Lack…it’s a word that isn’t used with great regularity anymore. When was the last time you heard it or personally used it? I think the last time I interacted with it was in my annual reading of “A Christmas Carol”, by Charles Dickens, this past Christmas. If you’ve followed my writing for any amount of time, you know that I am enamored by words. Lack is a noun defined as, “the state of being without or not having enough of something.” How many of you constantly battle the voice that says, “You need more…Look at them, they have it all…You have the Beemer, he has the Mercedes…You need more comments and likes.” This is the voice that we need to tune out, and if you’re like me, you’ll find that it’s easier said than done.

Being deaf must be exceptionally difficult. Navigating life without the sense of hearing is unimaginable to me, especially as a trained musician. One of my heroes, Ludwig van Beethoven, wrote the majority of his great music while he was completely deaf. Perhaps one of my favorite stories about him comes from later in his life when he wrote his String Quartets – these pieces were decades ahead of their time and the audiences were not as receptive. Today they are considered to be some of the most incredible pieces of music for their form, beauty and harmonic challenges for that period in time. After a small salon performance of these string quartets to a group of wealthy patrons, a group of them stood up disapprovingly following the performance and said, “My God, these are the ravings of a deaf madman!” Beethoven, who had keenly developed the ability to read lips turned to them and said, “I am the mouthpiece of God! It is YOU who are deaf!” Folks, that’s authenticity. There was no “lack” in that statement.

So how was Beethoven able to do this? I’ll share two thoughts on tuning out lack that have come to mind based on a great conversation I just had with Lianna Gardner.

  1. Get Real with Yourself – In a world obsessed with shallowness and surface level living, go deep and dive down. Beethoven chose to view his physical deafness as an advantage to produce art that was truly his own. He knew who he was, and he created his music directly from that untainted definition. We can do the same by becoming metaphorically deaf to the noise of other people. You can focus on what you lack, or you can focus on who you ARE.
  2. Leave Your Comfort Zone – If you want to accomplish anything worthwhile, you’re going to have to put yourself out there in a way that is uncomfortable. Beethoven knew his work wasn’t comfortable for the ears of his listeners – all that mattered is that they were a direct and authentic reflection of his passion. He could have hoarded his work in his sketch books but instead, because he got real with himself, he knew that nothing could detract from the genuine music he had created. Stop looking for what you don’t have and push yourself to start a new journey.

If you can practice doing these two things daily, I think you’d be astounded with the results. My discussion with Lianna this morning pushed me to stop overthinking and being governed by fear of criticism. She gave the analogy of a hamster wheel – We are all trucking at a million miles an hour on this wheel and fail to realize that there are countless others standing there in need of help. Get off the wheel, seek ways to serve, and the opportunities will pour in. The ONLY way you will be able to do that is by channeling your inner-Beethoven. Let’s start a movement together and #tuneout lack.

If you liked this article, stay tuned for a podcast with Lianna Gardner soon! Her spirit and mission is absolutely transformational!