You Need a Theme Song

When we’re having a bad day, a moment of sadness, or feel the need to celebrate, we have a tendency to “pump up the volume.” The songs we choose say a lot about who we are, how we understand ourselves, and what our individual mission is. Music motivates us, re-energizes us, and reminds us why we carry on.

Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence and music can help us come to better understand who we are, what’s important to us, and how to articulate it. As women leaders, we face challenges that can sometimes leave us wondering, to quote the Talking Heads, “How did I get here?” That is exactly why you need a theme song. 

Music is a rare example of something that universally connects us. It carries us to various places in time, reminds us of small moments we might otherwise forget, and connects us with our own stories in a way that allows us to realize we are not alone. When words fail, music is there.

While music, in general, offers much value, having a theme song is a great way to remind us of our goals and keep us trudging along in those difficult moments. Popping in your ear buds and cranking up “your song” reminds us who we are, why we’re here, and what we want to do. It allows us to express our emotions while giving us a much-needed boost to transcend the moment.

When I was going through a transitional time, my theme song was “Walk,” by the Foo Fighters. The lyrics, “learning to walk again, I believe I’ve waited long enough, where do I begin?” articulate where I was at in that moment; starting over and needing to relearn basic skills so that I could stand on my own two feet. It was telling my story.

As of late, I have embraced Elle King’s “America’s Sweetheart,” as my theme song. I love that she’s a rule breaker, turns gender norms on their head, and unapologetically declares that she is NOT America’s sweetheart and won’t change to please others. This song has taught me to embrace who I am and own the boss within me.

Sharing your theme song is also a great way to connect with colleagues and your teams. It provides an avenue for social awareness; to better understand you and what your purpose is. As a unifier, music offers a distinct opportunity to get them on board with your mission and move beyond office politics.

So how do you pick your theme song? Of course, you have to like it; but it should also tell your story and connect to your own purpose. What do you stand for? What lessons have you learned? What do you want to accomplish? What motivates you?

In short — What song speaks to you? Remember, connecting to self-awareness is key.

Your theme song should be chosen with intention. As we listen to that song, repeat the lyrics aloud or in our heads, the words become ingrained in our minds. Your theme song can set your tone for the day; it has the ability to empower you, create optimism, and keep you focused.

Our thoughts, words, and actions are interconnected. As Mahatma Gandhi says,

Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.

So, what is the message you want to live out? What song will keep you focused and motivate those around you? Consider these questions carefully and choose your theme song. You might find it to be the missing link to propel you forward; and isn’t it time for the world (cue Katie Perry) to hear you roar?

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Music and Spirituality

Music has the ability to convey messages of greater meaning that can unify and allow us to recognize one another’s humanity. A song is a shared story, an opportunity to know we are not alone, and to learn from one another. It can be perceived as a prayer, a prophetic message, a call to action, and a life philosophy.


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