Play With Soul at Work and in Life by Mark Nation

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Mark Nation is the author of the new thought provoking book Made for Amazing: An Instrumental Journey of Authentic Leadership Transformation. Mark takes us on a journey to learn more about ourselves and our own hidden gifts. Following is a guest post from Mark Nation.

“Beautiful music…is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”      —Martin Luther

Think about your favorite musician or band. The greats all play what they possess in their souls, and it is evident in their timeless pieces, many of which endure for generations. All famous musical artists play with deep intention. They already grasp the basics and could easily just play the notes, instead of playing with their heart—but they always seem to find a path to the soul.

Don’t think. Feel!

Many times, we tend to overthink what we are doing instead of feeling, or sensing, what we should be doing. Your brain is merely an outpost, yet your music comes from the center of you. It can be so easy to overthink things, but you must find your groove and try not to play too hard, nor think too much. Overthinking can lead to confusion, make you fumble, or result in output that comes across overly-rehearsed and clinical.

Many musicians sound good technically, but have no ‘soul’ in their music; you don’t ‘feel’ it when you listen. They aren’t playing from their heart nor listening to their spirit. This is where God comes in. God has given us His Spirit, a helper to walk alongside us, to direct our own spirit. God is all about the soul, and He loves the chance to develop more ‘spirited’ players.

Strength is found in the struggle.

Think about a struggle you are having in your life. Are you overthinking it, or seeking to rely on the direction you feel from the Holy Spirit? We all face persistent mental battles, particularly when trying to live more authentic and purposeful lives. This is where it helps to practice seeking God diligently each day. Remember, beautiful music rarely happens alone. It’s hard enough to navigate routine daily challenges, much less the seasons of serious distress. It stands to reason that if we knew a strong, steady lifeline was available to us at any moment, we would make use of that lifeline constantly. God is our soul’s lifeline, our spiritual Maestro. Relying on Him is what truly brings our best music to life.

To achieve success, you must dedicate yourself to achieving excellence—there are no shortcuts. You can’t get to where you want to be by going through the motions. We so easily slip into a routine of going to church or synagogue, skimming a devotion, and praying…occasionally. We believe we are seeking God, but these markers might also indicate we’re just ‘phoning it in.’ If we’re honest, we all know when our playing lacks soul; nothing satisfies in that place.    

Treasure the journey inside yourself.

The Bible encourages us to seek God like a buried treasure. Now that’s a passionate endeavor! How many movies have you seen that are related to treasure?! This approach promises an exciting journey, where you learn to trust your gut and follow His clues. Are you seeking God, and listening to His Spirit, with that kind of abandon?

In business, and in life, you need to inject your soul into your goals. It’s what makes life really sing and the light of your own song resonate with others in a transformational way. Assess your intentions, and resolve to seek God with reckless abandon. Feel the Spirit rising inside you, resisting the urge to follow your same worn-out routines. We’re all on the journey to discover our best selves, and we can do that with the help of the Spirit.

Make good use of His precious gifts by bringing your most soulful music with you everywhere you go.

Mark Nation is a globally-recognized management expert, leadership consultant, executive coach, author, and speaker. He is personally driven to discover what makes individuals, teams, and organizations amazing—those elements which power the heart and soul of individuals and businesses worldwide. His new bookMade for Amazing: An Instrumental Journey of Authentic Leadership Transformation, helps people to identify and optimize their unique talents.