January 02, 2013


Finding Your Song

posted in Leadership, Uncategorized

Finding your song.

That’s an intriguing concept.

When we get married, the couple selects a song that becomes their theme song.

My wife, Donna, and I selected, over 35 years ago, “That’s all.” I can only give you love that lasts forever…That’s all. That’s all.

Years later, whenever we’re at a party where there is a band, we’ll ask if they can play it. And that dance is always special, and brings back all kinds of memories.

And I began thinking that the wedding song we select, in many ways, can say more about us as a newly-wed couple than any of the other decisions we agree upon.

And it got me to wondering why weddings are the only celebrations where we select a particular song.

Why not birthdays?

Or any other celebration?

And what would our own individual song be, if we selected it for ourselves?

Would we have just one song?

Or would it change at different times in our lives?

Would it be fast or slow?

Short or long?

Could you dance to it?

Would it have words?

Would you sing it like the original?

Or create your own version?

Change any words?

Or make up your own song?

I’ve heard it said that there is a tribe on the west coast of Africa where, when a woman believes she wants to have a baby, she will hear a song and start to sing it. And that song becomes the song of that baby. Before the child is born. Then the preparing mother teaches that song to her husband, before they conceive the child. Then when the baby appears, they both teach the song to the baby and the baby carries that song throughout his or her life.

By having your own song, I believe you can get more in tune with yourself.

And, because of that, more in tune with others.

So, try this with me for just a minute.

Close your eyes.

Imagine there is as an old-fashioned juke box – inside of you.

(For those of you who are too young to remember what I’m talking about, here is an image of a juke box.)

Each of us is full of hundreds and hundreds of records.

There are A and B sides.

Some we know by heart.

Some we barely remember.

Some are connected to certain events in our lives.

Some are connected to certain people.

Some are covered in dust. They don’t remember the last time they were played.

They range from the first lullabies we were lulled to sleep by to the last song we heard today.

Inside of you are all the songs you’ve ever heard.

Imagine them on small, plastic, round records.

In rows, upon rows, upon rows.

Maybe in alphabetical order.

Maybe in chronological order.

Maybe in no order whatsoever.

And across all these rows is a metal arm that will reach down and select one of those records….your song.

Now, that arm in your own personal, old-fashioned juke box…is moving across all of your records.

And now it pauses – and that metal arm selects just one song.

There it is. That’s the song you have selected.

Look at the title.

Say it out loud to yourself.

Now let it play.

Hum it.

Sing it.

Why do you believe you might have selected your song?

What does it mean to you?

What was going on in your life you they first heard the song?

Why have you been carrying it with you?

Feel what it is like to tune in to your song.

What if that became your inspiration?

Your theme song?

How would you come across differently?

Do me a favor and carry the song with you for a week.

Hum or sing it to yourself whenever times get out of sort.

Or when things are just going exceptionally well.

See how it fits.

How does it help you think and feel about yourself differently?

About those around you in a new way?

Does it help you make sense of what’s going on?

Does it tie things together in some mysterious way?

Do you want to change anything about your song?

Make it more up-tempo?

Change it into something more hip-hop?

More romantic?

Something you can dance to?

Carry your song with you.

Connect with it.

Know why you love that particular song.

And why it is part of you.

Let it be your short-hand message to yourself about who you are – at your very best.

As you hum or sing your song, the next step is to share it with someone you trust.

Tell them why you carry your song with you.

What it means to you.

Tell them what was going on in your life when you first heard that song.

And why you’ve stayed connected with it.

Then ask them if they’ve ever thought about a song that would be their theme song.

And wonder, with them, what it might be.

Explore with them where your songs connect.

Then, with your song in your back pocket, you will be in a place where you are able to tune into yourself more, shifting your awareness, and transcending your wildest dreams.

At the very least, people are going to be wondering what in the world you are singing about.

Patrick Sweeney, Caliper President





20 Comments on “Finding Your Song”


Nancy Harris

I’ve been reading your blog since the beginning but have never taken the time to comment even though I’ve thought about it a number of times.

