Is Your Destiny Leaving You Clues?

When you experience an involuntary emotional response, whether positive or negative, it is often a clue. You have stumbled onto something that will lead you toward or away from your destiny. It’s important to pay attention.

Guitarist Playing Acoustic Guitar

Photo courtesy of ©

For example, not many people know I majored in music for my first two years of college. I played guitar, piano, and bass. Music was my life. It was all I ever thought about.

For my junior year, I transferred from my small junior college to Baylor University. I was excited, because the music school was legendary. But I quickly discovered that I was just one aspiring musician in a sea of extraordinary players.

Giving in to Fear

The competition scared me. By the end of the first semester I threw in the towel, switched majors, and sold my instruments. I essentially kissed music good-bye.

I thought I was being “practical.” But it was mostly about fear.

I quickly refocused my energy on other things. I discovered new passions, including my love of books and learning. This eventually led to a very satisfying career in the book publishing industry.

But something was lost.

Over the years, I occasionally played the guitar or the piano. But it was rare. I just didn’t allow myself to go there. In fact, I haven’t owned a guitar since college, though I have bought a couple for my children.

Last week, my daughter, Madeline, and her husband Shawn came over for dinner. Madeline brought her guitar and asked if I could help her learn a song by the artist Mree. It was in an unusual tuning, and she couldn’t figure it out.

We worked on it for about ten minutes and determined the artist was using an “open D tuning.” We didn’t learn the whole song, but we played what we knew for Gail and Shawn. (I still had cheap guitar at the house that one of my other daughters had abandoned years ago.)

When Madeline started singing, I cried.

The emotion surprised me. Something was resonating within me at a very deep level. I sensed something in my heart had just woken up after a very long sleep.

Reclaiming Something Lost

That evening, I started shopping online for guitars. The whole while a little voice in my head kept saying, This is silly. You’re not going to buy a guitar. It’s been too long. You’ve forgotten too much. Besides, you don’t have the time.

But I persisted.

As we were getting ready for bed, I spoke to Gail about it. She said, “You need to pay attention to this, Mike. I don’t know why, but you need to buy a guitar. I feel strongly about this.” (You gotta love that in a wife.)

The next morning, Madeline and I met at the Guitar Center in Nashville. It’s a giant superstore for musicians. It has every model of guitar you could imagine for sale. Frankly, it was overwhelming.

However, we met a very knowledgable, low-key salesman named Rob in the acoustic guitar department. He gave us a helpful overview and explained what had transpired in the thirty-plus years I had been out of the market.

I then sat down and played about a dozen different guitars. So much came back to me. My brain was flooded with memories. I reconnected with a joy I hadn’t known in years.

After almost an hour, I pulled a Martin HD-28V from the wall and sat back down to play it. I immediately teared up. Again, the emotion surprised me. I knew this was “the one.”

Just to be sure, I tried several other guitars, testing each of them against the Martin. However, nothing else sounded as sweet or felt as comfortable as it. So I took a deep breath, looked at Madeline for assurance, and bought it!

I played so much that first day, my fingers were blistered. I have had a blast just getting acquainted with the instrument and relearning some of what I had forgotten.

More Than We Know

Honestly, I don’t know where all this is going. I have no illusions about playing professionally, but I do think it is important to pay attention to the resonance of this moment. There is something here for me to learn and experience.

But it’s not just me. I believe each of us is more than we know.

One of the ways we figure this out is by noticing what stirs us emotionally. This is a step in moving toward our destiny and becoming all God made us to be.

Question: Where have you recently experienced unexpected emotion? What have you learned from it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Larry Carter

    I feel the same way after any sort of layoff from running. It’s like I was made for running and it connects me with who I am and even my relationship with God becomes stronger. I wonder if your worship won’t improve as you find yourself expressing your love and worship in new ways.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Larry. Running is one of those things for me, too.

    • Michele Cushatt

      I’m with you, Larry. I didn’t realize how much I needed to run until the last two months. After breaking my foot, I haven’t been able to run, and the lack is killing me.

      • Larry Carter

        I know how you feel, Michele

      • Stu McLaren

        A broken foot? That sucks Michele… get better soon (especially before the snow comes!)

        • Michele Cushatt

          Well said, well said.

      • Matt McWilliams

        I know the feeling…sort of. I fell down the stairs a few months ago and couldn’t run for almost two months. Was training to run a half marathon, now it’s looking more like a long walk with a few bursts of running :)

        • Michele Cushatt

          I’m registered to run a half in October, five weeks away. Doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. I think my walking would put me way past the time limit. :)

      • Cherry Odelberg

        But running (or hiking, in my case) is so impractical – until you consider Eric Liddell’s line from Chariots of Fire, “When I am running, I feel His pleasure.”
        Perhaps to feel the pleasure of God is really our destiny after all?

    • Caleb

      Larry, that’s an interesting question about worship. I’m preparing to speak on the importance of worship in the church in two weeks so I’ve also been thinking about the importance of expressing our worship in different ways.

      • willratliff

        Caleb – have you ever read the book Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas? It speaks on the different ways we connect with God. Might help you in your preparation time. I think we box ourselves in when it comes to worship. Biblically, there are specific times and ways to worship as individuals and as a community; however, Romans 12 tells us that the goal of our entire life is an act of worship, seen as a holistic sacrificial gift.

        • Caleb

          Nope, haven’t read that but I’m checking it out on Amazing after I post this. If there’s a kindle version I’ll probably get it.

      • Larry Carter

        Caleb, specifically when it comes to running, it seems that my mind will free up and focus on scripture and The Lord will bring all sorts of things to mind. I wonder if Michael won’t find something similar with the guitar.

        • Cherry Odelberg

          Ditto that.

  • Arlen Miller

    What an amazing and encouraging story. So authentic. Thanks for sharing so deeply of yourself. It’s such a blessing. Sounds like a sacrifice of praise coming out of your life. It encourages openness in myself and encourages me to face my fears. Thanks, Michael.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great, Arlen. That’s exactly what I was hoping for. I think so many of us live with these “shuttered dreams.” We sometimes forget that they even exist.

  • Jeff ‘SKI’ Kinsey

    >> I thought I was being “practical.” But it was mostly about fear.


    Yep, we all have been there. This is one of the reasons I love Les Brown. He knows how to put fear in its place! His messages of hope are a daily inspiration. If you don’t follow him on Facebook, may I suggest you should? Guess I did.

    Thanks for a great post.


    • Michael Hyatt

      I’ll have to check him out. Thanks. Jeff. Do you have a URL? There are a bunch of Les Browns on Facebook. Thanks.

      • Jeff ‘SKI’ Kinsey
        • Michael Hyatt

          Got it. Thanks.

      • Keith L. Bell

        Les Brown is amazing! You got watch his YouTube Vid called “You Gotta Be Hungry!” testimony of how he got started in radio years ago!

    • Nora Zarate Hodges

      Les Brown always inspires me with his pure joy and courage.

    • karenputz

      I love Les Brown’s daily inspiration too, Jeff!

  • Tim Spence

    I experienced it reading your post this morning. So many similarities. Thanks for sharing.

    • TorConstantino

      Indeed Tim, I had a similar experience myself. This powerful post helped me realign some personal priorities that have been overshawdowed by professional issues during the past several weeks.

  • Karen

    Thanks, Michael. I play guitar somewhat – but no one is going to ask a middle-aged woman with limited skill to play! This weekend I had just picked it up after 3 months, and found the joy I get just playing along with YouTube videos. And now your post – we need to embrace whatevers fuels us, even if it’s not for public consumption. Kudos to being vulnerable enough to share something that has touched us.

    • Michele Cushatt

      I’m a 35-year musician and former piano teacher. As I told my students, music is far more about personal expression and experience than public display.

  • Russ Pond

    Beautiful and profound! For me, it’s filmmaking. I’ve done a couple feature films, but was left burned out and cynical, so I dove back into my day job of corporate production and let dream go back to sleep. Filmmaking is a brutal industry but I know God brought me into it. A few weeks ago, my wife encouraged me to just forget the business of movies, the voices, the fear and just go make my own movie. Her words resonated in me. Thanks for the reminder this morning!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Your wife is right. It sounds much like what Gail told me. What a blessing to have spouses like this to encourage us!

      • Dave Hilgendorf

        Amen to having great spouses to encourage us! Michael I appreciate this post very much. I started out in high school and early college dreaming to be a writer, free lancing for a local paper for years, then ended up with a degree in Chemical Engineering partly because it was “practical”. It’s provided me some great opportunities and today I truly enjoy what I do, but in recent years I’ve been drawn back to writing a book and a blog on the side. I think Psalms 37:4 definitely applies here. I’ve heard it taught (and I agree) that when we’re seeking God, He will line up our desires with His so then and only then is it a good idea to be guided by our desires.

  • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    Wow…this was a powerful post. When I came to know the Lord in my twenties, I had been playing the drums for several years. For some weird reason (God only knows) I assumed the Lord would want me to give up anything that had anything to do with the past. I sold two drum kits and threw away all my “albums” (yes…they were literal albums back then). I regretted it. Now I am 62-years-old and sometimes I think about buying a drum kit and putting it in the basement. LOL. But seriously, there are other things that put me in that “flow” state. I am an artist, although I haven’t picked up a brush in the last 7 years. Research shows that the more a person spends time in this state of the brain, the less depressive symptoms they experience. I am rethinking this after re-reading your post, Michael. Thanks! And have fun with that guitar. PS…I need to encourage my husband to get one. He is in the exact same boat, and I know it would give him joy.

    • Michael Hyatt

      You totally should buy some drums! I agree with you about flow. Think how much fund you would have!

      • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

        I totally should, dude! Ha! When I was first a Christian I used to get bands from Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel to come over to my town and play for the high school kids at lunch across the street in the park (there was a gazebo with electricity). I used to think, “I could play that!.”

        • Connie Almony

          Buy the drums! I met a woman a few years ago who learned to play for the first time at 40 and just recently met another woman whose husband learned in his fifties (just starting) because he felt he’d been called by God. These stories inspired me. My plan is to pick up the bass at fifty. You, however, already have the skill! I, too, put away my creative self for years and have started back to it through writing stories. My life changed!!! Really changed. So if not the drums, most definitely the paint brush. There is no age limit on these things.

          • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

            Connie…I have a tagline on my blog “Becoming What I Might Have Been,” that is from the quote attributed to George Eiiot (pseudonym) “It’s never too late to become what you might have been.” I should take my own advice! Thanks for encouraging!

    • Lisa B. Marshall


      Maybe you’ve seen this video?
      It’s a woman playing drums in a music store. (I am not associated with the store.) Maybe it will inspire you to take the leap!

      If you have thought about buying a kit, I say go for it!! If it’s money, buy one from Craigslist–there are always a ton of kits available.

      • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

        Wow! OK…re-thinking this one. :o)

    • Michele Cushatt

      Go for it, Linda!

      • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

        OK…you got it! LOL

    • Cherry Odelberg

      Get the drums. Come see me. My grown kids are always telling me to “Get your own band, Mom.”

      • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

        You are my kinda gal!

    • Arlen Miller

      Inspiring stuff. I join the chorus: Get the drums, Linda!

      • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

        Thanks Arlen! You guys are so encouraging!

  • Jeanne

    WOW! So inspired and ready to pay attention to my next similar moment. I’m starting a business based on following a dream. Also I have a childhood piano downstairs and may decide to finally take some lessons again

    • TorConstantino

      Fantastic comment Jeanne – I think there is a strong path between our dreams, passions and goals as adults that help us find their source in our childhood!

  • Susan Bailey

    Music does indeed tap a special store of emotions. I’ve played guitar since I was 15 and had done music in the church for many years as a singer. I also produced several self-published CDs. In 2010 I began losing my voice to acid reflux, Around that time my mother died after a long illness and I felt the desire for music sucked right out of me. I had a position as a paid leader of song in our church which I had to resign due to my voice troubles. In dealing with the grief of losing my voice, I pushed music as far away from me as I could (and lost myself in my new passion of reading, writing and studying). I ran away from music because once I accepted that my voice was pretty much gone, I didn’t want to deal with everyone else at church accepting it too (it took a while to get the message across). I had joined a contemporary choir but eventually left that a few months ago because singing was just too hard (and frankly painful, both physically and emotionally). I keep my guitars in our bedroom and over the summer the classical one kept calling to me. Eventually I listened and asked the music director if I could play with her over the summer as she uses the piano rather than the organ during that time. That was when the healing began, For the first time in many years, music became enjoyable again. I found myself singing to music in the car and whistling tunes around the house. I knew I had been running away and gently God nudged me back to re-embrace what had been lost. I am very grateful, and glad you have rediscovered it too.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I love your story, Susan—so inspiring. I’m glad you re-embraced what you had lost!

      • Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

        That is a really inspiring story Susan! I know the grief of losing something like that. I was passionate about windsurfing (learned when I was 40). I went every time the wind blew…even if I had to go alone. Then I fell down a flight of stairs and broke my neck. I lost the ability to do much of any real physical activity as it causes a lot of pain. It really does help to strengthen something else you love to do.

  • Donnie Law

    Wow I love this. It has to be a wonderful feeling getting back into something you were so deeply connected decades ago. Run with it!

  • Leah Adams

    What a wonderful and powerful post! Within each of us are things that stir us emotionally and it is wise to pay attention. Thanks for the encouragement. Can we anticipate a podcast of music by Michael Hyatt?

    • Michael Hyatt

      I’m not quite ready for that, Leah! But, you never know.

  • Dave Bratcher

    Great message. I experienced emotion at a normal event. We expect to cry during funerals, but a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stop. I’m typically not overly emotional and I didn’t even know the gentleman than well, although I did know several family members well. As I reflected on the moment, I tried to figure out what was going on. Unfortunately, I am still listening for what God was trying to tell me. Awesome story Michael!

  • Kathy Hogeveen

    I started an Amway business in 1999 and the first conference I attended at about 3 in the afternoon I found myself weeping. I felt I was born for this, learning, coaching and helping others. It has been a very long journey since then, including a divorce and raising 5 teenagers on my own so I backed off. I recently went back to an Amway conference with an open mind and ready to make the decision about what to do with this business and again my heart said I just love this arena and it is time to finish what I started.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Good for you, Kathy. Those moments of resonance can be so clarifying.

  • Sherri

    What an amazing experience for you! My first thought when I read this was that God was opening up a way for you to have a deeper walk with him. Anything that touches your heart so tenderly can’t help but leave you more open and prepared to meet him. Music is very powerful. I look forward to hearing more about your reunion with music and where it leads you. Thanks for sharing.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Sherri. I feel the most connected to God when I am participating in something musical.

  • Bryan Derreberry

    Great post, Michael. I read it and thought that you have reconnected with an important gifting that God has provided you in the area of music. I am thrilled for you and believe that you have shared a wonderful lessson for all of us to truly examine what we are doing and find the things that resonate deeply in our soul. I think we “know when we are there” and then we just have to have the courage and inspiration to discover and re-plumb that gifting. Play that guitar brother!

  • Chris Lawson

    Great post!

    It is reassuring that I’m not the only one that has moments similar to this.

    I love that you were upfront and honest and wasn’t afraid to show your real emotions.

    Thank you.

  • Nora Jacques

    Thank you for sharing this article. I recently discovered this joy in dance…i had been moreso focused on writing and marketing…I had lost touch with the artsy side of my self for some time, now I have been discovering joy in working with the youth dance group in my church. I find that we are too amazingly diverse to be limited to a box of “one thing”. There are so many sides to who we are, we need to express those various facets of our identity. Congrats on taking this leap of faith! Expecting great things :-)

  • Kelly Combs

    Michael – just as you encourage your readers to write (even if only for themselves) if they love writing, so it is for you and your music.

    For me the thing that brings me the most emotion is my children, and parenting them. At the SCORRE conference, Byron Emmert said to me (with tears in his eyes), “You are a spokeswoman for godly parenting.” It was one of the most profound moments in my life, and I felt like he was speaking truth to my soul. I’m not a perfect mom (by far!). But I do try to be the best mom I can be, every day.

    Thanks for the post. And best wishes with your music!

    • Michele Cushatt

      Love this, Kelly. I remember you telling me about that moment. Byron was right on!

  • John Scullen

    I had a similar experience with guitar, though the break wasn’t as long as yours. It all comes back pretty quickly and the renewed interest will take your playing beyond where you were before, and faster than you probably expect.

    Sometimes I play a lot, sometimes a few weeks can go by when I don’t play. But when when you’ve had a bad day it only takes a few minutes to get lost in the music and a calmness returns. It’s a great outlet.

    I don’t think you really choose a guitar. It’s more like, when you find the right one, the guitar chooses you. Sounds like that’s what happened in your case. Just watch out for gear acquisition syndrome (GAS) that’s likely to occur within a few months. Before you know it you’ll start believing that the correct answer to “how many guitars do you actually need?” is “just one more” ;-)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I know that GAS is true! I’ve had it with computers for years.

  • Alex Barker

    Michael, I know your pain all too well. I gave up creating comedy videos (something that I received standing ovations from in high school) to pursuing a career in pharmacy because it was “practical”.

    You, along with others like Pat Flynn, Dan Miller, and Andy Andrews, have encouraged me to pursue my passions of a podcast and public speaking!!! Thank you once again for sharing your heart with us. It’s always a pleasure

    • TorConstantino

      Alex, best of luck in the speaking and podcasting – I’m sure you’ll crush it!!!

  • Craig Jarrow

    Michael, love this story.

    The best way to find your passion is to look to something you have done in the past.

    One’s passion is always in one’s history.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great word, Craig. Thanks.

  • Ernie El Lansford

    The music inside of us is the sound of our soul. Limiting beliefs and fear cause most of us to leave our instruments in the case in the closet of our heart. Enjoy your new instrument. Cheers–EL

  • Lisa

    Life plans and goals can change due to circumstances beyond our control. A spouse can walk away, or a health problem can arrive when you least expect it. After an unexpected divorce, I followed a path of newborn photography – something I found very healing. I am now facing a diagnosis of MS, which currently prevents me from holding newborns. Sadly, I had shut down the thought of pursuing a career in photography until one day I saw a church steeple in the distance. I pulled over and took image after image. Close up, distant, historic old churches with wonderful character. I may not be able to hold a newborn, but I can work around this obstacle by photographing something else that stirs me. And for some unknown reason church steeples do. This week, after a long period of medical testing I spotted a church steeple. And I felt those same emotions you describe. And I cried. We don’t always know the plans God has for us. Thank you for sharing your story. I am going to listen to the emotions I feel and try to understand what lessons I can learn by following them. I was once a stay at home mom living happily ever after. And now, who knows what will transpire…maybe one day you will want to publish a book I have created on masterpiece church steeples…smile. :)

  • Erin Boyd Odom

    Wow, Michael–wow! I’ve subscribed to your site for a while but don’t
    think I’ve ever commented. This post really resonates with me! As a
    child, teenager and even young adult (in my 20s–I’m now in my 30s), my
    passion was for international mission work. I thought it was my lifelong
    calling. In college, I double majored in journalism and Spanish (and
    minored in English) to somehow prepare for the calling. Four years ago
    my husband and I were serving a short stint in Canada for preparation to
    be career missionaries in Mexico. Something happened–something tragic
    really–and we had to come back home. It was devastating. My dreams were
    crushed. From that shattered time, my passions for writing (which had
    also started in childhood) were re-stirred. However, I pushed my passion
    for missions aside. I think I buried them…afraid to dream in that
    regard. This makes me wonder if, one day, God may combine these passions
    of mine…and that, perhaps, I shouldn’t be scared to dream of
    international work again. Thanks for sharing your heart today!

  • Jamie Chavez

    This post makes me happy. :)

    • Michele Cushatt

      Well said, Jamie. :)

  • Rick Jantz

    I recently watched Tony Robbins videos and got very emotional. I notice the same thing with shows that show broken or tender moments between people, mostly families. I’m always surprised with how easily both of these evoke such a response from me. I know they say something important but I haven’t taken the time to figure out what that is yet.

  • Connie Almony

    Okay, Michael, I cried reading this blog! What does that
    mean :o)? I was a music major my first two years in college as well. I quit for
    the much the same reason you did. When I started writing fiction I had this
    idea to make one of the main characters a musician and it felt like coming
    home. I now sing around my house non-stop. My family is very good to tolerate
    this. It’s like the hum of the air conditioning to them now—not sure what that
    says about my voice though ;o).

    So glad you found your love of the guitar again. Music is a
    powerful thing. Where the words of the song can make us think, the music drives
    it into our hearts and demands we feel.

    • Michael Hyatt

      So true, Connie. Music opens a channel for me, from my heart to the external world.

  • suattheintentionalhome

    Your post reminded me of that line in Chariots of Fire. .where he says: I feel God’s pleasure when I run. You feel God’s pleasure when you play the guitar. . it is a way for you to connect deeper with your Lord. I am sharing this post on my Facebook page today. Thanks for sharing.

    • Michele Cushatt

      A classic quote and powerful scene. Thanks for mentioning it here.

  • Nancy Routzon Smith

    I have a music degree, but quit doing anything musical a few years ago. I recently sat down at the piano again, banging out some Beatles tunes and some old hymns. My fingers itch when I don’t play; it feeds something deep. Thanks for validating my new old passion!!

    • Michael Hyatt

      That’s a great story, Nancy!

  • Kathy Chandler Patrick

    Thank you so much for the reminder to listen to our hearts! I, too, was trained as a musician-classical piano and as a singer. I gave up pursuing the dream of being a singer many years ago. However, through the years, I have had the same moment you described happen to me over and over. I just had the same moment! As the tears started to flow, I realized that It was time for me to purchase a piano, again, and, at least sing for myself. Thank you for that!
    I attended Dan Miller’s Innovate conference last week for the sole purpose of hearing you speak. I was NOT disappointed. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Kathy. I loved speaking at Dan’s event!

  • Holly

    Music is a powerful thing! Thank you for sharing this piece of your story as it offers great encouragement to keep going! I find there are times, maybe not all that recently, when I get an idea for an art piece that draws out strong emotions. Fear is a big part of that process too as I don’t have a strong creative support system, but one that deals more in “practical.” I am working on pushing through the fear to be more consistent in my painting/creating.

  • Chris Skates

    I am still processing a similar experience, only mine is in writing. My dream was to be a writer. But for the sake of practicality I pursued a career in Chemistry. Chemistry has been good to me for 25 years but a few years ago I revived the dream. Have self published two novels and had a smalll mainstream publisher release a third. But I recently completed a manuscript that made me sob as I wrote The End. I even published an article in Southern Writers Magazine about that writing experience (this months issue). Now headed to ACFW to pursue the dream further.

  • Jeremy Buzzard

    Absolutely, Michael. As a professional musician just a few years out of college now, I have been doing the same thing – paying attention to those emotional responses to life and experiences to see where my heart is. I agree that can tell you a lot about what you are meant to do, whether in a professional capacity or not. Love that you bought the guitar!

  • Jon D Harrison

    Wow..this one really strikes a “chord” with me…(sorry, could not resist!)
    I actually had a similar experience with drawing –

  • William Stonewall Monroe

    Whew. Your post about had me in tears. Thank you for the inspiration and the reminder. Music is often a source for that unexpected emotion. The most recent time was at a church picnic. I was reflecting as I watched the community mix and mingle. I felt a pang of loss, due to recent life circumstances, my wife and I will be moving across the country. However, I was simultaneously encouraged that the church is strong and will succeed without our family unit.

  • Nancy Hoffman

    I cried while I was reading your column this morning. I too had been very into music when I was younger but I was intimidated by better players and better singers, so I abandoned music and went back to school for a graduate degree. I recently fell in love with bluegrass music and have slowly been easing back into my love of music. I can spend all day searching for videos on YouTube of my favorite musicians playing some unusual song or search iTunes for just the right version of “Lost in the Lonesome Pines.” I’ve been away too long and I’m so happy to be back! Thank you for such a moving and inspiring column. I needed that one.

