My latest Body + Soul Happiness Column

My latest Body + Soul Happiness Column

More lessons from my iPod (April 20)

A few weeks ago I wrote about a lesson I”d learned from playing with my iPod and that lesson, discovered via the wonders of what the people at Apple call ‘shuffle mode”, was that we could all benefit from actively searching for and recalling positive memories from the past. This touches on the constructs of gratitude, appreciation and savouring (a fascinating concept I look forward to writing more about in a future column) which are significant contributors to happiness, health and wellbeing.

Well, just the other day I learned another interesting lesson from my music player. As I left the house to walk to the train station, as I do every day, to come in to work I pulled my iPod out of my bag and turned it on. For those of you who’re unfamiliar with these magic little devices the user is provided with a list of all his/her songs, a virtual music library, from which to select something appropriate for the moment.

As I’d done many times before I asked myself “What do I want to listen to today?” but unlike the many times I’d asked this before this time I had a minor epiphany.

On a side note, I love that word “epiphany”; and not just because it sounds so poetic but because there are so many little moments in every day from which we can learn and grow and, as the dictionary definition suggests, gain some insight into the reality or essential meaning of life.

Anyway, back to my iPod realisation; all of a sudden I realised I could choose which ever song I wanted. And with that, I realised, I could effectively choose how I wanted to start my day; and then subsequently, I could decide how I wanted to live my day by deciding which songs to listen to and which songs to sing to throughout the next 12 hours or so.

Now just to clarify my point here, it doesn’t really matter whether or not you have an iPod or whether you like music or whether you want to sign along to life; rather, the point of today’s column and the message I”m trying to communicate is that each and every one of you can choose how you want to start each and every day. Accordingly, each and every one of you can then decide how you want to live your days and how you want to live your lives; because each and every minute we make new decisions and these decisions determine the colour and “music” of our lives.

So don’t just go through your days on automatic pilot but instead, ask yourself at regular intervals what song do you want to sing; what dance do you want to dance; what life do you want to live…and keep asking until you find the right answers.