It’s not every day I get a phone call confirming the difference I’ve made in someone’s life. But then again, it’s not every day I try to make a difference in someone’s life. As an independent musician, I’m always hustling to get things done, but I recently turned my attention to one exceptional young man who made a difference in my life.
For two weeks this spring, I led a songwriting project with a group of freshmen at a private high school, where I met Ely. The project was called “Intuitive Songwriting” and emphasized the importance of trusting one’s intuition in the creative process.
I was amazed at the level of intuitive depth and understanding these freshmen were demonstrating. I observed Ely as he bared his soul through music in ways that left me feeling both inspired, as a listener, and concerned, as a teacher. I asked him what motivated him to write the songs he’d shared, but he skirted the question – so I left it alone.
Later in the week, I asked each student about their plans for summer vacation. Ely confessed that he wished summer weren’t coming at all. He was quick to change the subject after that and asked me about my summer plans instead, but my instinct was screaming that Ely was somehow feeling unwelcome in his home life.
I decided to investigate and found out that Ely wasn’t going to be returning the following year. He didn’t know it yet, but his family was unable to afford the tuition. I also learned how badly he wanted to return to the school. The news shook me, even though I barely knew the kid – but I could already see so much potential in his profound, creative soul.
Over the remaining week and a half, I noticed how his fellow classmates loved him. They exchanged high-fives with him in the cafeteria, and they cheered madly for him when he showcased his talents during several project presentations. I also noticed him in moments of solitude – sitting in the cafeteria, staring into space, looking as if he were carrying the weight of the world.
I couldn’t shake the notion that Ely was at a pivotal point in his young adult life, and returning to campus might make all the difference for his future. He seemed like a deeply emotional kid, in need of somewhere he felt fully welcomed. So, I decided to write a letter to the headmaster. I asked him if there was anything that could be done to ensure Ely’s return to the school. I shared my assessment of his creative potential and my intuitive sense of how much I felt the school had already made a difference in his life. I confessed how much of myself I saw in Ely – and how attending a private high school had made all the difference in my life.
The headmaster thanked me for my honesty and concern for Ely, and he ensured me that he’d do what he could to help. A month later, I received a call from the headmaster confirming that Ely would be returning to the school in the fall and how much my letter had made a difference. He had shared it with several faculty at the school, with Ely’s family, and with Ely himself. They were all moved by the conviction of my plea – enough that the school found the money to bring Ely back for another year, at least.
All of this manifested from a strong intuitive sense of what was and what could be. The power of intuition is one of our greatest assets. It’s a guiding light that is always available to us, so here are three ways intuition can make all the difference in your life – or in someone else’s:
1. Listen carefully.
There’s an inner voice available to us, if we pay attention to it. It’s the voice that tells artists how to create, financial planners how to invest, and entrepreneurs how to build their dreams.
It’s also the voice responsible for every instinctive hunch we have, so listen carefully – there’s a reason for your hunches. Do some further investigation if you need to.
2. Be a go-giver.
Author Bob Burg is leading a movement of “go-givers” in the name of creating more joyful experiences and fostering radical inner purpose through contribution. The idea is that it’s better to be a go-giver than a go-getter because being of service always yields superior results.
So, take some intuitive action – at least once a day – and start being a go-giver yourself. You never know the difference it might make in your life or the lives of others.
3. Let go of expectations.
You might be wishing for a happy ending, or at least a show of gratitude, after an act of kindness in your new go-giving skin. We all secretly hope our kindness will be appreciated and acknowledged at the end of the day – but don’t count on it.
I was lucky to learn that my email made a difference for Ely, but a lot of people are thankful in silence. You may never know how your contribution could ricochet into abundance, beyond your initial intentions. So, proceed with love while you’re being of service, and let go of any expectations of desired outcomes.
Article image: by Joshua Earle
Author image: by Natalie Williams