  • Jim Donovan

    Thanks Michael, great post. I’ve been having a similar nudging about doing something in the health arena. It’s strange, since I’m deeply trenched in personal development, with a new book coming out in Oct and another in Fall 2014, both from well respected publishers.
    Lately people have been asking me for advice about their health since it’s something I’ve studied for decades. Although I make no claims about being an expert in it and have no credentials. I seem to know about things that people are not typically aware of and feel a need to let people know what’s available in the natural health world.
    However I am pretty clear I’m not picking up the bass again. Maybe:-)

  • John Kramp

    Michael, I love this post. In the press of a busy business life, I, too, left too many things behind. Like you, I had set my guitar aside. In recent years, I rediscovered the joy of playing and writing. In ways I cannot explain, the process restored my soul, adding back something lost. Gail is right. Stay on this path. It will be good.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, John. I have always admired your musical gift and how you have pursued it. Blessings!

  • Rob Wright

    Many thanks for sharing that, Michael. With such a personal tale from your recent experience, I was left feeling as if I’ve been allowed to connect with you on a whole new level. And it also memorably reinforces a point I was only reminded of just a few days ago. Thank you…

  • Deborah Owen

    I love this story. My son is a high school senior going through the college hunt process and he is also planning to major in music, possibly with film/video as a minor. It’s also in his blood. We know that we need to support him in this pursuit because it would be terrible for him to major in something else, then someday say, “if only I had tried my great love….”

    I wish you great joy as you pick up the guitar again!

  • Lisa
  • Raphayelle

    Few years ago I felt the same while going dancing. I was contemporary dancer and withdrew because of the pressure that was on me. I was a pretty good dancer and I have had panicked. And one day I just went with my friend to encourage her to try contemporary dance (I always encourage people to try new things and develop their gifts). I couldn’t sleep that night. Unfortunately I have a bad wrist injury and won’t dance anymore like before and I am using this energy to other activities. I understand You a lot.

  • Doug Tjaden

    Michael, I believe all of our God given talents are to be used by us. You have a talent that you may have thought 30 years ago, was common. It isn’t. If the only thing you use it for is to bring joy to you and your family, then may God be glorified in that. If it allows you to add something unusual or unique to certain speaking engagements – great too. You will know what to do with it because you are listening…

    I have a 15 year old daughter who can play about any instrument she has picked up after about 15 minutes of playing around with it. It is incredible. My brain cannot comprehend what she does with it. We’re not sure what to do with it at this age, but we want to encourage her to develop her skill and see if it’s going to be a big part of her life or not. Either way, I sometimes tear up too when I hear her playing and singing in the other room. God’s gifts are wonderful. We’re thankful for giving the gift of music to her.

  • Vania Hardy

    I definitely get the wisdom in paying attention to your involuntary emotional reactions. The last time I had such a reaction was the first time I volunteered at a summer camp. I didn’t want to be there because I didn’t think I’d like working with kids. But the kids filled me with an almost surreal joy that I cried when I had to leave.

    I once heard someone make an analogy about people being like filled water bottles–when something moves us emotionally, we’re like a water bottle being knocked over, revealing what’s been inside of us all along.

  • Tracy L

    Great post, very real. I think the point is that we are to pay attention, listen and respond. Even when it doesn’t make sense to us. Even when it doesn’t seem practical. We may understand later, or never, but God knows what he is doing.

  • David Sollars

    Michael, thank you for sharing such a powerful story with us. I found myself digging into the back of my desk drawer for my grand father’s harmonica. He taught me to play it on his front porch swing. He would tell stories of being a telegraph boy for Western Union and playing his harmonica to pass the time. He said I should learn to play because then I’d never feel alone as long as I could fill my spirit with music. I don’t play as much as I used to, yet your touching reminder had me blowing into those dry reeds and bringing them back to life. I felt the wave of emotions sweep over me as I remembered the special times with my grandpa and how lucky I am to have known him as an inspired teacher.
    Thnak you for the gift of bringing those forgotten memories to life. I’ll put the harmonica in my briefcase and will never be alone. What other part of us that others don’t easily see is core to who we are and how we show up in the world?

  • Jeff Whitaker

    Thanks for sharing this Michael. I too believe God places in each of us that spark, that certain something that if we ignore or place on the back burner will cause us to miss out on His very best for our lives. Great encouragement on this Monday morning. Thanks again.

    • Michele Cushatt

      It’s a great way to start a new week, isn’t it?

      • Jeff Whitaker

        Sure is.

  • Cole Carley

    Your post hit a “chord” with me (OK, pun intended). I wonder if we’re more open to these feelings when we’ve been burnished by years and experiences and thus are more able to winnow the chaff of day-to-day life.
    On Thursday I begin my annual silent retreat ( where we stop talking that evening and spend the weekend in silence. I’ll save this post to mull over at that time.

  • timothymoser

    This story resonates with me. I too was a music major in college, but I didn’t plan to make it my career. After graduating I almost completely stopped composing, performing, and even attending musical events, until I joined a group of music students for a symphony orchestra performance two nights ago. It was like coming back home to something I’d left for a while. This experience helped me realize that I need to make music a part of my life, not because it can provide me with income, but because it’s a part of my destiny.

  • randi fishenfeld

    Very wonderful message. We get so lost in day to day minutia and forget to listen to (or shut down) our inner guides. (Are they really inner guides, or do they come from a much higher place?) I quit practicing law to follow my passion. I am a full-time musician now (electric violinist with my own band). I don’t make as much money as I did as a lawyer, but the joy it brings to myself and others is priceless. I have the most wonderful circle of friends and fans that enrich my life beyond anything I ever experienced as an attorney. My life is truly amazing now and I’m grateful every day.

  • Tonya Kuffel

    My favorite post from MH ever! I think I will spend some time with the piano today. Thank you!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tonya. I am really surprised by all the positive comments. Evidently, I am not alone!

  • Lorraine Marie Reguly

    Sometimes I get chills or experience a body-shiver whenever I read something touching, or write something touching. It makes me happy to know that there is meaning in what I am doing when this happens.

    Today, someone who regularly comments on my blog visited my poetry blog. She liked it so much, she began subscribing.

    That sure made my day! I didn’t even have to bribe her to follow my blog; my writing spoke for itself! (Kidding, I’d never bribe someone. You don’t know me, so you might be tempted to think I am serious about this when I’m not. Just wanted to clear that up!)

    It was a compliment of the highest degree.

    I love getting notifications that people are following my blog(s). I also like the increase I have been getting on my daily hits. I guess it’s true – people like authenticity. I’m not afraid of putting myself out there, so I’m pretty happy with the way things are going!

    I. Just. Shivered.


  • Kate Elwell

    This was exactly what I needed in my inbox this morning. I’ve been so overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty lately that I haven’t been able to write at all. This morning I was on my knees praying 2 Timothy 1:7 and started writing a list of where I want to go with my work and my life. It was so eye opening to see what took shape on the page in that moment of personal honesty and vulnerability. I realized that the only thing holding me back from shaping my career toward these goals is my own timidity and unwillingness to even consider the future that I want as a real possibility. I look at someone like you and assume you’re living the dream, pursuing exactly what you want and making it happen. What an encouragement to know that you have unresolved fears that you’ve decided to approach. Thank you for sharing!

  • TNeal

    Since 1987, I’ve either lived and worked in Wisconsin or Russia. I’ve enjoyed life in both places (although I’m still not thrilled about January and February months). In July, I had an interview about a pastoral position in Texas, my home state. I knew I’d missed living in Texas some but I didn’t realize how much returning meant to me until that interview. Ellen and I move to the Austin area at the end of this month.

    • Michele Cushatt

      Oh, wow. I can feel the emotion behind your story. Congratulations on going “home.”

  • Tammy

    I am a nurse of 25 years spending most of that time in intensive care units or at the bedside for most of it. But first, I was a fine arts major…I was going to be an artist but it wasn’t going to pay the bills so I changed my major and have spent the last 25 years nursing. Four years ago, my husband took a job and moved us to a place I did not want to move but followed (I guess obedient and supportive wives do that). I was just beginning to paint again in Florida and now the Texas heat so I went back to school. I met with the Dean’s of both: Nursing and Fine Arts. Of course, the logical choice would be nursing and, certainly, the money would be even greater with the advanced education, but when I sat down in the nursing dean’s office my chest became tight and I was nervous and was trying to leave that office as quickly as possible. I went to the Fine Arts building and walked in and felt complete joy so I stayed. I’m leaving for class in a few dressed in paint-stained jeans and I’m working on a series of paintings right now. I still nurse 2-3 days a week. I started not to go this semester but realized that whatever the reason we are living in this place, I MUST do this. I set-up my studio again at school a few weeks ago and love every minute of my studio time.

  • joanna

    Like yours, my most striking recent unexpected emotion has been music related. I used to sing, write music and play instruments a lot as a teenager but I dropped out at the end of highschool due to some vocal damage and moving to another city. That was seven years ago and I’d barely done anything between then and Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 4 project earlier this year. I almost didn’t submit a video because I was no longer able to sing nearly as well as I used to and was ill for almost the entire submission period, making me sound worse. But, in a moment of madness, I uploaded a video and the Virtual Choir team were kind enough to use it.

    I can’t even begin to properly describe the incredible feeling of watching the video and knowing I’d been a little part of making such extraordinary music. I feel like the musical part of me is coming back to life. I’ve started taking writing lyrics and melodies again, have been tinkering with music making software and hope to join a (non-virtual) choir soon.

  • Skip Prichard

    Michael, as you reawaken that musical side of your soul and reclaim this lost ground, I am certain that all of us will benefit with more of your insight. Thank you for sharing this vulnerability and your journey. Inspiring!

  • Stu McLaren

    Thank you for sharing this Michael… I can’t wait to see how this opens up another side of your creative brain.

    For me, I keep feeling a “tug” when I talk about my experience last year after being questioned about the type of business I was building. For some reason, it gets me really fired up.

    At first I wrote a blog post about it and then tried to forget about it. But something keeps stirring the emotional pot… so based on your advice, I’m going to explore it a bit further.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I think this is a really important project for you, Stu. It is part of why you were put on earth, I am convinced.

  • Josh Collins

    Really good post this morning. I know that which you speak of quite well. I was up late last night not being able to sleep, while this thing inside me was coming alive and was wide awake. Currently I’m out working with Women of Faith, and I love how Patsy Clairmont says the same thing about not knowing what’s inside of us, what we’re capable of. So much beauty there!

  • Steve Case

    After 30+ years as a professional musician with the last 15
    as a worship pastor, I’ve enjoyed teaching and doing concerts as an expression of my faith. Yesterday my son played his guitar and led our church’s new effort, a 3rd Sunday morning service. I started to sing, but then I teared up from the unexpected joy and pride as his dad and with gratitude toward God for blessing us so richly. Thanks, Michael, for your encouragement. And keep strumming!

  • IAMSynt

    Awesome! A few of my youth really need this. Thanks.

  • Cathy Loeppke

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your very honest and moving experience….I believe so many of us have traded away these precious parts of ourselves for the practical or what we believe to be the “responsible” path. I have had a very similar experience. I studied piano throughout childhood and started college as a music major. I could sight read quite well, play complex pieces, but I had never attained the ability or confidence to play by ear or “write” music. I changed majors, had a business and a ministry career and abandoned the piano for years except for filling in at church on an as-needed basis. When I turned 50, I took art painting classes and discovered an artist within…as I began to create oil and watercolor paintings. It opened a portal of creativity.. At the prompting of a former professional musician/pastor friend, I also began to sit at the piano for a few minutes every day and play in an attempt to recover some of my skill…it became a morning meditative practice for me. Within a short amount of time, music began to flow out of me like it never had before. I purchased a digital piano that could record what I was playing because when the music began to flow, I didn’t know where my hands would go next on the keyboard….a very strange but wonderful spiritual experience! After a few months, I had written and recorded over 20 songs on my piano…many of which, would have been difficult for me to sight-read or play if the music had been in front of me. I can’t explain all that has happened on that side of my brain, but it is a gift from God to remind me there is much more within me than I have previously believed….and the possibilities in life are immeasurable! The ancient Sufi poet Rumi wrote “inside you is an artist you don’t know about”…and this prayer – “and in your light I learn how to love./ In your beauty, how to make poems./ You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you/ But sometimes I do and that sight becomes this art.” To return back to God what He has placed within us is a beautiful form of worship and communion.

