The Academy of Country Music Awards went down Sunday night. While I may be a minority (especially here in my yuppie town of Austin)…I LOVE country music.
It brings me back to my youth—growing up in Arkansas where trucks, duck hunting, Friday night lights, and hanging out in the Wal-Mart or Sonic parking lot after football games were the “norm.”
Sunny day, windows rolled down, sunglasses and tank top on, and radio up—listening to the sounds of my youth brings a smile to my face.
You probably can relate…music has a special way of sparking memories and completely impacting our mood—positively and negatively…
- Your first kiss
- Your talent show or tap dancing debut on stage
- Karaoke nights
- Silly middle school slumber parties
- Prom night or dancing with your crush at the Homecoming dance
- Cheer competitions
- A tough trial in your life—and the song that got you through
- Your high-school graduation
- The party song of the year
- “Your song” with your ex
- A really great workout
- A playlist from your wedding
- A motivating “girl power” song
- A worship song that brings you to your knees or shout at the rooftop
There’s no denying what we listen to (and also what we read and watch—the media we consume) has a powerful impact on both our mindset and our actions (what we do with what we hear: like my tank top and blaring radio).
For instance, did you know your favorite music type can influence your personality?! Check out what the research shows about the link between the type of music you like and your personality type (Disclaimer, generally speaking):
- Blues fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle and at ease
- Jazz fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing and at ease
- Classical music fans have high self-esteem, are creative, introvert and at ease
- Rap fans have high self-esteem and are outgoing
- Opera fans have high self-esteem, are creative and gentle
- Country and western fans are hardworking and outgoing
- Reggae fans have high self-esteem, are creative, not hardworking, outgoing, gentle and at ease
- Dance fans are creative and outgoing but not gentle
- Indie fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard working, and not gentle
- Bollywood fans are creative and outgoing
- Rock/heavy metal fans have low self-esteem, are creative, not hard-working, not outgoing, gentle, and at ease
- Chart pop fans have high self-esteem, are hardworking, outgoing and gentle, but are not creative and not at ease
- Soul fans have high self-esteem, are creative, outgoing, gentle, and at ease
And the impact of the media we consume and things we choose to fill our minds with goes far beyond just music.
Think: Influential books, music, and talks:
- How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson
- TED Talks
- Amazon Audible books
- Seminars and workshops
…Just some of the resources that have positively shifted my mind…and consequently, both my actions and outlook on my life (i.e. goal driven, ambitious, affirmed of my own self worth).
The bottom line: How we think is directly linked to our actions.
Positive thinking can change your behavior.
When you’re engaged in positive thoughts, your emotions are more positive, thus producing more positive behavior.
For example, let’s say you’re beginning your day, getting ready for work. You look in the mirror—and despite your morning bed-head, you say, “Good morning beautiful!” As you brush your teeth and put on your makeup, you think through your schedule for the day—speaking positive affirmations in your mind to yourself and the opportunities have to make the most of the day today. You also flip open your morning devotional—a book filled with insights and encouragement to start your day.
With these practices, your brain is wired to produce positive emotions so you walk out that door are feeling good. Despite the horrific traffic during your rush hour commute, you are smiling and ready for the day. Your mind is in a positive place. You have engaged in positive thinking all morning and your attitude and behavior reflect that.
On the flip side, say you wake up on the wrong side of the bed—you’re frazzled, stressed. You’re dwelling on the fight you got in with your boyfriend…the monotonous 8-hour workday ahead…how much you are dreading the meeting you have to go to tonight. The worries also begin about your deadlines, your waist size, next week’s dinner party…your head is cluttered with negativity. Consequently, your mood is certainly more negative throughout the day (unless you change your thought pattern).
YOU have the power to fill your mind with positive thoughts.
If and when you change the way you look at things, you change your minds and your actions by default.
In the same way that we need to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to be healthy, we need a variety of positive emotions in our daily lives to be mentally fit and healthy.
So as we think (or eat), therefore we become.
What are you filling your mind with?
How can you obtain more positive thoughts anyhow?
Arm yourself (and your mind) for success—program your mind—with an arsenal of positive resources and experiences: Books, podcasts, seminar audio books and music (that’s good for the soul…like country)…and experience the change for yourself.
Here are some of the books I’ve been into lately via Amazon Audible and my new handy dandy library card:
Entrepreneur & Business Reads
Marketing a Love Story: How to Matter to Your Customers by Bernadette Jiwa
Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg (Author of “The Power of Habit”)
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
Deep Work by Cal Newport
Your Brain at Work by David Rock
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman
It Was Me All Along: A Memoir by Andie Mitchell
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
The Secret World of Sleep: The Surprising Science of the Mind at Rest by Penelope Lewis
8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Andrew Weil
And…a BONUS: in the spirit of the Country Music Awards, here is a list of some of the top “old, new” country songs on my playlist right now (Disclaimer: Some of them ARE cheesy…)
- Just to See You Smile- Tim McGraw
- Wild One-Faith Hill
- Mud on the Tires- Brad Paisley
- Chatahooche-Alan Jackson
- Song of the South-Alabama
- I Wanna Fall in Love-Lila McCann
- Check Yes or No- George Strait
- Never Gonna Feel Like This Again-Kenny Chesney
- Any Man of Mine-Shania Twain
- Standing Outside the Fire-Garth Brooks
- There’s Your Trouble- Dixie Chicks
- In a Real Love- Phil Vassar
- Chicken Fried-Zac Brown Band
- You’re Beginning to Get to Me-Clay Walker
- I’m Alright- JoDee Messina
- Big Green Tractor-Jason Aldean
Got any favorites to add to either list? Please share! I’m all ears! Post to comments what ones I am missing…