In his book 'This is Your Brain on Music', Daniel Levitin, a rocker-turned neuroscientist, explores the connection between music and our brain, providing some interesting insights on why we love the music we do. In particular, Levitin helped me understand why Stevie Wonder, who made his way on to my soundtrack as a pre-teen, was still on my soundtrack during my 30's, the decade of launching a career and learning to mother. He writes, "teenage years are emotionally charged years of self-discovery. Because of the emotional component of these years, our amygdala (the seat of emotion in our brain) and neurotransmitters (transporters of information from the brain to other parts of the body) act in concert to 'tag' these musical memories as something important." What kinds of music and which artists did you love as a teenager? As an adult, do you listen to similar music?
I recently attended the last day of Professor Clayton Christensen's fall semester class at Harvard Business School. In his final minutes with eighty of the world's best and brightest 25-35 year-olds, there was so much that Professor Christensen could have used his bully pulpit to say. Interestingly he chose to focus not on building and sustaining a successful enterprise, as he had done all semester, but rather on building and sustaining a happy life. Paraphrasing Dr. Christensen's remarks, "In just a few months you will graduate from Harvard Business School, and embark on what to many, including yourselves, will be prestigious, lucrative, high profile careers. But if you want to also have happy lives, you need to know the purpose of your life."
Said Sir Thomas Browne, "We carry with us the wonders we seek without us." Dream, dream, I want to dare, I want to dream, but how? Good question, and TLC's "I've Got Nothing to Wear" offers some ideas. Figuratively, not literally, so stay with me. In this six-part summer series, a professional stylist assigns the guest's clothing to one of two categories: salvageable and non-salvageable. The non-salvageables are sent to the "chop shop" where three designers have been assigned to cull, rip, redesign, and resew these items into fresh, fashionable pieces (e.g. an outdated pair of slacks might become an evening gown). In the meantime, the stylist shops with the guest for 4-5 classic items to complement the salvaged clothing. When the stylist creates a "look book" which shows the student how to mix and match the salvaged clothes, the newly-purchased classics, and the revamped pieces, the wardrobe refashion is complete. I'm not suggesting that each of us begin personally redesigning our clothing, though NikiShell's Wardrobe Refashion can help you do precisely that, but rather to propose that the premise of "I've Got Nothing to Wear" can help us to identify some tools available to us as we dream.