“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life.”
With that in mind, we are all gathered together today to get through the sad loss that has been bestowed upon us with the passing of Prince. We are all in mourning over the loss of this legend. We have all been captivated by the news reports and are in disbelief that another legend is gone way too soon. Everything around us has been colored purple; bridges, lakes, streets, and of course, the Empire State Building. It is a touching tribute to one of the all-time greats. Many of us took to MTV for the first time in a long time to re-watch music videos of Prince, bringing us back to memories of our favorite songs or concerts. How many of us have been singing Purple Rain to ourselves?
When we lose someone we have looked up to like Prince, we grieve and always ask the question of why did this happen? We follow that question up with comments like “another one gone too soon.” We are looking for reasons and answers to justify what happened. Instead, we should be looking more closely at the legacy and true impact that person has had upon us. If you look closely at Prince’s legacy and impact, he definitely left his mark, and I believe he gave us a huge gift of qualities that we can call emulate to be better human beings.
Here are four simple lessons from Prince:
#1) Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the things Prince did so well was that he practiced. Look at any time he picked up a new instrument, and watch how quickly he learned it. That takes disciplined practice. One of Prince’s quotes always sticks out to me. He said “the key to longevity is to learn every aspect of music that you can.”
In our lives, we tend to want the results with minimal effort. Life does not reward those that put minimal effort in or mail it in. You have to practice your craft every day to get better. We do not take as many training courses as we should to improve our skills. When we do take courses, we quickly forget what we learned, and are not able to implement the new skills into our jobs. I have always said that you do your job the way you have practiced. The results will not lie. You must practice every day.
#2) Be Versatile
Prince’s music never got old. With many artists, you typically hear the same music and beats in their next album. With each new album from Prince, there always seemed to be a new instrument or sound added. What made Prince truly great was that he was the one playing all of the instruments!
We lack versatility in our lives, and we have pigeon holed our careers into one dimensional work. The skills we have learned are good enough to get us by, and when adversity strikes such as job cuts or layoffs, we do not have additional skills to transition into a new job within the same company. We do not stay relevant, and often have to take a deep pay cut or start over. Prince allowed himself to always remain relevant and transition his music to new generations. His willingness to be versatile and do new things are what have made him an icon.
#3) Collaborate With Other People
As humans, one of the biggest things we crave is contribution. Deep down, we want to contribute to the world and make it a better place. Prince was a genius in creating some of greatest songs for other artists to sing. Cyndi Lauper, Sinead O’ Connor, Stevie Nicks, Sheila E, the Bangles, and Madonna had massive success with songs either co-written or solely written by Prince. Prince did most of this when his songs were at the top of the charts. That shows you he didn’t care just about himself. He wanted to help others have massive success too!
In our lives, we love to contribute and help people, but it’s mostly transactional contributions. We want something back in return. We want something physical like money or the praise and adulation dripped all over us so we can post it to social media and let everyone know the good we have done. That is selfish contribution.
Prince said the world we live in is a hurtful place, and “we’re in a place now where we all need one another, and it’s going to get rougher.” I think he was trying to tell us something here. We have all seen horrific things occur over the last several years, and does seem to be getting worse. We are not all going to be sitting around the camp fire roasting marshmallows, but we must be willing to help each other without any conditions. Our help has to be real and come from the heart. That is the only way all of us succeed.
#4) Be Comfortable In Our Own Skin
“Despite everything, no one can dictate who you are to other people.”
That has to be one of my favorite Prince quotes. It really sums up what Prince was all about. He never tried to be anything else but himself; nothing more, nothing less.
Many of us are not comfortable in our own skin, and we let society dictate who we are and should be. We struggle with it every day. Billions of dollars are spent in the self-help industry and billions more are spent in the nutrition/health industry. I was watching a show on TV the other day about a person who has gone through seven face lifts because they want more confidence and want to look better. I also know someone who spends over $20,000 a year by going to self-help seminars. If you look at these people, they are clearly not comfortable in their own skin. Prince’s mentally was simple. It started with him not caring what people said about him “because it usually is a reflection of who they are.”
In order for us to be successful in life, it all starts here, with being comfortable in our own skin. We need to let go of what we believe others think of us. You must only care what you think about yourself. Once we do that, we are free to be a “strong spirit that transcends rules.” That is when we are at our core, our very best and authentic self that will get us through this thing called life.
Thank you Prince Rogers Nelson for sharing your gifts with us.