But today’s post came at just the right moment and I had to share how much I not only enjoy what you write but value what it says. Your writing is lyrical, even poetic at times and always thought provoking.

Thanks for sharing from the heart and speaking truth. At a time when so many blogs have so little to say your voice is distinctive, your thoughts are unique and your writing is a pleasure to read. Thank you!


Steve Farber

I love this idea! I have a few songs that I consider to be part of the soundtrack of my life. Songs that I wrote, for the most part, but the same idea. Thanks for this!


Jose Luiz Tejon Megido

This is a fascinant article…thanks again Patrick…you are a tremendous inspirer …continue….


Gary Markle

Great article. Refreshing perspective. Reading on a Sunday in early January seemed the perfect time for reflection.

During my 56 years on the planet, I have collected over 2500 albums (old school), 5000 CDs with more than 75 days of continuous music on my iTunes account. Choosing one song as thematic for a marriage or life is both challenging and enlightening.

Forced to do so for my life, the choice is simple. “Alyson” by Elvis Costello has been my longtime favorite theme song. In it he sings that although “the world is killing me, my aim is true.” There is something about the constancy of purpose and romantic, almost Quixotic, devotion to a higher cause that I love about it.

Thanks for the reminder that our lives are accompanied by a meaningful soundtrack.


Jim Cathcart

Very good article Patrick. Happy New Year!

Jim Cathcart


Walter McFarland


Awesome. I worry that the biggest victim of the poor economy is our dreams. I hope folks particularly the young ones heed you and don’t let anything ever steal the song.



Richard Lawrence

Very cool posting – I liked it a lot.

Kindest Regards,

Rich Lawrence


Gerhard Gschwandtner

Hi Patrick,

I am impressed by your ability to find themes to write about that touch the soul. You are a true artist, always surprising your readers by tugging their heartstrings when they least expect it.




Mark Kuehn

I just checked out your blog, a very nice concept, thank you for it. I searched my mind and can’t think of one in particular – (yet!). My dad was a phonograph cartridge designers and Seeburg jukeboxes were one of their largest customers, so I enjoyed your photos. Now to think of my song, hmmm.



Steve Bookbinder

Thanks for sharing. I think it’s an interesting exercise!…especially so because any day that you can include singing is a better day. You can’t sing and be unhappy.

There is a great Paul Simon lyric that comes to mind: “ah, but when I sing…I can hear the truth auditioning”

Consider that the next time you are singing.



Clem Cheng

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for sharing this link to your latest blog post. I enjoyed reading it and it conjured up some strong emotions when I reflected on what is my song.

Hope you are doing well.




Fergal Murray

Hi Patrick,

I resonated with your thinking here – kind of cool. Music has a way of calming or being a catalyst to linking a better place.



Cheryl Sanders

Love this post! I tend to select a theme song for a life season, sometimes for a year. Last year was ‘This is my now’ by Jordin Sparks. This year is ‘Let it go’ by Zach Brown Band. It’s true that a song can take you places you otherwise couldn’t go or remind you of feelings you’ve somehow forgotten. It’s a great way to stay inspired and close to your goals.

It is tough to pick just one, but one that speaks to where you are right now is a great place to start!



Georgianne Vinicombe

Thanks, that is awesome! Georgianne


Louise Salinas

I really enjoyed this article, Patrick! Quite inspirational.
Hope all is well.



Mike Staresinic

Hi Patrick,

Thanks for sharing the Caliper blog and Finding Your Own Song. Inspirational, kind, generous.



Lisa Lombardo

Thank you Mr. Sweeney. I found it very insightful and thought provoking. Happy New Year.




Mary Wilson

Great inspiration here :)


Jose Geraldo Recchia

This article is fantastic! Leads us to a beautiful reflection and make connections with our past that generate inspiration for new dreams and accomplishments!
Thank you!!


Brett Wallace

This was great – I really appreciate you sharing it!


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