As a person, who in the past has suffered greatly from tinnitus and at the same time living the life of a professional musician, I’m often asked how does that affect my music?
It’s not a simple answer. In the beginning I was of course very negatively affected by tinnitus and as a result it became very difficult to concentrate, especially on my music. So, how was I able to overcome this?
It goes without saying that concentration is not only important at the piano but in anything worthwhile. What worked for me and what you should do first is; stop doing whatever it is that tinnitus is adversly affecting and get up and walk away. Sure, I hear what you saying, “this is my life we’re talking about, I really need to concentrate and get this task done.”
I want to be clear. It’s not so much that I want you to drop out of life and not do the things that you need to do but, you need to really stop what you’re doing when you can’t concentrate at all. Get up and do something you love. Then come back when your mind is not so attached to the negativity of tinnitus.
If you must stay and work or stay and concentrate, try to make the task enjoyable. Also, if you focus on the end goal of the task that will create an enthusiasm to do it. Something that is enjoyable and has a level of enthusiasm will have a great amount of positive energy attached to it. That energy is what will keep your mind from focusing on the tinnitus.
What should you do if in the middle of your task your negative attachment to tinnitus sneaks back in and you really need to keep going? Again, stop for a second and think, what is the purpose of this task? Why am I doing this? The purpose is partly the goal that you have in mind such as; “when I do this what will be the big picture result?”
Purpose is also how your work will positively affect the lives of others. For example; if you dwell constatnly on what’s in it for you, you will stand in the way of getting more of what you actually want. Make your work your purpose. Make your work a way to help others. When you do that, it will be much easier to concentrate on the big picture and therefore concentrate on your work.
I truly believe that tinnitus can propel you to great heights if you just stop the mind from focusing on negativity. If you really think about it, what was your life before tinnitus? Was it perfect? Probably not. Therefore, think about tinnitus as a gift. It is actually is helping you speed up your personal deveopment. It’s helping you to be a better person.
Your lack of concentration from tinntius is a result of your inability to focus on others. Many people are so self absored with a negative attachment to their story that they foget about the rest of the world. Let’s face it, there are many people in the world much worse off than you. Again, tinnitus is not fatal. Therefore anything that won’t kill you makes you stronger if you pay attention to the lesson that it’s here to teach you.
I was the first one to say, when I first got tinnitus, “I can’t concentrate and therefore I don’t need to engage in life.” Wrong. I learned over time that it’s just my mind’s incessant need to focus on negativity. I believe that many people in our world are addicted to negativity. Watch the news on TV and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The act of paying attention to other people’s missfortunes caused you to adopt the negative emotions that come with it. You must stop that.
Living of life of purpose will help you to concentrate. And, when you conentrate your tinnitus will dissappear. It may be there physically but if your mind is not attached, then you don’t really hear it.
Paul Tobey is a professional pianist who has had tinnitus since 1999. He lives and works in Canada where he gives tinnitus and personal development seminars.