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The Song in You: Finding Your Voice, Redefining Your Life


The Song in You is an inspiring and motivational book by country music legend LaDonna Gatlin, a member of the famous Gatlin Quartet with brothers Larry, Rudy and Steve. Through her own struggles, her decision to put “family before fame” and her eventual emergence as a motivational speaker, Gatlin found her own “song to sing.” The Song in You is a you-can-do-it guide meant to help others find their passion, uncover their potential and realize the true purpose of their lives.

Gatlin’s childhood was filled with music and happy family memories. After she had recorded a Grammy-winning single and spent time on the road singing with her brothers in the Gatlin Quartet for many years, she met her husband and got married. For Gatlin, that decision came with an even harder one: taking a step back from fame and fortune to start a family and travel her own path. As she writes, “My brothers got famous, I got stretch marks!” Her life-changing decision led to two children, many grandchildren and a career as a motivational speaker, which inspired her to share her story with others to help them find the happiness and purpose as she did.  

Gatlin’s strategy for a happy, fulfilling and purposeful life is outlined in her book using the musical solfege syllables made famous by Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music: do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, do. In writing about each one, Gatlin shares personal, Biblical and historical stories that shed light on how the steps can influence lives. Gatlin stresses the importance of learning the seven steps to create positivity and handle the ups and downs of life by using the musical syllables:

– “DO- Do the Right Thing,”
– “RE- Realize Your Potential,”
– “MI- Mind Your Manners,”
– “FA- Failures Can Become Fertilizer,”
– “SO- Solutions Begin With Me,”
– “LA- Laugh”
– “TI- Time is Valuable”
– . . . and a return to “DO”

Each chapter is separated into a syllable and delves in the message and importance of each one. “Do the Right Thing” emphasizes the importance of making the right choices for yourself, so you can be on the right path for you. “Realize Your Potential” focuses on building an encouraging support system and cultivating healthy relationships. In “Mind Your Manners,” Gatlin stresses the importance of being kind and treating others as you would want to be treated yourself. “Failures Can Become Fertilizer” is a lesson in accepting failures as inevitable parts of life and turning them into learning experiences. “Solutions Begin With Me” is about taking responsibility for and control of your life, thoughts and actions. Gatlin writes about the necessity and importance of having laughter and joy in your life in the “Laugh” chapter. “Time is Valuable,” focuses on making the most out of life and the time that you have. In the last chapter of the book, Gatlin reiterates her message of positivity, purpose and potential and shares personal and family success stories.

The Song in You is a wonderful tool for counselors to use with clients struggling through depression, codependency, anxiousness, or even working toward recovery. Gatlin’s message of finding purpose and positivity in life is a universal one that she shares through deeply religious, historical and personal stories. Her honesty and refreshing optimism are an example of what the musical steps she has created have done for her. Inspiring, motivational and moving, LaDonna Gatlin’s The Song in You is a simple guide for people to create meaning, spread joy and find their own song.    

 The Song in You  by LaDonna Gatlin and Mike Marino (Health Communications, Inc., 9780757316227, paperback, 264 pages $14.95)

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