  • Richard M. Hartian

    Awesome post this morning…God has me dealing with so much that I’ve put away for 30+ years. It’s almost as though he is going through my life and cleansing it. I can identify with the hidden (or unexpected) emotion, as I’ve had floods of it the last couple of years.

    Thanks Michael…

  • Michelle Post, PhD

    Thank you for your beautiful words, I cried as I read them. I was hiking Mt. Bierstadt near Georgetown, CO yesterday with my husband. To ensure he was able to summit, I sent him on ahead of me as I slowly went up each switchback. I was stopped at the bottom of a switchback when I looked up and two young girls (probably age 10) were in front of me. The one nearest me stopped to catch her breath, and as she did her friend in front of her realized she wasn’t behind her, so she turned, stopped, and then hiked down and held her hand out to her friend and began pulling her up. Together they made it to the top of the first summit (12,800′), that is as far as I made it. My heart was overwhelmed for in that moment I could see the love of God of Him holding out His hand to help pull me up. In this 24×7 world it is so easy to think we have to do it all on our own, and the reality is we do not, for I have a God who is willing to stop, step back, and help me up — I just need to reach out and take His hand.

  • Anders Gerdmar

    Oh, that one really resonated with me, having a very similar story…(abandoned concentration on music as a 20+; bought my Martin D-28 a few years ago – lovin’ it…) Thanks for this observation, which I think is really helpful, also in other areas…

  • Pat Blumer

    oh my … you’re right … “do what makes you cry” … oh dear … all this time …

  • Pam H.

    What a big smile I had on my face as I read your story, Michael. As someone who did stick it out through college and got my music degree, I know that overwhelming joy and satisfaction that comes when I get to play – which isn’t often enough. I’m so thrilled that you’ve found it again!

    Now I’m at an unfamiliar place in life, about to self-publish my first book, a Bible study on worship. God overwhelmed me with His presence and power in worship several years ago, which set me on a journey to better understand what the Bible taught about worship. Now He’s taken someone who absolutely HATED writing papers in school and given me an undeniable passion to communicate through the written word. Yes, God has a great sense of humor! My study isn’t about music at all, but music is such an amazing gift that He’s given us to express ourselves to Him.

    I purchased your podcasts on publishing, and they’ve been extremely helpful. (Wish I’d had them months ago!) Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences and knowledge with us! I so appreciate you.

  • Jerry Rosa

    Thanks Michael for your inspiring words and actions. My guitar has been sitting next to me for months, and I haven’t picked it up until after I read your post. There is something about music when flows through you whether you are playing lead or just picking or strumming, there’s nothing quite like it. I’m grateful for the inspiration. Infinite Blessings!

  • Mike

    I’m stunned. This post hit me right between the eyes. Thanks for the wake up call.

  • Michele Cushatt

    A few years ago, I experienced this while watching my son run his first race. So much emotion welled up, and I didn’t understand why. I’d been a runner for years, so I knew it likely had something to do with our shared experience. It wasn’t until later that the heart of my emotion became clear to me: there’s something sacred and holy about cheering for someone else. I’ll never forget it.

    • Michael Hyatt

      I love it when you tell that story, Michele. Thanks.

  • Jeff Tomlinson

    Thanks Michael for your story! I taught myself to play guitar in junior high, fiddled with it in high school (but only for my enjoyment), kind of let it go in college as I prepared for Ministry. Now, some thirty plus years later I am playing and leading worship in the church I pastor and I can’t imagine not doing that (along with preaching and teaching). Regarding the emotional response you had, I have had a similar response that has been with me now for over twenty years and that was an emotional response that I still can’t fully describe. It fell upon me when I was first introduced to Fr. Peter Gilquist and began a spiritual journey in looking at the Orthodox faith. While I remain a Protestant Pastor (now for over 30 years), every time I read anything having to do with Eastern Orthodoxy, I still get that emotional response.
    Thanks for sharing not only your story, but your website and writings as well. I am always blessed and challenged.
    Rev. Jeff Tomlinson
    Baltimore, Maryland

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jeff. Fr. Peter is (was) my godfather. I really miss him.

  • Melissa K. Norris

    I’ve often found when writing that the parts that make me cry are the ones that touch readers the most. I think that’s true with anything in our lives, just like you’ve shared here. Music is something I treasure. My grandfather was a professional fiddle player, he played with Loretta Lynn’s band, and even though I’m not a professional by any means, I still love the power of a melody.
    P.S. good guitar choice, my husband cuts guitar tops for Martin guitars. That might make be a bit biased, though. Can’t wait to hear where this new journey takes you.

  • kirkweisler

    What a delightful and inspiring post… thank you Michael for sharing so authenticaly and sharing so personally. This post will bless my life and my sons life…. I just know it, just like you knew it was the right guitar. :)

  • Dean

    My story involves a guitar, too. I was a worship leader for a number of years but when I became a Lead Pastor, I set my music and guitar aside to pursue more “important” things. But after our worship leader left suddenly this summer, I was thrown back into worship leading quite abruptly. Out came my old guitar, up came my fear, on came the blisters, but open came my heart. I have missed it so much and God is using me in new and very meaningful ways in our congregation. Thank you for the outlet to share.

  • Laurinda Bellinger

    This is very timely. I’m looking to change companies in my career. I keep telling people I’m returning to my first love – engineering. But every time I make that statement I feel like I’m lying, my first real love is music. I too gave up playing in college to pursue a more practical career. I will play again some day. Occasionally I check craigslist or Amazon for saxes. This post is very encouraging. Thanks for posting Michael!

  • willratliff

    Speaking of stirring things emotionally, this post did it for me. I feel that there have been several things I have walked away from in my life, mostly out of fear. I believe that God is bringing about some redemption in those areas, but I still have to walk in faith and courage to partner with Him to bring those things to pass (as it took courage for you to walk into the guitar store and purchase a guitar). Thank you for this inspiring and challenging post, Michael. One of my favorites from you!

  • Lisa B. Marshall

    After my husband died something changed in me (happened to my Dad too after he lost my mom). I now have very strong, physical reactions to both happy events and sad – particularly musical events.

    For example, if my children are practicing singing a song and it’s particular good, I’ll get goosebumps. If I see or hear any performer on stage (music or drama) that moves me, I’ll cry. At first I was embarrassed by it, but now after almost 20 years, I view it as a gift. It’s a way for me to acknowledge the importance of and deep connection to music and it allows me to experience music in a different way.

    The only downfall–my kids now check my arms and eyes after each performance or rehearsal–if I didn’t cry or get goosebumps they know their performance could have been better.

  • Maria Gurney Peth

    Way to go! I’ve been reading your blog for a while, and this blog came from your soul. The teacher, speaker and artist. Thank you for guiding us on an inspirational path. Lose the fear and listen to the wisdom of your soul. (Author of – Angel Decoding)

  • Steve Pate

    Thanks for posting this Michael! I needed this! I can resonate with your story. Your post is also an encouragement for me right now. I was offered a job here recently and in short, its working with a non-profit that uses the means of fishing to draw the hearts of Dads and their kids together no matter what age. When I was “approached” a huge flood of memories came on from when i was a kid fishing with my Dad and Grandpa. —-Through this time of really exploring this option, I’m really trying to not allow fear to interject into my thinking or decisions towards this offer. Your story is a great reminder to do what Jon Acuff says, “kick fear in the face!” Thanks for being you. blessings

  • Alan Salls

    You go for it Mike! After all you have done for others, you give YOURSELF something back. If it’s a guitar and music you love, then a guitar and music you should have, my friend. Let’s see a little entertainment from The Man himself at the next Platform Conference! :)

    • Michael Hyatt

      Ha! Thanks, Alan. I appreciate your encouragement!

  • JacQueline Roe

    Thank you for sharing this! Particularly important for me to read after finishing Dave Harvey’s Rescuing Ambition.
    I unexpectedly began writing a series of monologues on Audacious Faith, though I work with a ministry team which uses drama, worship, and study to teach biblical truth. I have believed for a long time (based on previous failures) that I cannot travel on my own, teach on my own, etc. but crying through the monologues, and studying further, I am finding God is calling me out to do this thing in my personal ministry. It may culminate in failure, but it will draw me to Him as long as I submit myself to His will.

  • Carl F. Flynn

    This happens to me all of the time. And each time it happens it is a call back to authenticity. Sometimes it is a song that triggers it (more often than not). Other times it is something else. A quick story to illustrate: I officiated at both of my grandparents’ funerals several years ago. I am the minister in the family so the job fell to me and I was honored to do it. Long after the funerals were over I received a Christmas gift from my wife. I opened it and it was a framed picture of my grandparents from their 50th anniversary celebration. When I saw the picture I started bawling immediately. I guess somebody in the midst of doing funerals forgot to actually grieve.

  • Susan Sage

    In short, this is what happened for me in the area of writing. I had walked away from it because of a negative encounter, a misunderstanding, and a disappointment. God has graciously led me back. In the midst of it, he gave insight into the negative encounter, which, had I known at the time, was actually positive. He cleared up the misunderstanding restoring a relationship in the process and He let me see the truth behind the disappointment. I’ve been given a second (or third) chance and I am grateful.

  • jeannefarrington

    Thank you for sharing your music/guitar story, Michael. It’s so sweet. I played the cello & the guitar. It’s been years. I was playing chords in my head as I read your post. My first degree is in Art. At the time, I couldn’t imagine making a living with it. So I went in a more corporate direction, working in training & performance improvement. There’s still a lot of creativity involved, but of course it’s not the same. I’m not sorry; I love helping people learn and do their best work. And, I so enjoy taking photos now & sharing them. An avocation that touches my heart. Thank you again for telling your story.

  • Sean

    That’s a great story. I love Guitar Center, I’ve been to the Buffalo and Cincinnati (actually Florence, Ky) stores several times. My daughters are both very musical. I didn’t do music as a youth I did sports because I hung out with jocks and so that’s what I thought I was supposed to be even though I was terrible at sports and didn’t even like it. I started playing music when I was about 35 and took right to it. I started learning piano and now I play primarily bass but when I have more time (ha ha!) would really love to get back to piano, I also strum on a classical acoustic guitar just for fun and relaxation and I’m getting not half bad at it…. Because of my misspent youth, I encouraged my children to pursue music. My daughters took to it, my son is a jock… the irony.

    I think this is one of my “clues”…

    I also hope there is a lesson in here for someone to not follow the crowd just because it’s the “cool” thing to do.

  • Paul Aldrich

    As a lifetime guitar player, I’m excited for the true joy I know will be yours as your “relationship” with your Martin develops. So, go build up those callouses…and go make it count…

  • LadyJevonnahEllison

    Wow, Michael. This touched me. I’ve recently been blessed to work around children. Every time I hold a newborn or a small, sick child, it does something to my heart. Just the miracle of life and the beauty of innocence brings a flood of emotions. As I hold them, I pray for their health and life. What a blessing to pour goodness into our children.

  • TorConstantino

    Wow – I’ve been away from the “Net” (and your blog) for the past several weeks as my family transitioned to a new home, state, schools and job for me.
    This was an incredible post to rejoin at.

    Thanks so much for the wisdome and candid transparency. Some within the Jewish faith tradition believe that heaven is where everything goes that has been lost in this life. Sounds like you found a bit of heaven on earth.
    This really resonated with me as my family tries to settle after the seismic upheavel of corporate relocation – thanks so much!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Tor. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Welcome back!

  • Kim Bakaev

    Thank you, Michael for sharing your vulnerability with us. As I read this, the first thing that came to mind was writing. I loved to write when I was young, creatively especially and was an editor on our high school paper. But, I never really believed in myself in that capacity. I had other career plans, so pursuing writing made no sense. Also, fear of rejection has been a huge stronghold in my life, which I am finally overcoming. The desire to write popped up again within the last couple of years, but I keep avoiding it. I attended SheSpeaks 13 for the speaking track, but, I must admit that the call to return to writing has gotten stronger. Your post is yet another nudge to do so. Thank you.

  • Todd Meador

    Wow – amazing post! I’m in the process of starting a company. I know it is what I should be doing. It’s in alignment with my values and it will make a positive social impact – but still have this fear. This fear it just might not work out. I try to keep fighting it and move forward, but it is still there hiding; waiting for me to hit a low point. Maybe it won’t ever go away and maybe it is motivating me, but never-the-less – it scares me. Thanks for the inspiration Michael!

