Albert Hurwit was 72 years old when he received a standing ovation when the Hartford Symphony Orchestra performed the third movement of his 58 minute Symphonies No. 1. In itself, that is an incredible accomplishment. But did you know that Albert Hurwit didn't write notes very well nor did he ever learn to read music. As a matter of fact, he only took piano lessons for three years when he was eight and flunked the music reading test at Harvard. So, rather than pursue music, Albert spent the next 25 years as a radiologist. But he says, "All the time I had music inside my head, I felt it in my heart and soul and knew I had to get it out.
I was born with a love for words. I love to speak them, write them, and when no one else is listening I love to sing them! I still write love letters to my children and during their teenage years that was often our best method of effective communication! However, I kept my "love of words" close to home and like Albert I spent 25 years in another career. Yet, all the while I heard a different kind of music playing in my heart. And I knew, like Albert, I had to get it out.
What I Have Learned
Follow that still small voice in your gut and it will lead you to the stage you are to perform on, the book you are to write, the house you are to build, the partner you are to marry, the business you are to start. Henry David Thoreau said, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away."
You do not have to quit your day job to do what you love or to make a difference in the world. I'm sure Starbucks didn't begin with 2,500 stores on grand opening day. They started with a dream, a building, and a cup of coffee. Your music might have been drowned out by contentment, pushed back by fear or given up on after loss. Nevertheless, the music will continue to play inside your head, driving you to fulfill that which you are created to do.
Your standing ovation is waiting for you. People love to watch someone defy the odds and do the undoable and love the unlovable. They rally behind "The Biggest Loser" and cheer on athletes in the elements and give time and money to charitable organizations. Make no mistake about it. The people in your world are waiting to stand up and clap for you too.
If nothing else, remember this. Your gift is someones blessing. And that blessing will change a life...and who knows, the life it changes might very well be your own.