Sriya Chintalapalli

Listening To Music I Don’t Like

I love moving fast, thinking fast (and slow at times— as this book taught me to) & executing fast.

My music taste happens to be similar to that lifestyle. For years, I’ve only listened to fast music. Anything upbeat, loud, that builds momentum.

I don’t like to listen to music while I work to avoid it becoming a habit (can only work when music is playing) and because I find it distracting.

However, as I’ve been introduced to the podcast world, I’ve begun choosing them over songs during activities which require minimal attention (e.g. cleaning room, commute).

Now, I only listen to music when I go on walks. I listen to fast music to get the energy going, because the purpose of my walks are usually to step away and re-energize.

View from this morning’s walk😻

Safe to say that when I came across a stoicism action item to ‘listen to music I don’t like’ for 15 minutes, I knew it would be ANY music that was slow/classical.

This morning I hopped onto Spotify, and typed in ‘classical music’, and clicked on the first song on the first playlist that showed up. My ears were treated to a delicate, piano instrumental — and my mind agreed that ‘well yes, this fits… music I don’t like’.

I started my morning off with this tune, and cleaned my room, made my bed, replied to some emails, got ready to go on a morning workout…and long story short a good 40 minutes went by, and I still had this piano instrumental going.

My Inner Voice’s Experience Narration🔉

  • Minute 1: Not a fan, this is slow, slightly eerie for the morning when everything’s still dark outside. My finger automatically felt the urge to fast-forward the song to the chorus where it would speed up — didn’t speed up — realized what I was doing, and stopped.
  • Minute 2: Hand automatically felt the need to whip the phone out again and switch songs. Re-realized what I was doing. Stopped.
  • Minute 9: Huh…this isn’t so bad, quite calming even. Must be nice to wake up or go to sleep to, or perhaps to help re-centre during a busy day.
  • Minute 15: Making plans to get my piano out again (used to play daily when I was 7, and haven’t much since) and learn a new song to jam too.
  • Minute 40: Spotify ad starts playing, which I try to skip to get back to my tune & realize it’s been 40 minutes…of music I ‘don’t like’. Edit: (incorrectly) categorized that I don’t like.


  1. Don’t just try ‘new’ things often, try things you ‘don’t like’ more often — you’ll be surprised or least infer takeaway(s) from observing your thoughts/experience.
  2. We subconsciously make many moves throughout the day. Question yourself, the thoughts you have, what they are inspired by more often.
  3. When routines get in the way, we get so accustomed to certain actions that we never question if they are still relevant — or if they were ever relevant to begin with.
  4. Perceived risk>actual risk. When I first saw the action item to listen to music I don’t like, I felt angsty about it — didn’t want to do it. It’s so simple. It’s literally nothing. Being more open enables a learning ground you wouldn’t have encountered otherwise.
  5. It’s easy to categorize yourself. Identities are restricting because they are constructs that are created for the physical world and yourself to gain a sense of ‘clarity’.
  6. The notion to just exist — to have no identity — to observe, be here and now is far more enticing to me. To be lead by values which are your limits, but nothing else truly is how I live from now on.

🎶To see me perform my newly learnt song on the piano, connect on Twitter.

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investing in moments