  • Keith L. Bell

    Wow Michael! I feel this post like no other I’ve read by you. It is causing some deep introspection. My former passion was visual arts (drawing/painting). Lately, I have been caught in moments of creativity while doing graphics and some of those same feelings you mentioned began to well up in me.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great. Keith. I almost didn’t post it!

  • Keith L. Bell

    …I have to and will pursue this more intentionally.

  • Leah Ness

    I few months ago I quite my long-term nanny job because I was about to get married I felt God wanted me to be there for my new husband. I don’t think I’ve ever cried that hard in my life. I went to from seeing those two little boys 50hrs a week, to not seeing them at all. When the opportunity arose after I was married to temporarily return to that job on a part time basis, I took it with my husband’s blessing. The second parting was no where near as difficult as the first. I think I was trying too hard to follow the Lord’s leading in my own strength and was making things harder on myself than they needed to be. God very kindly intervened and gave me the break I wouldn’t give myself. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for those children, but this time around I feel much more of God’s peace.

  • Lori B

    Michael, your timing is uncanny! I have had a lifelong dream to play the violin. While I haven’t acted on that one (yet), I just moved toward a recent dream – to play the guitar (thanks to some great concerts put on by Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen!). I discovered that one of our local school districts is offering beginner guitar lessons, so I signed up and bought my first guitar (off Craigslist – a Yamaha F335) on Friday! I don’t have a clue where to begin playing, but I have strummed that guitar so many times in the last few days. I can’t wait to begin class!

    I’ve also had a lifelong dream to learn to tap dance. Well, same school district is offering beginning adult tap classes. I’ve signed up for that as well. I’m 45 years old and feel like a kid again! I’m tearing up just typing this because I realize that I am at a real transformative time of my life. I am finally moving forward in the pursuit of the authentic “me” – and the authentic me is a free spirit / creative oddball! This is the stuff that makes my heart sing! Thanks for the encouragement through your podcasts and blogs!

  • larry capra aka zenabowli

    Very happy for you and your found moment of self discovery
    I play also play guitar. I’ve always endeavored to play as creatively and articulate as the best. Always believed in pushing a notion as far as it will go; to the real limits. At different times, performed professionally. But, commercial success is not imperative.

    I find that playing music opens a part of my psyche that nothing else will. Music has also opened up many doors socially. I will play every day for the rest of my life. It’s the foundation of my self efficacy in all that I do. It brings me peace.
    Good for you Mike and thanks.

  • Sutton Parks

    That is terrific! I’m happy that you’re back to playing some music.

    Dan Miller has a picture in his Sanctuary that has words on it that reads: Life, Find a Passion and pursue it, fall in love, dream big, believe in magic, tell stories, be creative, love with all your heart, make every moment count, etc. Just reading it fills my heart and I have to hold back the tears.

    I loved the message so much I took a picture of it then bought one for myself, I’ve written a song with those words in it and recorded it professionally and have recently made a video from it. I’m not sure why it resonates with me so much, perhaps it is the hope.

    Thanks for sharing about your passion for music and your rediscovery.

  • John Richardson

    Great post, Michael. I know that feeling. Hopefully you get to follow through with this. I know you are so busy it may be a challenge, but definitely make time for it. For me it’s film making. In college my friends and I used to create 8mm movies, and had an incredible blast overacting (since we didn’t have sound) and showing them to our friends . With titles like the Six Dollar Man, and Husky and Starch, it really brings back memories thinking about them.
    Since I am a storyteller as a trainer and speaker, I would love to put together a motivational series of movies that I could share with others. Maybe picking up a camera might be the push that I need.

    • John Richardson

      I’ll tell you a book that might help your readers fulfill their dreams. It’s called The First 20 Hours, by Josh Kaufman of Personal MBA fame. His experiences in the book are amazing (he learned how to play the Ukulele for a large audience performance in just 20 days). You can find out more at his website at

      • Michael Hyatt

        Cool, John. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lily Kreitinger

    What an awesome story! I come from a family of talented musicians, so your post brought back great memories. My dad could play about a dozen different instruments. His dream was to own a banjo. He came to visit when I lived in Michigan and we all went to Guitar Center so he could buy it. He was like a little kid in a candy store. He took it home and got to play it a few times. Unfortunately he had stage IV cancer and suffered from neuropathy which made it impossible for it to play. After his passing, my brother got it and he has definitely enjoyed it! It’s a reminder of dad and of our love of music. Keep on playing! Maybe you can bring your guitar to Launch Conference and play some tunes for us next week :))

  • Adam Finan

    My first day in Thailand, bought a guitar!

  • Kathleen

    Thanks Michael. I got goosebumps reading it and sent it to my two college age sons who are trying to identify what they want to do in life. Your story is a great description of how to find your passion or to recapture it from the dusty attic.

  • Otis Woodard

    Michael, thank you for your personal sharing. Very uplifting. I once saw a beautiful video on Vladmir Horowitz, celebrating his music at the end of his life. Incredible pianist. I believe there was a quotation in the movie by him that said, “Music is controlled emotion.” When you think about that, it is pretty profound. And I am not even a musician. Anyway, congratulations on following your heart: I am sure the blessings that follow that act of courage will affect your work and life in ways you cannot currently imagine. Like in this one seemingly insignificant act you set in motion a whole series of impacts that are hard to imagine.

  • Dave Hilgendorf

    I’ve also picked up the guitar again after letting it accumulate dust for years. I have an acoustic and a classical guitar. I had to get both restrung and have the nut replaced on one. My old electrical tuner still worked so I was good to go. I’ve since been learning a handful of worship songs I really like. I recently found a great website you may be familiar with that has lyrics as well as videos where they interview the musicians who play live and give tips on how to play their particular song. The most recent was a new solo song by David Crowder, which I was particularly excited about. One sad note is during my “hiatus” I sold my old Mexican strat electric guitar during one of my moves :(

  • binsurobinson

    Wow ..Michael !! Hard to imagine you tearing yo though Lols.. but yes i feel you .. :D another good post. :D clues to my destiny ..

    • binsurobinson

      ohh and yes by the way the funny thing is the timing .. just yesterdat i picked up a guitar at church .. while no one was around . and just worshipped with the few chords i knew and it felt like ha .. i shud have done something while i still had time :D .. again as you said .. no illusions though ..for a public performance

  • Dawn

    Yes, yes, so glad you bought the guitar…I have been using my musical ability with children’s music and it has been loads of fun, but the last several months I have been recording with my husband. He wrote some beautiful songs about life, pain, lovers and transitions, it has renewed a love for sharing “our story” for me. The creative process and putting it together layer by layer, harmony by harmony hoping all the while it will touch the deepest part of its listener has been a joy. As I write this my husband and i are sitting in my sons Chattanooga studio working on the mix…glorious, just awesome. So nice to share this time with him like you are doing with your daughter…go for it…a quote goes something like this “If only the best birds sang the forest would be silent” Thanks, Dawn

  • Brian Cordell

    Glad to hear that you allowing music back into your life. As a guitarist, you might be interested in these guys:

  • AscensionForYou

    Hi Mike, thank you for sharing your lovely story … once again i feel its the ‘creative’ element which shines through our hearts, and which you had placed a veil over it. Now it has been removed i am sure it will bring you much joy, to be shared with those close or even ‘far away’. Wonderful. God bless / peace to you and your family. Dave – AscensionForYou

  • Nadine Brandes

    What an amazing post. I know how important it is to cherish those things that resonate with you. Thank you for sharing this.

    I had a somewhat similar experience. My entire upbringing, I felt an overwhelming draw to write fiction, but my the leaders in my life pushed me toward anything and everything else–music, sports, medical professions, etc. Writing was the only thing that resonated with me on a completely “right” level. I finally started fighting for it as if an internal war began for my future. Finally, after seven years of schooling and a Master’s Degree in a major I wasn’t passionate about, I met a man (now my husband) who recognized my passion and pushed me to write.

    “But what about my degree?” I asked.
    “Go write.”
    “This doesn’t make sense financially.”
    “Go write.”

    I graduated and committed my time to writing. It took the leaders in my life a while to understand (some still don’t) and support my decision, but I’m now a contracted author, not using my college degree, yet living an incredibly fulfilling life. One way I know it’s meant for me is because when I write, I feel closer to God, and when I’m growing closer God, it makes me what to go write.

    • John Tiller

      It’s so important to have encouragers close to us!

  • JT

    Thanks for this post, Michael. It seems as if I am getting these unexpected emotions about taking my ministry in a different way. 29 years of pastoring and I feel a change coming on.

  • Kwin Peterson

    Thanks for sharing this Michael. Here’s to the surprise of forgotten passions.

  • Erica Mueller

    This really resonates for me, because music has been a love and passion of mine since childhood, but something I’ve set aside as my life has become busy with kids and homeschooling and gardening and work.
    I finally re-decorated my livingroom with a music theme. My guitar hangs on the wall by my couch. And even on the days when I have no time to play, seeing it makes me smile. It’s good just to have it out of the dark corner of the closet.

  • chuck m

    Good job, Mr. Hyatt. I feel the same way. Too many people troll through life like automatons and never allow their soul to embrace the stuff that makes them human. In order to encourage my two boys to enjoy music I took guitar lessons at the same time as them! What a great experience.


  • Rose Gardener

    Michael, I know you will get great rewards from playing guitar again, though what form that pleasure takes may yet surprise you.

    I have a soft spot for teddy bears. Twelve years ago a friend offered to buy me one and I picked up each bear off the shelf in turn, looking into their eyes. My friend laughed kindly, told me I was special because nobody but me would be so bothered with a stuffed toy’s personality.(He indulged me by talking to my bears occasionally- a special friend indeed!) Holding one particular bear I experienced a strong gut reaction which no other soft toy had ever elicited. Yet back at home, I put him in my collection and almost forgot about him.

    Shortly after, my life was turned upside down with multiple unforeseen traumas. I became a complete recluse and retreated so deep into myself I was like a mummy in a tomb. But that teddy bear was there. He reached me when no human could and brought me back to life. I thank the universe every day now for his presence. One look in his eyes and the hate I feel for humanity vanishes, forgiveness floods in and I am overwhelmed by an abundance of love that spills out of me as a desire to help others.

    As an atheist, I believe the universe actively wants us to learn important life lessons and frequently drops such ‘clues’ in our laps.When we ignore them, it drops another clue, and another, until we pick up the trail and follow it to where we are meant to be.

  • Dori Staehle

    Once you’ve been bitten by the “music bug”, it’s very difficult to shake. I now use drums for health and healing and combine it with coaching and sometimes with motivational speaking. Music connects people and says what words cannot. Kudos to you, my friend! May you always keep music close to your heart.

  • BruceCross

    Michael – In Wild at Heart, John talks about Jesus coming to seek and save WHAT was lost….not the lost. Game changer when it is personal and it is applied. You lost a part of you that “designed” to be in you when you gave up your music, or should I say His design for music to be integral to you.
    The same happened to me. I was active in sports all my life, got married, had kids, dealt with job dissatisifaction stuff, money tightness, etc. All of a sudden my wife and kids by me a cheap bike 11 years ago for Dad’s Day….and I was almost seeking “permission” to enjoy it…I lost heart….
    now, 23K miles later….it has been an integral part of my journey of recovering WHAT was lost (my heart – John also references this in WAH Proverbs 4:23). In fact, when you mention destiny, it reminded me…helping others GET BACK IN THE GAME is really going to be the focus of my blog posts.
    On a similar note, was watching a show last night (Secret Millionaire)…a deep buried desire of mine is to be able to bless folks in $$ need…..watching the show tears poured down my face and my wife confirmed “you really want to be able to do this, don’t you?”…..YES.!
    Thanks for your input as always….BTW…bought the GN Theme on Sunday…got the bare bones installed…..this is a GAME CHANGER for me..and really looking forward to customizing……thank you….sorry, to be lengthy….felt like I needed to reach out and affirm what you experienced….DO NOT LET THE MUSIC DIE IN YOU….blessings…Bruce

    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Bruce. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you buying the theme, too.

