Elton John, Billy Joel, Phil Collins and Freddie Mercury all have something in common, aside of a smidgen of talent and the fact they all became pop-stars.
Watch Elton John perform I'm Still Standing or Billy Joel play My Life at their pianos, or witness Freddie Mercury winding up for We are the Champions or Phil Collins on drums during In The Air Tonight, and you'll witness something magical happening, something that sends shivers down your spine. But what is it that they do?
We'll it's the same 'something' that caused Bob Geldoff to pull all his music industry pals together and raise millions for charity back in the eighties with the hit Do they Know its Christmas and the subsequent Band Aid appeal. It got Churchill to move the nation with powerful speeches and it is all that stands between you and our true greatness.
But what is that 'something'? And is it simple enough to bring into our everyday lives?
The answer is yes.
It's to do with the first principle of Life Purpose, that we all have a unique gift and a distinctive way to express it. The best way for me to explain this to you is to tell you a short story.
A year ago I suggested that my son took up music lessons with his grandfather. His Pappy is a professional musician, and if you're child is going to become the prodigy that all parents' hope they will be, you want them to learn from a pro, don't you, especially if that pro is a family member. He took the suggestion up and here is what unfolded.
Nine months later he'd had enough. It seemed like hard work. Sure he mastered the scales -- nothing wrong with his fingers -- could read the notes -- nothing wrong with his memory -- but he couldn't sit still during the lessons and in the week in between each session we only ever heard him doing minimal practicing.
(Does this sound like you when you are at work? Going through the motions, doing what needs to be done and not managing more?)
After school he never took himself off to his room, plugged in the keyboard and shocked himself with something new he'd learned to do. He never hit heaven, blissed out, totally astounded himself or got excited over a new discovery. He never came to me, shook me from my book and said, "Listen to this, Dad. It'll blow your mind!"
We concluded it wasn't his thing -- each to his own -- and he admitted he only took it up because he thought I'd be happy!
Stephen King once said, "Talent renders rehearsal meaningless; when you find something you love you do it until your fingers bleed and your eyes fall out your head... every outing is a bravura performance because you as the creator are happy."
My son and I chatted. We concluded if there's no joy in it, there's no point in it, and therefore he's best off spending keyboard practice time searching for that 'something' else where he can hit that high, reap the rewards of joy and ensure his life becomes an energetic adventure.
Some of us pretend in life. We pretend to do what we think makes our parents happy. We pretend to enjoy work. We pretend to be happy while we sell our soul. We pretend to be artistic or creative but never put oomph into it and maybe... just maybe we drift through life with that thought that there must be something else out there.
But life is an experience -- one big talent show for us to show off our skills. It's a stage for us to use our skills for our fun and pleasure and for the pleasure of those around us.
Life is not a practice for some future event that we hope will just drop out of the sky. We have to make it happen.
Great writers write everyday until their eyes fall out their head and their brain won't function, great coaches coach everyday, great musicians play until their fingers bleed. All of them love every single moment of what they do. It's about passion. It's about blissing out. It's about happiness. It's about being at one with your self - being truly honest with who you really are.
Remember you're heroes -- great comedians, interviewers, musicians, singers, teachers etc. They all have that bliss in their eyes, hearts and minds at the moment they affected you most.
Let's not pretend another day. You and I came to this earth with a unique and special talent, yet why in God's name don't you use it to the full. Why are we doing spreadsheets and sweeping roads when we would sooner be an artist or a therapist?
Put up with snotty customers at the call centre or organise the bazaar for the WI committee if that means something to you, but please do not ever kid yourself about your level of passion and commitment when you choose what you do with your life.
My son made his stance to be blissed by life as a ten-year-old. How old are you?
Have you made the same commitment to your life yet?