Lessons learned from Pandora

November 22, 2014

No, not the Pandora's Box Pandora, although there's lessons to be learnt there.

I'm talking about Pandora, the online music streaming service.

If you're not familiar with it, the idea is that you can create your own "radio station" to listen to online based on your music preferences.

I love music from the 40s, and such artists as The Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald,  and Glenn Miller. So I have set up my own station simply titled "40s."

In order to customize a station, you have the option of clicking a thumbs up or thumbs down for a piece of music when it plays. The station doesn't just play artists that you have selected; they continually add "similar" artists into the mix.

If I don't click a "thumbs down" on an artist that doesn't fit my 40s theme, even if I like that artist, pretty soon my 40s station can turn into 70s jive and funk. True story.

You probably can guess where I'm going with this. It really has so many applications I just can't resist.

Take Project 333 that I've been blogging about (see here for an intro). If I have selected two basic colors for my wardrobe (navy and gray), with two pops of color (pink and lavender) plus white, I have a pretty curated wardrobe, easy to mix and match.

But what happens when I spy a gorgeous red top, and buy it? And then succumb to some lovely brown boots?   And so on? Nothing wrong with that, but now I have to deal with the fact that getting dressed is no longer an easy exercise. My carefully curated closet is gone, and I am going to have to spend more time in the morning mixing and matching.

Same thing for other things you let into your life. Let's say you have determined not to drink soda anymore and stay away from processed foods. Okay, no big deal if you happen to have a few Doritos at a party, or a diet Coke at a restaurant on occasion. But it often begins a slippery slope that ends in you looking in your pantry and wondering how the Cheetos, M&Ms, and Oreos got there!

Where'd these come from?!

These are minor detours compared to some of the bigger issues of life. How often do we fail to give ourselves a thumbs down when we're tempted to respond with a sharp word, listen to just a little bit of gossip, fail to appreciate our loved ones, or compromise our standards on something we tell ourselves is no big deal? 

Now there's nothing wrong with Marvyn Gaye, but he doesn't belong on my 40s station. If I enjoy listening to What's Going On, and fail to give it a thumbs down, before you know it, my station is on a completely different trajectory than what I had planned.

So often those little things seem harmless and fun, but one choice leads to another and then another, and we find ourselves somewhere we hadn't planned on being.


  1. So true. I discovered this myself with Pandora... and my life. When I let one character quality I consider key to my life slip , just ever so slightly, then everything seems to slip & slide. I am thankful scripture reading often slaps me in the face with a "what were you thinking ?". God is so good to me.

  2. Our life is full of choices every day. Each one affects us in some way. Marvyn Gaye is one of my all-time favorite so he would get a thumbs-up by me. Deb

  3. Interesting analogy, starting with Pandora! :-)

  4. Great insight. I would look to curating a second capsule if you are continuing to be drawn to a different set of colors. I think that is why the 333 is only for a set time. Using the Pandora analogy you would have an alternate station of 70's music. I would just make sure I loved the new color combos to make a full capsule. If not, I'd love the color on another and leave it there.

    1. Good idea; I do have a slightly different color palette for warmer months since gray doesn't seem to fit. I don't love anything else enough to do a completely different capsule wardrobe for winter though.

  5. Oh great analogy! And, unlike Pandora, we have unlimited opportunities to do a thumb's down on those things we're trying to curb. That is why, ultimately, I gave Pandora a thumb's down and deleted it. If only it would have allowed me unlimited thumbs down...guess that's why folks wind up purchasing it.

    1. Vee, I've downloaded Spotify, and am giving that a try.

  6. Decisions and priorities! I'm going to have a look at Pandora, if indeed it's available in Canada.
    I slip every so often and eat junk food but for the most part it's whole foods and baking from scratch.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  7. Dearest Deborah,
    Indeed, life is an ongoing event of staying true to yourself and your morals. It is a matter of discipline; ongoing.
    Enjoy your weekend and stay cozy inside!

  8. Oh so true, Deborah! We all slip, but it's getting back on track that's important.
    I noticed that you mentioned Spotify in a reply. One of my sons has that and likes it! I still enjoy Pandora.

  9. I really enjoy listening to Spotify while I'm exercising. Lovely, God-honouring music is a real encouragement to me.

  10. Hi Deborah, I agree so much with your post and thoughts. Sometime we have to tune everything out from the direction were on so the distraction that is always after our attention, is silenced. Do you see what I mean?? LOL However when we know the path God's set for us,and been on it, it's easier to get back.
    I have Pandora on my Kindle and it's been fun.

    Wishing you a wonderful rest of the weekend.

  11. Lovely life lesson, Deborah--who knew Pandora would be rich with object lessons. Love your beautiful, loving way of putting things.

  12. I've heard of Pandora but it's just "something else" I don't have time to learn. I'm not judging, mind, I'm just saying in an already loaded life, Pandora is another time suck...oh, rather, learning Pandora is a time suck. I grew up on the same music...1940's, 1950's and really like that style. Are you familiar with Manhattan Transfer? You'd like their music as well.
    No news on the farm sell; lots of interest but no offers. Not sure what I'm going to do...any ideas?

  13. Excellent post, Deborah!
    What a lovely way of expressing your words.
    That"slippery slope" is easy to fall on to and not so easy getting off.
    Enjoy the rest of your week end.

  14. I know exactly what you mean- I listen to I ♥ Radio - same concept.

    I like to keep my music genres SEPARATE too! : - )

  15. My dear Deborah, what a wonderful analogy and words I needed to read. This is something I need to take to heart and remember, my friend. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Love and hugs to you!

    P.S. - I love 40's music too :)

  16. A very good analogy and I was laughing at the beginning. When i first discovered Pandora it was around the holidays a few years back and I was very frustrated that it kept on playing songs that I wouldn't like. Until one of my tech savvy kids showed up to explain what to do :)


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