  • Janice Campbell

    I’ve learned to listen to that sort of response, and each time, it’s been enriching. I gave up spending much time outdoors after moving away from Southern California (I’d spent most of my waking hours outside there), and after one of those epiphanies, began finding small windows of bearable weather in which to be out. It’s been a blessing.

    I’ve also recently begun to dream of new calligraphy projects, and I had given that up when my children were small and I was caregiving for my grandparents and beginning to write. It wasn’t practical for that season, but now it may be time. May your music continue to bring you joy.

  • Danielle Aaronson

    Thanks Michael- as a young women who finds herself getting emotional often, I have written these moments off as silly responses. Maybe I should be taking a deeper look at these experiences and discovering a bit more about who I am and where my passion rests. Thanks for reminding me that emotion doesn’t have to be bad… in fact, it can help me grow!

    Danielle Elizabeth Aaronson

  • Katherine Hyde

    I had a reaction like that to a house I toured at an open house several years ago. I walked in the door and started to cry. Buying the house was completely out of the question, and I still haven’t figured out why that particular house triggered my longing for my “true home” as strongly as it did. But I did get a great idea for a novel out of it. (The novel is finished and waiting to find its “true home” with a publisher.)

  • Robert

    Hi Mike, not an answer to the emotional response, but another point worth making…I hope.
    I think it’s very important to have something in the background of life that we love. We can, with gods grace, find our right place in the world, the right job, something which fulfils us and fills our thought. But we all need something that we love doing, that we can just kick back and take our mind off things, something that we will never make our profession, but is there for just us to enjoy, take our minds of things, and leave us feeling refreshed. Mine is photography, something I can pick up sometime, and then just leave alone for a while, but still get the same kick out of when we pick it up again.

  • steveborgman

    Wow, what a great article. The title alone drew me in. My destiny speaks to me in clues about the music I loved in high school (playing the guitar, and singing), as well as some acting. However, I’ve given those up for the same reasons you did. I’ve also “neglected” those aspects due to “practical” reasons, but now that I’m past 40, it’s time to let my mid-life crisis lead me back to my destiny :)

    • John Tiller

      I see a book out of that Steve, “Purpose-driven Mid-Life Crisis”. :)

  • Steve Monahan

    I have a life coaching business and also founded two animal non profits. One makes money one costs me money. But it’s the non profit that brings me to tears and fires my soul.

    • John Tiller

      I’m in the same boat, Steve. I have a couple of for-profits that I love and a non-profit that
      “brings me to tears and fire to my soul”. Balancing them can be overwhelming, but they’re both so important!

  • Dave Stadel

    I too began college as a (guitar) music major. I eventually dropped out, writing songs and performing with my band for a number of years. We had some regional success but I eventually conformed, cut my hair, got a degree, a ‘got a good job’. In neglecting that passion for years and letting my gear collect dust I’ve found many blessings…but there is a scar too.

    I think life is a collection of scars. We all have them and none are quite the same. Thankfully walking away from …even burying… that musical heartbeat is a self-inflicted scar that you can heal-up.

    Congratulations on buying the Martin! I’ve done head-to-head’s between the Martin 28 and a Gibson Advanced Jumbo and the Gibson wins it for me. I wish I could have both!

    If you were a music major for two years..I’m pretty confident in saying you’ve got it; you’ve got the music bug. It’s a gift from God. Don’t deny your pleasure and His glory in playing it and being proud of it.

    I now play my guitars every day and no longer neglect what my Creator put in me. I’m glad to read you have rediscovered the passion! Congratulations Michael!!

  • takamiya

    I have two musicians among my kids. One is extraordinary at violin the other, not so much. My daughter, the less then extraordinary one, decided she was going to quit because she could never play at the level of her brother. I took her aside and told her not to give up, that though she might never become a virtuoso or play in a big orchestra, she had within her grasp the means to pour out herself into an instrument and allow her emotions and spirit to fully convey what she will never be able to say in words. She’s still playing :)

    • John Tiller

      What a privilege to influence your children for good!

  • Gwen Bortner

    My sign just happened (a few hours ago), when I was informed I was off the wait list for the Launch Conference next week! Flight, car, hotel all in place relatively easily. Definitely a sign! A few appointments need to be changed, but no commitments that can’t manage without me. Vail, here I come!!

    • John Tiller

      Awesome, Gwen! What a great way to pursue your speaking career!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Gwen. So happy for you!

  • Amber Butler

    That is amazing Michael! Thank you for affirming both listening to our emotions and dreams, even when they seem “impractical.” I appreciate your sharing so transparently and with honesty.

  • Clara Rose

    I believe God gifts us with passions… I can’t wait to hear where this takes you! It is never too late to follow a dream my friend. :)

  • Bernard Haynes

    Michael, after reading your post, I am considering playing the trumpet again. I played in high school, but quit because a lot of my friends quit. I loved playing the trumpet and I was pretty good. I love hearing a great horn section. My son plays the trumpet and he has been trying to get me to play. I picked it up several months ago and played a few notes. It energized me like it did 30 years ago.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Bernard. I hope you do it!

  • Roger Benge

    What timing. I feel the same way about the outdoors. For the past 10 years I’ve been working 65-70 hours a week and got away from getting out into the woods. Recently, I had a chance to get out for just a little while and realized how much i missed it. I’ve now made a commitment to get out at least a couple hours a week and just walk through wood or kayak on a calm lake. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

    P.S. You should post a video of you playing guitar. Would love to hear you. I”m a guitar player tool.

  • Kelly E McClelland

    Wow… this one hit me too! Looks like you struck a cord that runs deep. (pun intended)

    I love teaching and preaching. After teaching in a seminary daily for 10 years plus weekends full of services I was forced to return to the US for health reasons. My new job at the mission agency HQ was lots of desk time and meetings plus being thrust into oversight of 5 ministry teams. Result… no teaching or preaching outlet. Left me feeling good about the role but something was missing.

    A casual meeting with our interim pastor over lunch led to his asking me what I missed most about not being on the mission field. Teaching and preaching popped out of my mouth. A week later he asked if I’d preach a Sunday morning service. The rest is history. Found my sweet spot and am busy teaching a SS class and helping coordinate adult ministry. The joy is back and I love the balance it brought back to my life.

    Using the gifts and talents that God created within us is the best. Congrats on finding the joy in using yours!

    • John Tiller

      I think you nailed it where you said that using the gifts and talents that God created within is is the best! Totally agreed!!

  • PJ

    This was so on point for me. I remember having the same thing happen to me while I was at Baylor in undergrad. But, mine was writing and directing. I can remember while taking my classes in Radio,TV & Film I took the ones that wouldn’t put me into a place of unfamiliarity (aka fear). I wanted to grow, but the fear always seem to win out over the opportunity. And then later, I was able to run even further from my dreams and let the fear rule me by doing what I thought it would please my parents and was the “right thing to do” by going to law school. So, I was able to place my fear (but also my passion) all to one side…or so I thought. And although legal writing replaced my creative thought process and prose, I know that I am not all that I can be or that God has desired for me to be because I have not been spending time with writing and creating. I do hunger sometimes for the way I felt when I was immersed in creative thought. But even now I still have that thread of fear running through my veins that works to counteract the goodness of my memories and move me forward. But, your honesty and forthrightness in this blog reminds me that you can go home again. And I may be able to do just that in the most unusual of opportunities. What I hear from you too is that you may have had fear take over but you obviously never gave up the faith that your talent was a gift from God.

  • Angel @ Finding The Inspiring

    I had unexpected emotions reading this post. You struck a nerve because your story sounds similar to my own. Thank you for reminding me that it’s important to follow those “clues to your destiny”, no matter how impractical it may seem.

  • Kari Scare

    The transparency of this post is truly moving. Writing is something I HAVE to do. I’m not sure what I’d do if I didn’t write. Running is, to a lesser extent, that for me as well. I struggle a lot with running, but I refuse to quit. Biking is definitely one as well as reading. I have experienced unexpected emotion with all of these, but where I really feel it is when my kids do what they love and are gifted in. I almost always am moved to tears (I hold them back though) at a cross country meet or football game when my kids are in their elements, doing what they love. I control my emotions a lot, probably too much, and I need to learn how they are positive tools for guiding my life too.

  • BBQChefs

    I’ll make this short – your best blog post ever! Being a guitarist who also gave up the dream, your words resonated to the depth of my musical soul. Thank you. I’m dusting of my Seagull Artiste right now.

    • John Tiller

      So cool!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome. So glad to hear about it.

  • Georganne Schuch

    If you want to brush up on some lessons, I have an old friend in Nashville, Steve Krenz, who teaches online guitar for Gibson’s Learn and Master Guitar. He’s pretty cool. Here’s a link to one of his lessons.

  • irondiva

    Michael, I am much younger than you, but I have the same emotions making my life difficult… You choose a path while going through your life, but one moment of emotion make you understand that there is only one right path to support and grow your family, not only to live the life of your own meanings and measures….

    I am still confused which path should I follow and would I have a chance to do it as I am still young and every time I turn behind…. I think, if I am making the right choice?

    I am convinced we should not regret, what we left behind and found something else instead. I think, if you make a difference and you do, there is nothing to regret of… We always feel a nostalgia about the emotional experiences in our past, but we should not even think, if the choices we made were right. They are always right while we are making a difference, while there is something to leave behind… The thoughts, the knowledge we gave to others. There are things to be proud of knowing and learning from the specific person. The question is – what is the thing we remember the person for?

    I think the knowledge brought to us by somebody is the greatest distinction of all and you should be proud of that.

  • Kathleen Thompson

    I can SO relate to this post. I majored in music and completed my degree. Tried to sell my songs to publishers and make it as a singer-songwriter, and gave up after some rejection. It was really fear and inability to stay the course when it got difficult. Took some business courses and have had a career in banking, working in finance and technology.

    I never stopped singing and playing, though. I have been leading worship in my local church for 25 years and perform Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Even with that, there’s been a part of me that has been missing. Somehow I’ve lost my unique voice, as I’ve sung other people’s music and not my own.

    I’ve been on a journey for two years now to find that voice and how I can use it to make more of a difference in the world. I discovered that the two parts of my life are not as disparate as they appear, as I have been creating a different kind of art at my day job. I am currently working toward a platform where I can marry creativity and business to help people release the artist within themselves.

    Michael – I am so glad that you are taking this journey. You are right – you have no idea where it will lead. You are an artist when you are playing the guitar, giving a speech, or writing a blog post. I don’t know where my journey will lead, either, and that’s half the fun. I will be at the Platform Conference in November. Perhaps we can have a jam session? :)

  • Manley |

    Wow- thank you for sharing- this hits home as a fellow guitar player who took a very similar course as yours- and recently, I’ve buried my true love of the guitar again to free up time as I build my speaking business. You have encouraged me to make sure I still fit in some playing, and listen to music again between absorbing content and inspiration from you and many others. Thank you Michael! PS: I want to see a photo of your new guitar instead of the stock one! :-)

    • Michael Hyatt

      I almost took a photo of it, but I ran out of time!

  • Wesley Wiley

    I’m leading worship for a church plant here in Orlando…after going about three years without any kind of musical activity. We practice in a garage since we don’t have a building yet (we meet at a school), and I was surprised at how refreshing it was to worship God together with a small group of guys. We like to joke that our little garage band will someday change the world.

  • jgg

    Sic ‘em Bears!!!! I went to Baylor. I’m so happy for you that you reconnected with something you loved from your past. :-) I was fearless when I was younger after graduating from Baylor. I tried anything and everything. Had wonderful adventures and failures. I’m not that person anymore. I want to be fearless again. I’m working hard at finding that again. Keep playing!!

  • Mercey Valley

    If you change your name for mine, and instead of guitars and music insert ‘brushes, pencils, and art’, this article is mine. I truly believe creativity is a gift straight from God, and when we use it, is glorifies Him – ESPECIALLY if we are not the best of the best of the best but do it anyway.
    Love it.
    He puts everything in us for a reason, and it opens significant places for His purposes.

  • johnackley


    Outstanding! I, too, changed from Music to another, at the time, more promising major in my second year of college. I continued singing and playing guitar or piano a few times a year, but I would often get choked up while singing, never really understanding why. I wasn’t sad, but I would have to wipe the tears from my guitar before putting it away.

