Singing Your Song: The Secret of Life

Quote of the Week

Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things.
Denis Diderot

Singing Your Song: The Secret of Life

by Phyllis Sisenwine

While visiting with a friend of mine, I noticed a plaque on the wall in her guest bedroom that reads, “The secret of life is to discover your song and the meaning to life is to sing it”.

I found that to be a powerful message, but I also realize that many of us don’t know what our song is. Those of us who do know often don’t create the opportunity to sing it. It reminds me of the movie “City Slickers” with Jack Palance and Billy Crystal. It’s about a man in mid-life who goes to a ranch to discover his song. There’s a scene where Jack Palance says to Billy Crystal, “none of you get it. The secret of life is just one thing. One thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean nothing. ” Billy Crystal says, “that’s great, but what’s the one thing?” “That’s what you’ve got to figure out”, says Palance.

Do you know what the one thing is for you? Do you know your song? This is a good time to reflect on the song you need to sing. It’s time to think about your gifts, your passion and to discover your song– your burning desire.

To find your passion start by engaging in activities that inspire you. Find out what really excites you. Are you involved in projects that take lots of time, but don’t allow you to use your unique abilities? Think about eliminating activities that drain your energy. This is a good time to review the past six months and to see where and how you really spent your time. Were you involved in projects that inspired and excited you? Did you spend time doing things that made you smile? Look at your lifestyle. Is it attracting new opportunities?

Take time to listen to your wise self. Unleash your hidden abilities. We all have talents and skills that may not be known to us. Now’s a good time to work on uncovering your gifts.

As author and coach, Laura Berman Fortgang, writes in Living Your Best Life, we need to excavate our life blueprint. Now that you’ve thought about what you want, you need to act on what you feel. Your thoughts determine the actions you’ll be willing to take. To experience wisdom you have to know what you are feeling. Laura suggests the clues to our best lives are in our subtle feelings, such as sensing the difference between passion and adrenaline or between inspiration and ego. To recognize subtle feelings we must be in a state of calm. Too often we are just too busy, or overwhelmed to find that quiet time.

Think about what you “want” to do vs. what you “should” do. Singing your song is about wants.

Take a sheet of paper and make a list of “What I really want and enjoy” Make entries as you think of them. What did you do well years ago that you have stopped doing? What are some of the compliments you often get? What’s easy for you but difficult for others? How do you apply your talents to your work and your life? Ask yourself, if you got all of your joy from one thing, what would it be? Surround yourself with people who inspire and encourage you. The choices you make about the people you spend time with are among your most important choices. When you spend time with people with positive energy you are enriched with support and confidence. Who do you choose to spend time with?

As we look for the one thing that is the secret to our life we need to keep an open mind and be curious about everything.

“The secret of life is to discover your song, and the meaning to life is to sing it.”

Copyright 2009, All Rights Reserved. Phyllis Sisenwine, Master Certified Coach, can be reached at

Coaching Call to Action

Phyllis gives great guidance on how we can know our own song. Summer is a great time to slow down a little and find that quiet time to reconnect with ourselves. Remember those times when you felt fully alive and inspired. What were you doing? How can you embrace that today?