In the age of screens, few other things can hold the attention of a thousand people for well over an hour. But a symphony can capture an audience. The soaring notes. The building harmonies. The skillful execution. Music like that transcends barriers and speaks a language we all know: the language of the heart.
The only thing I know that’s as complex and beautiful as creating a symphony is something we all do, with varying levels of skill. I’m talking about building a life. As I’ve reflected on the importance and power of a life plan, I find myself thinking about a symphony.
Symphonies are made up of different sections, with multiple instruments in each section. These instruments all have different sounds and tenors. They make unique contributions.
Likewise, a flourishing life includes diverse elements. LifeFocus covers the nine primary life domains: body, mind, spirit, love, family, community, money, work, and hobbies. Think of each of these domains like different instruments in a symphony. We need goals and plans in every domain. When they all sing together, you can create something truly beautiful.
Just because all the voices exist in the music doesn’t mean they all play the same amount, at the same time, or at the same volume. In some moments, the string section carries the tune, in others, the woodwinds take center stage. Similarly, some life domains will take more attention in certain seasons.
If you have young kids at home, the family domain will take more of your time and energy. If you’re recovering from a health scare, the body domain will get more attention for the upcoming year. The point of a life plan is not equality among the domains but building a harmonious relationship between them.
If each instrument in a symphony simply played, what we’d have is noise. They need a shared song—something beautiful to create in the world together. Every person has something beautiful to contribute to the world. We call the specific mark you leave on the world your mission.
And it’s this mission that shapes how you align the voices of your life domains into something beautiful. Progress in each life domain contributes to your mission like instruments contribute to a tune. Self-discovery and personal development in each is crucial to achieving your mission.
Even when you have a tune, how does each instrument know their part to play? Musicians follow sheet music. It’s their version of a plan. It shows them what to play, when.
You also need a plan. Specifically, you need a life plan. A life plan outlines the contributions of each domain to the symphony of your life. To read your life plan is to imagine the music unfolding—then all that’s left is to let the music flow.
Your Role: Conductor
Where does that leave you? All symphonies need a conductor. You’re the conductor of your life. You keep yourself on track. You decide when to slow the tempo or when you have the energy to speed up. You decide when to shift the dynamics, bringing one of your domains to the forefront and quieting another.
You pay attention to what you feel in the music, noticing what it needs at any given moment. You can follow the sheet music (your life plan) exactly as written, or you can pivot as necessary as the song unfolds. In other words, your life plan guides the performance of your life but doesn’t dictate it. It maps the way while still leaving room to go off-script.
Bring together the diverse voices of your domains, amplify where necessary, introduce a mission to drive the tune, and create a life plan to bring everything together.
Then all that’s left is to actually play, to enjoy a life you can’t wait to live.
Last modified on February 12th, 2024 at 12:32 am
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