Music and motivation

Posted 4/30/10

Consistent with the theme of my past two columns on listening, I thought I would discuss more of what we do listen to … music. So in the world of …

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Music and motivation


Consistent with the theme of my past two columns on listening, I thought I would discuss more of what we do listen to … music.

So in the world of motivational speaking, training, education, and development there are some authors and experts who advocate that if we really want to grow personally and professionally we should only listen to motivational, educational, and inspirational material. They say anything else is just bubble gum for the ears.

With no intended disrespect to my mentors, I say motivation, inspiration, and education are in the eyes of the beholder, or should I say in the ears of the listener.

Music for me is extremely motivating and inspiring. My musical tastes are a bit eclectic as I enjoy many different genres, artists, and sounds covering the past couple of centuries. Thank God for Sirius XM Satellite Radio and my IPod. And as those close to me will testify, I am a bit stuck in the 1970s, so be it.

Because I am in the training and speaking industry, I do take time to listen to learning programs while I drive, but then there are times when I just need to get into the music, crank up the volume, have some fun, and sing along (Could be painful for anyone within earshot).

Classic Rock to Classical, Reggae to Country, Christian Rock to Christmas, New Age to Folk, it’s all good and depending on the mood I am in or the activity I am involved in at the moment will dictate the tunes that gets turned on. This week I was all over the Sirius XM Satellite Radio map catching Bruce Springsteen’s “Jungleland,” Yvonne Elliman’s “If I Can’t Have You, I Don’t Want Nobody Baby,” Alan Jackson’s “That’d Be Alright,” Jimmy Buffet’s “Changes in Latitudes,” Leeland’s “Follow You” with Brandon Heath, Pink’s “Sober,” and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now.”

As I listened to Alan Jackson’s “That’d Be Alright” the lyrics struck me as incredibly fun, motivational and inspirational, check them out, “If everybody everywhere had a lighter load to bear and a little bigger piece of the pie, we’d be livin’ us a pretty good life, and that’d be alright. They’d go heavy on the good and light on the bad a hair more happy and a shade less sad, turn all the negative down just a tad, that’d be alright.”

Not long ago my kids cut out a cute little cartoon and hung it on my computer. The cartoon has a man staring at his IPod and his computer, with his children standing next to him. Then one of the children says “There is nothing wrong with your IPod dad, it’s just too embarrassed to play the music you have loaded on it.”

I must admit I am still struggling with some Rap music — okay maybe most Rap music — but I just can’t seem to get past the crude profanity. I will say that my kids have turned me on to some really cool music and soundtracks from some of the free style skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking videos and movies. If you haven’t checked these out, give it a shot I think you might enjoy them too.

I look forward to adding to my very diverse music library so whether it’s Bob Marley, Yanni, Keb Mo, Beethoven, Jimmy Buffet, Lady Gaga or your church choir, I would love to hear what types of music you listen to, what gets you fired up, motivated, and inspired at and let’s make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of


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