    A couple years ago, I did the “what’s my passion?” drill and realized that, way up there at the top, was performing music! I didn’t drop everything else cold and start a band, but I have been systematically changing my life to give me more time to enjoy my first love.

    Happy for you! Have fun playing, man!

  • Mike Williams

    Michael, I love this story. So true that we need to pay more attention to our reactions to experiences. I walked away from guitar at a young age too. Kind of a stupid all or nothing mentality when I realized how hard it would be to earn a living chasing that dream. So glad I picked it up again 10 years ago. Now I play in bands with a focus on playing christian events. Playing guitar brings me peace and focus, even when I’m just playing for my self in my office.

  • Dallon Christensen

    Wow, this post couldn’t have come at a better time! After being back in the working world following a stint in entrepreneurship, I’ve been looking for my next opportunity to develop while I work on my full-time CFO job (which, by the way, I absolutely love!). I must admit I’m still looking for that “destiny”. I think I’ve found it, because I always have so much fun whenever I do it. Even when I was in high school, it was a highlight of mine to work in this way. Now I just need to find a way I can develop it into something I can earn a little money doing while continuing to enjoy it.

    I’ll come back to this post again, especially as I revise my life plan using your e-book.

  • Devvon Hinds

    Such an absolutely amazing post. Funny how now that I’m in a similar situation, I notice and take these kinds of things to heart.

  • Michael Hyatt

    Thanks, Mark. So glad you part of Platform University!

  • Sogal in LA

    I am a Southern gal, living in the LA area for the last 10 years. I recently saw a video that briefly showed a beautiful view of a river. I began to cry and immediately said inside me, “I’m going to own a house on The River one day!” One of those things you just KNOW. It’s nothing I have ever thought of before! Going for it – one day in the next 10 years! – Of course, The River would be the Mississippi! ;)

  • Mike Hansen

    Can I just say? I love the headline! Sometimes I get an unexpected emotion when I simply consider how much I love my kids. And my daughter just turned 16. The love has grown and it’s deeper than ever before. It’s how I imagine God feels toward us: an overpowering sense of emotional attachment and love to us His children!

  • Noel Gama

    This resonated with me – in unison – down to the D-28! I remember the night I saw Yanni on TV, when I cried in silence with so much regret. Regret that circumstances forced me to waste my childhood in a country without facilities for formal Western music education. Now that I’ve read an advance copy of Steve Olsher’s “What Is Your What?”, I’m torn between writing and music while imprisoned in a day job for 30 years. At 56, songwriting could be the answer.

  • N2GoodSuccess

    This is almost the exact same story I’m going through this year… weird but cool!

  • Ronni Hall

    Wow. I’ve walked away from music so many times that it left me in an utter depression the last time. So here I am with a guitar myself again not knowing if it will lead anywhere… and not really caring. I SO understand where you are with this… I never realized how emotional I was about music… it’s way too much a part of me… and it was like murdering a part of who God created me to be…

  • Andrew Buckman

    This might be my favorite post on your blog. Kudos for picking up music again! I too had no clue you were formerly a music major, very cool. Bridget was quite moved by the post as well, in fact she made sure I had read it.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Andrew. I am having a blast getting back into this.

  • Carina

    I, too, was forced to give up music a long time ago… I know the soul numbness you force yourself into to pretend its ok. In the mean time, I’ve obtained two qualifications, yet am not satisfied at all in any job related to either one. Recently I learnt about a toy concept from some internet buddies that we don’t have available here, and all my alarm bells and whistles and lights went on. Full steam. Somehow it doesn’t make sense, holding two degrees, to pursue a business selling a simple toy, yet.. its all I can dream/sleep/eat/think about. And when I do get an opportunity to talk about it, I can’t stop for days!

    Its ludicrous! But I just simply cannot let this die! I’ve never been as passionate about anything since my music!

  • jm101699

    I recently started to reconnect with my friends and extended family, I am in the low 40s. Suddenly I felt the urge to go back in time, this new feeling is giving me a second push to go after my dreams and aspirations. I also realized I am a dreamer by nature.

  • Steve Hawkins

    I had a similar moment last week while attending a conference near Nashville. I learned how to play guitar a few years ago, but walked away from it. While in town, I visited Guitar Center in Nashville and spent about two hours getting reacquainted with Martin and Co. guitars.

    During my visit, they played “Yellow Submarine” over the loudspeakers. I “heard” each chord in the song and found the correct chords on the guitar: D, C, G, Eminor, Aminor, C, D. I didn’t realize I could play by ear; it just happened. The process unlocked a door inside that helped me begin writing again–the reason I came to Nashville. I walked out to my car and journaled my thoughts.

    A few minutes playing a Beatles tune helped me process everything I learned at the conference. I drove home with a renewed sense of accomplishment.

    • Michael Hyatt

      That is such a cool story. Thanks!

  • Theodore Wolff

    This is fantastic, Michael! Thank you for sharing. I’ll definitely keep this post in mind.

  • Barb Brady

    Michael, I was going to be one of the “first” to write a response. Nope . . . so many responses . . . I think because this article touches people. I believe God blesses us all differently. As I get older, I realize to stop thinking I “should” do something so often and as you said pay attention to these moments and listen to God.

  • Paul Armstrong

    I’ve had a similar experience with music. I’ve recently taken up learning how to play piano after 60 years of procrastination.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Sweet Paul. Play away man, play away!

  • deborah ford

    My husband just got a big honor. I was ask for an interview of my life afterward. I began writing Gods story and me in it since. I have laughed and cried, gotten angry, repented and worshiped. I wrote about meeting the President, the National Championship, the trips, the mental illness, the lost of a child. It has been quiet a ride. I needed this post this morning. ty.

  • Dhiogo Castanho

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I am sure every single person who reads this will get stirred, I couldnt help it but cry as I read it. Even though I am just 20, I feel I’ve left so much behind because of fear. God bless you!

  • Jen

    I started college as a music major, then went to Nashville to do some recording. After it didn’t work out I gave up music. Now my 12 year old son is starting to play the trumpet and doing chorus in school. This has sparked some musical feelings in me. I’m finding myself sitting at the piano again. It feels so peaceful there.

  • Parthenia Fayne

    Wow!! Thank you so much for sharing, not only your words and actions but also your thoughts. This struck a chord with me. I have noticed that there have been certain times when I would experience the uncontrollable, unexpected flow of tears. I would consider it pretty weird and wonder if, in my older age, I was becoming a crybaby. Because of this post, I am going to prayerfully pay more attention to those moments. As far as I can tell, I have cried at the beauty of “ceremony” and order.
    I appreciate your posts! Thank you and God bless you and your family!

  • Jeff Goins

    This, sir, is why I continue to subscribe to your blog. You continue to give us glimpses into the mystery of your life and of life itself. Well done. (And nice job with the subheads.) :)

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate that!

  • Miranda A. Uyeh

    Michael, this post both surprised and wowed me! It’s very similar to a post I wrote a few days back, and the funniest thing is, I actually quoted you on that post. This cannot be a coincidence. If you’re up to it, you can read it right here:

    Wishing you the best in this!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Miranda. That is a coincidence—or not. ;-)

  • Cherry Odelberg

    :) Experiencing unexpected emotion reading your leadership blog – which I have come to expect as practical platform building – refreshing to remember that fear is often masquerading as being practical.
    I experience a real rush of joy after an hour of playing piano for seniors at a nursing home – and after an hour of inspired writing – or connecting the dots for bright eyed learners.

  • Lauren Phelps

    This is a perfect post to reinforce what we talked about at Innov48! I hope you continue to follow your joy and creativity!

  • Rick Theule

    Wow! Just wow! Michael did you reach into my past and write about me? Wow. Music major for the first 18 months of college. Completely overwhelmed. 24 years later I still love music, but it isn’t a huge part of my life. In fact, we have a piano in the house because we made our boys take piano lessons when they were younger. I haven’t played it in years. I even promised to give it to my cousin a few months ago. It is still in my house. It took me years to even consider giving it away, and now that I promised it to someone, I still can’t pull the trigger. Thanks for the great post!

  • Marlee

    I think so many of us have that “moment of practicality” that tends to pull us from what are often God-given passions. I’ve seen it in my own life and I see it in the lives of people I work with. It’s so nice to learn of your rekindled joy for music, Michael. I can’t wait to see what it produces in you. :)

    • Joe Lalonde

      It is refreshing, isn’t it Marlee? I often wonder how many great artists, musicians, writers, teachers, etc have been held back because of practicality.

  • Tammy Helfrich

    Love this, Michael! I feel the same way when playing the piano and hearing amazing worship music at church that moves me. Such a great reminder!

  • Russ Hess

    Oh wow! You shared a very touching personal story. I had no idea you played music. I also play guitar, piano, bass and drums. About five years ago I started going to a new church with a lively worship pastor, George Thomas, who had toured with one of my all time favorites, “Carman”.

    Almost immediately I brushed off the dust off my electric piano as I was once again inspired to play again. However, my fear, much like yours kept me from sharing my music. This is because I can’t read music and I am more than fifty percent deaf in both ears.

    Yet, I recently determined my passion to play and worship to the best of my ability is far greater than holding back on this gift. My fear now is in not using this gift to share the Gospel.

    Thank you for sharing, it is truly an inspired story you share where I am encouraged. May I also encourage you on your journey to explore this recently kindled gift you have.

    • Joe Lalonde

      Russ, thanks for opening up about your passion and the emotion you’ve felt. It sounds like you may have hit something that needs to be explored by you.

      Please, don’t be afraid to share what you’ve created and the music flowing from you. If God’s put this in you, it’s there for a reason.

      BTW, about being fifty percent deaf in both ears… That shouldn’t stop you. One of our worship team members is deaf and she plays beautiful music on the keyboard. You can do it.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Awesome Michael. While you may never become that professional guitar player, it’s an outlet. There’s something magical about music and creating it that goes beyond comprehension.

    I see it in our worship leader who just stepped up to the official title. The passion shown on his face, the joy as he sings, it becomes contagious.

  • Bo Lane

    I must admit, this article caught me off guard. I’m used to coming to your blog, reading the most recent post, gaining some insight about something awesome, and then leaving. I wasn’t expecting to come here and be moved as much as I was. I think, for me, it’s not so much about a strong unexpected emotion but rather to find what I’ve been most passionate about over the years but have since abandoned. Thanks for helping me think, again.

  • Jim Martin

    This is a great reminder, Michael. For me it was a reminder that there is great value in doing something for the sheer pleasure of it. Sometimes we are so focused on doing the practical that we leave behind what might actually bring us pleasure and fresh energy. Thanks. I need to hears this.


    How do you know when it’s just a hobbie vs. a life change that you should work overtime moving towards?

    Gardening is something I just rediscovered. It’s so awesome to see plants grow and seeds sprouting!

    • Michael Hyatt

      Great question. I have written on that here.

  • Aaron Reefman

    That’s a nice guitar!

    But with me, I experienced something this afternoon, driving home from work. I don’t know that I can put my finger on the emotion – but I felt like I hadn’t been progressing, growing, improving in certain things for a while (which is a scary thought). My wife, of course, told me it was nonsense and proceeded to list a bunch of things that I’ve been growing and changing in…

    But now that I read your post, I wonder if it’s an indication that I need to change the direction of some of the things I do…

  • kris scorza.sobieski

    i love that you wrote about this mr. hyatt. it reminded me of my own story about “picking back up” what god has planted deep in us to do. (

    and i know that many passions will be reignited by your story. thank you. –kris

  • karenputz

    This is you unwrapping your passion. What a moving post! Brought me to tears, because three and half years ago, I unwrapped a long-buried passion for barefoot water skiing–so I recognize the feelings you’re sharing here.. I went back on the water 20+ years after becoming deaf from the very sport. Every day that I’m on the water, my heart sings. That’s what happens when you unwrap your gifts from God. I believe you’ll be making lots and lots of music from this point forth. Enjoy your new gift of bliss!

  • Nicci

    I substituted “play the guitar” for my own words, because I choked up the moment I read those few sentences. I have said them to myself many times. Thank you for sending the message in in so many different ways. Your messages speak to me. Today it sang to me.

