What’s your Anthem?

Or How You Can Use Music for Motivation

I can still vividly recall my first professional sports experience, soon after moving from Denmark to the U.S. It was December 1990, and the Chicago Bulls were playing at the United Center, with a young Michael Jordan making his mark.  (you might remember everybody “wanted to be like Mike”)

I was seated way up in the nosebleed section surrounded by 23,000 other fans, and I had no clue what was about to unfold.  The music started blaring, searchlights began swirling, and the announcer was booming with excitement, getting everybody to their feet as he introduced the lineup.  It was thrilling and awe-inspiring – it seemed like the place was shaking off its foundation. It was -10 °F outside, but the arena was on fire!

At that moment, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind that our team would destroy the opponent.  I can’t even remember who that opponent was.

You’ve probably seen it at your local high school’s Friday night game when the same thrilling introductions take place each time a player steps on the field.  It’s always a specific piece of music, always the same routine. I’ve seen it at the beginning of a boxing match on TV; the fighters jump, perform a few jabs or raise their gloved hands in presumed triumph, and the music is an integral part of the excitement.

So, what’s my point?

This post is not about sports at all; it’s about how teams pump up their players and fans before the big game and what you can learn from that!


Using Music to Help You When Faced With a Challenge

Science has proven over and over that achievement in academic, mental, and physical performance can be boosted with the addition of music.*.  I’m suggesting; when you feel yourself dragging your feet or procrastinate when faced with a challenge or a large task, your performance could benefit from borrowing the technique from the professionals.

My challenge to you is;

Next time you need to perform at the highest level or need a confidence or motivation boost when starting a specific task, try the following.

  • Search your playlist for a song that gets you all fired up – turn up the volume (please be kind to your neighbor and consider wearing headphones)
  • Imagine yourself accomplishing the project, the challenge, the run, etc.
  • Go!

This method is not limited to challenges or tasks alone.  It is also very effective when you want to find your “happy place” – just select that song that makes you want to put on your dancing shoes and sing along (loudly)! I guarantee it works.  

A Few of my Favorites

Queen’s “We Are the Champions,” Alicia Keys’ “Girl on Fire” are a couple of my favorite. Typically, the selection depends on the situation:  I even have a song for those times when I feel I have been less charitable than I like to be – can you guess which one it might be?  Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror”( “…if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change…”)

In a way, you could say I have a playlist for my entire life.  The individual songs may change from time to time, but my life is definitely accompanied by music.

I encourage you to find “get up and go” song if you don’t have your one already. Pick a piece that resonates with you – it can be the tune or the lyrics – in any genre. Rock ‘n’ Roll, oldies, pop, funk, classical, doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that by the time the music stops the world had better watch out because you are ready to crush it and nothing is going to stop you.

If you already have a personal anthem, please share your go-to song in the comments below.  There is always room for more great tunes on my playlist!

Make today awesome!




*https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/healthy_aging/healthy_mind/keep-your-brain-young-with-music;  http://www.apa.org/research/action/speaking-of-psychology/music-health.aspx

I hope you found these few suggestions helpful and would love to hear how you apply them or share additional methods that you find valuable and straightforward to implement.

PS:  These suggestions are not limited to your personal life, they can easily adapt to your job or business.

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