By Jackie White
I had the good fortune to be invited to a concert by a friend recently. I had heard of the band and thought, yeah, this could be fun. The concert was held at a State Fair, so we indulged in the greasy fair food and rode the sky tram like all good fair go-ers would do. What I didn’t realize was that I was soon to be introduced to a group of guys who would inspire me beyond my expectations. These guys are Matthew Ramsey, Trevor Rosen, Brad Tursi, Whit Sellers and Geoff Sprung. Names I had never heard of before individually, but together they are the band Old Dominion, the band we had come to see.
Old Dominion is a band that is making a name for itself on the country music scene. I am no music critic, I just know what I like, and these guys I like. What struck me immediately is that they are seriously talented musicians. They harmonize like crazy, they play their instruments like they are extensions of their beings and their songs have creative lyrical intertwinings.
I enjoyed hearing Old Dominion on the radio but didn’t really know them until I experienced one of their concerts. Besides their glaringly obvious talent, what I noticed was that they were genuinely appreciative of the crowd’s response to their music. The lead singer, Matthew Ramsey was visibly moved when the crowd sang their lyrics back to them. He even took a moment to acknowledge how amazed he was that the crowd knew the lyrics to a song they recently released. He took time to thank the crowd. I was impressed, but that’s not what this is all about.
At one point during the performance Ramsey, Rosen and Tursi took the stage to introduce us to their story. Each of these guys landed in Nashville as songwriters. They wrote individually and over time, each experienced having one of their songs go to number one. Very impressive. They were given the opportunity to form a band. They shared how they played any dive that would take them, they even paid to play at some venues. They explained how they had played every size venue in the state we were in and the current venue was one of the largest they had played.
As they spoke, you could almost feel the enthusiasm and pride they had for their jobs. But there was something more, something intangible that made these guys great . Then, it hit me, these guys are living their dream. That was the thing. This what living your dream looks like. Passionately living their dream. I began to see that they were loving what they were doing. It was clear. A lot of hard work got them to where they are today, but when you are living your dream, it’s not work. It’s gratitude, it’s fulfilling, it’s joy, love and certainty. The energy is unmistakable.
I began to wonder how many of us can actually use those words to describe what we are doing in life?
It seems almost impossible.
Until you find it.
Then it’s all that.
How do you find it? Some people say not all of us have a passion. Not all of us have a purpose. I don’t buy it. We all have it. I found the best description of what I am talking about in this excerpt from Jess Allen:
“That thing you do, after your day job, in your free time, too early in the morning, too late at night. That thing you read about, write about, fantasize about, That thing you do when you’re all alone and there’s no one to impress, nothing to prove, no money to be made, simply a passion to pursue. That’s it. That’s your thing. That’s your heart, your guide. That’s the thing you must, must do.”
Yup, that’s it Friends. You gotta go get it! You want power in your life? Find your dream. When you find it, you find you. You too will radiate confidence and certainty.
One thing you should be warned about though. As with the band Old Dominion, dreams don’t come free. The reality is these guys have been around awhile and have carefully honed their craft in playing their instruments, vocalizing and writing music. They make it look easy, but their talent didn’t happen overnight. They had to juggle their ambitions with paying the bills. They had the grit to push through the tough times and kept their eye on the prize. These guys didn’t just roll up yesterday and are headlining major venues today. I think many of us tend to want to rock star our way into the fame, fortune or whatever dream we want to “come true”. Listen, there isn’t a Fairy Godmother who is going to wave a wand. You have to do the work. You have to put one foot in front of the other every single day! The good news is that if you do make daily efforts towards your life’s purpose, you will find happiness and fulfillment. The “work” doesn’t feel like work. The journey itself is rewarding because you are igniting the flame that has been lying dormant deep down inside you.
One last bit to share from Old Dominion. This is lead singer, Matthew Ramsey speaking to a crowd. His speech conveys how thankful they are to be able to live their dream:
"I don't know what it is. It’s not really just one thing. It’s something about you guys that pretty much embodies everything that we're proud of for being in this band. I mean, here we are miles and miles and miles away from where we live and we are greeted with the most genuine smiles and a room full of people on their feet dancing and not only that, there’s like kids and older people and everything in between. It’s an amazing thing to feel that our music is reaching such a broad range of people enjoying our music. So, thank you for that.”
He says he “doesn’t know what it is”. I do, it is the pursuit of their dream, it’s their thing.
I want you to find the thing you were meant to do. I know that when you engage in yourself, life will be in technicolor and you will suddenly realize that it was always there just waiting for you. Your true self is waiting for you to open the door and walk through. This is your invitation, your wake-up call, your kick in the butt. So, what are you waiting for? Go find it and do it. That thing you are meant to do.
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.