How many of you remember that high pitched ringing or buzzing in your ears as you left the concert, dance or loud club gig? Unless you live under a rock I know you’ve experienced it. For the vast majority of people this is simply a temporary sensation that wears off in a few short hours or less. But for many people, especially musicians and those with prolonged exposure to loud noises, this can be a permanent and painful ordeal. I know, because I have it. It’s called “tinnitus.” And like me, it already affects an estimated 15% of the population, with the numbers growing at an alarming rate.
The focus of today’s article is on those who already have tinnitus. Because, for those that don’t have it, all you need to do for the most part is to protect your ears with ear plugs or bunched up tissue paper. Sure, there are other ways of contracting tinnitus like; over the counter medicines, viruses, nerve damage etc. But, the overwhelming cause of tinnitus is exposure to loud noise which is thankfully 100% preventable.
So, let’s say you’ve already got tinnitus. What now? Well, judging by the dozens of emails and letters that I get from tinnitus sufferers every week, most of you are having a really hard time of it. So did I! I recall my first couple of years with tinnitus as an unbelievably dark hole that I thought I’d never be able to climb out of. I completely dropped out of life and even contemplated giving up music all together. I was incredibly depressed and if you must know; even suicidal. Oh my god, as I’m writing this, I’m painfully thinking back to what it was like just getting out of bed in the morning. That is; if I even managed to get to sleep in the first place. I dare you to try sleeping with jets taking off in your head!
Thankfully though, after 7 years, I’m back! And, I’ve got some great news for you; you can win the battle against tinnitus! How did I do it? The answer to that is something that many of you won’t expect and many more of you will find hard to believe but, the cure for my tinnitus was in my “music.” Now, I’m not talking about cranking up your music as loud as you can so that it drowns out the tinnitus. Please don’t do that, it’ll make it worse. No, what I’m really talking about is; searching the depths of your soul for what it is that you really really want and focus on that instead of the tinnitus. I focused on writing and performing my music because that is what my soul wanted to do.
The distance between knowing what you were born to do and curing yourself of tinnitus is relatively short, if you know “how” to make the connection. But, here’s the catch; to what degree are you actually prepared to take your passion?
You see, you need to know exactly what your ultimate goal is. Why does that matter? Because, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up somewhere else! Adopting a goal and doing everything you can to achieve that goal can help keep you on track while everyone else is skating through life on a broken skateboard.
So, the real purpose of this lesson, and the cure for your tinnitus, is to get you focused on what you really want. Because, if you focus on what you want, instead of what you don’t want (your tinnitus), you’ll get more of what you want! Sounds simple right? Not on your life! Focusing on what you want is impossible for most people because unfortunately most people simply don’t know what they want.
How do you find out what you really want? Let’s say I’m a genie in a bottle and I can grant you any wish you want. And, this granted wish comes without limitation, without any previous negative evidence to the contrary and I’m asking you to make your wish really, really big! This answer to this question IS what you really want.
So, what’s a big goal? Well, let’s take my goal for example; I want to play Carnegie Hall. Will I ever get there? Probably, but even if I don’t, I’ve already gotten 5,000% further than if I’d never had that goal in the first place. But, getting to Carnegie Hall, even though it’s the ultimate goal, doesn’t really matter because I’m focused everyday on what I need to do to get there. You see, it’s about the “journey,” not the destination that’s important. And, I’m enjoying every minute of it.
So, the real trick to getting what you want is to adopt a big goal and learn everything you can about how to make that a reality because, if you shoot for the stars you’re at least going to hit the moon. And that, my musician friends, is how you cure your tinnitus. Choose your big goal, focus on doing everything you can to make it so and your tinnitus will disappear! The ringing may never go away but, if you’re not focused on it and you’re not aware of it, then I say “you’re cured!”
The author is Paul Tobey a professional concert pianist who discovered relief from his Ringing Ears without any medical intervention or drug therapy.