully retire on a fraction of your income. We are taught at every corner that the only way to live the life that we truly want is to “work hard”, but how many of us have worked as hard as we could in a career and found ourselves no closer to the life we want to live then when we started? I know that I have and that I am tired of

  1. I am tired of doing “the right thing” and feeling ignored, dejected, and under-appreciated. The times in my life that I truly feel best are when I am “doing the wrong thing”. The wrong thing in our culture being living my life the way that I want to, indulging in the exploration of life that actually brings me joy and spending my “hard earned money” to travel somewhere fun, experience life from a new perspective rather than saving it to make my retirement that much easier. This journey is all about tearing myself away from the things that the rest of the world is telling me I should be doing and finding the path that will allow me to live the way that makes me feel best.

Finally, there is one more series of lines that holds a truth for me from this song:

“Take that money

Watch it burn

Sink in the river

The lessons are learnt”

This line speaks to me about the entire purpose of this passion that I have dived into. The purpose of this entire model is that I invest time, effort, and money into learning and then use that learning, share that learning to make other people’s life better. In 4 lines, the artist has laid out that ideal and it is 4 lines that I will look at every day from here on out and truly internalized.

So my challenge to you all is this. Go out there and find a piece of art, be it music, painting,poetry, literature, whatever; that encapsulates your journey and share it here with me. I look forward to seeing your dreams and ideals through your chosen anthem!


Life’s too Short to Have Bad Days! What are You Doing to Make Yours Fantastic?  

-I found a theme song for my life!