  • Leeza Nechay

    I’ve been wanting to paint for months, even if only for myself like I did as a teen. Last night, I bought canvases, brushes, and paint. Felt like the most honest decision I’ve made in a long time.

  • Anthony Ihrig

    Great story, thank you for sharing. Congrats on finding your way back to music, the world needs much more of it! Also, I have to admit when I read you purchased a Martin HD-28V my palms got sweaty, those are amazing guitars, hope you are loving it. :)

  • Chim Aaron

    I can totally relate to this. I used to play the piano as a teenager but my playing became stale and I soon lost interest. I didn’t play an instrument for several years but I could never really run away from my love for playing an instrument. Eventually I realized that I would never be truly happy if I didn’t play an instrument. About 4 years I picked up the bass guitar and started learning how to play bass. I haven’t looked back since and I cannot imagine life without my bass guitar!

  • Kirbie Earley

    I was a piano and flute player in school. I took piano lessons for many years – mostly an unwilling participant, but I eventually got to a point where I wouldn’t embarrass myself. The flute was a middle school thing. I enjoyed it but I wasn’t passionate about it, or the piano for that matter.

    My Achilles heel, if you will, is art – oil and water color painting. I want to learn to be much better at both!

    As far as unexpected emotion goes, that mostly involves my children. I remember when my first grandchild was born – he will be 3 this Christmas. All throughout my daughter’s pregnancy, I was SO excited – excited to be a grandma for the first time, excited for her new family. Even when her water broke Christmas morning, I was excited. THEN I got to the hospital and I saw her – hooked up to all of those machines. She looked so pale and weak, but strong at the same time. It was all I could do to pull it together and be “motherly” in the face of what I knew was a terrified young woman.

    He was not born until about 9:30 at night, so the whole ‘event’ took about 12 hours. I could not look at the monitors after someone explained what each peaking line meant (his heart rate is too high, her contractions are too strong, etc.). All I could do was go in and watch her sleep or get her something to make her more comfortable. The worst 2 hours was from 7-10 centimeters, when she stopped taking visitors. It seemed like 2 days, and there were plenty of people there to keep me company. Finally, baby’s dad came out with a thumb’s up that both of them were okay.

    I lost it. I had so much pent up emotion. I can’t even tell you what I was feeling – relief, joy, excitement. No idea.

    Since then, I have had 4 granddaughters and I can tell you that it has been the same for all of them. I warn friends who are becoming grandparents – watch out for delivery day – it will rip you apart inside. They smile….little do they know!

  • Chris Everett

    So I absolutely love a bargain. It feels like a conquest when I find something I love at a bargain price. Been working through the stuff of moving to a new office space and I had fallen in like with mission/arts and crafts design style for several years aand wanted it for my nee office space. Found a few $1,300+ mission style chandalier’s but could not bring myself to pull the trigger. Then just like a present, there it was when I least expected it….for $300. Common Jesus!!! I walked out of the store and cried. HE is sooo good to me.

  • Roy-M.

    Thank you, I can relate to that 100% – I have a guitar in the corner across from my desk here.

    You asked about the last time I felt like that? Just now!!!

    Thanks again!

  • Anne Peterson

    I hope some day we listen to your podcast and in the background you are playing your guitar. Loved the post. It was inspiring. Also loved the “shuttered” dreams reference. Great post, Michael.

  • Andrew Ralon

    I haven’t played violin in years, and it’s been haunting me…. at least until I read this article and felt a peace about the whole situation. Thank you for your encouragement to reclaim something I lost that I still love dearly. I bought a set of violin strings, and now it’s time to find (or create!) another string quartet.

  • Lori Jones

    Horses…I absolutely love everything about that incredibly beautiful creature! Growing up in the city my siblings and I were shipped off to Grandpa and Grandma’s house in the country for a couple of weeks every summer. My cousins lived a mile down the road and they had horses! I would ride all day if allowed, barrel race and just enjoy being around them. When the movie “Seabiscuit” came out my husband went to see it, i cried all through that movie; and every horse movie since!

  • Jeff Brown

    I too was a music major in college before spending 26 years as a broadcaster-turned-podcaster. I often regret letting that same fear drive me away from it. Occasional songwriting is my outlet. Until a year or two ago they were all just tunes in my head, but thanks to Garage Band, I’ve been able to fully realize them. It’s been a treat for my close friends and family to hear songs I wrote years ago.

    • Michael Hyatt

      That’s awesome, Jeff. Technology is allowing all of us to express our art.

  • Tara J.

    I actually had a moment a few days ago that took me by surprise. Little back story – while living in Nashville, I had the privilege of serving with a homeless ministry under a bridge there for 5 years. Absolutely loved it, but there came a time when I needed to lay it down. Fast forward to a couple of days ago and living now in Little Rock – I was driving down the road by the AR River and the downtown bridge. I saw a man crossing the street, and when I looked into my rear view mirror to make sure he got across safely, there was like a catch – a pain almost – in my chest, and my eyes welled up with tears. I miss the ministry to the homeless so much, and I just feel like that was God saying to me that it is time to pick that ministry up again. New city, new people, but same purpose.

  • Laura

    I do not have your musical ability or knowledge, but my experience has been with the guitar as well. I have wanted to play since I was 10 years old. I am now almost 47. 5 months ago I had an opportunity to purchase an electric guitar and I did. The joy I have experienced in the past 5 months learning how to play has far out weighted any fear.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Laura. That’s a great story.

  • Amani Hanson

    I experienced something similar when I started pursuing art again. I certainly had the fear factor but there came a time when I finally was able to listen to my heart and recognize a dream. This is a poem and a little snippet of my blog I wrote just before starting a 3 month intensive art program.
    Your heart has know the truth from inception
    It echoes through your soul
    Courses through your veins
    Lives in your dreams
    Destiny awaits you.
    Stop. Listen.

    Your dreams, your destiny, your passions, they never die. They just get covered up sometimes by circumstance or expectations or reality as most people call it. I believe that each of us is born with something that just keeps coming back to us, that we always wanted to do, or be. The key is to have the faith to take the step, make the changes and start living your dream.
    Thank you for writing this blog and reminding me that I have found my place (at least a piece)

  • Heidi Isom

    This really resonated with me. I auditioned for a community theatre production of an original script yesterday, after not doing so for more than three decades. It was very liberating to step back into something I loved not in the highly-critical, learning environment of a college major, but just to do it for fun. And yes, today I cried over something unrelated that would normally not have evoked such a deep expressiono of emotion.

  • Kimunya Mugo

    What an awesome and amazing story Michael. Isn’t it refreshing when your friend and life-partner is open and loving enough to support you with encouragement and wisdom? Yesterday, I was extremely honored when my wife said to me, “Let’s go for it, I have a strong feeling about this and I will stand with you.” We were discussing some clues that have consistently come our way. For some time now, I have pushed them to the periphery, as they seem to be out of my comfort zone.

    I am learning how important it is to listen to that “small voice”. My own strength can only get me some gain, but it take the power of the right relationships (both with men and with God) to get me to that which I was destined for. I am part of the great change our ailing society needs, and now, I am rising to that call. It may look daunting at the moment, but I would rather that than sit still and die from within. I am reclaiming what I was destined to be, albeit years after I vehemently refused to embrace it.

  • Dana

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. It is this story that unexpectedly moved me to tears. I am about an inch away from giving up on my dream in the name of “practicality” and the need to make money. It is definitely fear that is stopping me. Fear of not succeeding. Fear of not making money. Fear of letting people down. Thanks for encouraging me to look more closely at this and re-assess how I can make this dream happen.

  • Valerie McEvoy

    Great post on keeping in touch with things ‘lost’..thank you!

  • Laura K. Cowan

    It’s funny, but my story is the opposite of yours, Michael. No one knew it, because I was so afraid I told no one, but my original love was writing stories, words, language, poetry, and connecting abstract ideas. The piano really did speak to me as an instrument, resonated under my fingers, and gave me a voice that was truer to me than my own, but when I quit playing the piano shortly after not making it into the top music school I wanted to see if I could get into, I knew that I needed to at least get an English degree and try to head back in the direction of my first love, however impossible that dream seemed to me. It took me another 10 years to figure out how to get started again writing fiction, and for most of that time I viewed my quitting music as a failure of the worst kind, but now I see my heart was steering me the way I needed to go. I knew I didn’t want a career in music unless I could be a successful concert pianist, and that this wasn’t me being spoiled or unreasonable: I really didn’t want any of the lives that come with being anything less than the best pianist around, and I suffer from terrible stage fright… when I play the piano, not when I speak. Hint. :) I’m so glad you’ve reconnected with this love of yours. Whichever way it takes you, bon voyage.

  • Tony Knight

    I can relate to the feelings about music, I bought the best sounding guitar I could afford several years back (Martin D-35) and it’s the best money I’ve spent. I love the sound of the D-28 you made the best choice. I recently reached the point that I was able to lead the praise and worship in my men’s Bible study group and experienced a surge of self confidence from doing something I was afraid to do. Thanks for all you do, it’s helpful and inspirational

    • Michael Hyatt

      That’s inspiring, Tony. Thanks for sharing.

  • TonjaC

    The thing that has made me tear up several times over the last couple months is too far-fetched for me to even name right now. But you’ve given me something to think about.

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  • Lis

    I just want to thank you for writing posts like these. I think these personal stories are some of your best writings. I too played the guitar as a child. It was my father’s dream at the time and not mine. Now I long to be able to play again. I’ll pick up my beautiful acoustic every now and then and strum away, not remembering a lick of what I learned. I hope to relearn it someday soon.

  • RSK

    I recently had a negative experience. Last Tuesday I found myself in the ER with chest pains and dizziness. This was unexpected for many reasons but mostly because I am a veteran of 45 marathons, 2 Ironman Triathlons, and a bike ride from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
    Thankfully, it was only anxiety and I was able to go home in a few hours. It was a clue for sure. A clue that something is not right.
    I have been hinting at a new career but have not taken action. The issue is things are going relatively well financially in my business, but I am not finding joy or passion in it. My biggest excuse has been not knowing what to do next. I have been taught that you always move TO something else rather than AWAY from something.
    Perhaps my ER visit was a clue that I need to change my thinking
    (This was my first post to a blog so forgive the personal nature. I found writing here cathartic)

  • Zee

    Love it, I agree with the post, I need to pay more attention to my self

  • Bilal Malik

    That is really an nice and awesome article you have posted. You most have thought before reading it that much kind words :)

    If you talk about relation i would like to describe in one beautiful quote of mine is : Mirror and relation both are sensitive ,, But there is one difference between both of them ..The mirror breaks due to mistake ..But The Relation breaks due to the misunderstanding.

    Really it was nice to read :)

  • Sean Nisil

    Hey Mike,

    You and Jeff Goins should do a cover of Rhett Walker’s “Come to the river.” Then you can have a musical break for two bars for Jon Acuff to rap. I can play the cajon. Andy Traub can handle the mixing and recording.

    Done and done. #HistoryInTheMaking

  • Peter j Foster

    I loved your honesty and passion in your Post. Hey, here’s a challenge for you: get settled in with the guitar, find a piece of music you love – and can play, then attach an mp3 or video with a post. Go on, you know it’s your Destiny! I too play the guitar and write songs BUT like so many things I didn’t put quite enough passion and effort into it. I am the happiest person in the world though singing my songs in the garage at the bottom of the garden! My main claim to fame is I co-wrote and performed a Bible Musical – still being performed by folk around the world.

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  • Lisa

    What a beautiful story! You are a good writer, as well.

  • Anne de Groot

    I was recently at a Halloween party with my kids, it was a free event at a club I belong to. I was blown away by how amazing it was and when I was thanking the organizer, I had a tear in my eye. I guess being thankful made me break down.

  • Sharon

    Thank you for this!! I just had a BIG aha while reading this, as it clicked something really BIG into place for a puzzle I was pondering last night… so THANK YOU… I am grateful I came upon this article TODAY! Bless YOU!

  • Brenden Valks

    I love this post, it has made me think about all the things I love doing, have loved doing and whether there is something I need to work more at for the pure joy of that thing… Thank you for this post.