Originally published on Whimm – 5 September 2018
As a rockstar I have two instincts: to have fun and change the world. I have a chance to do both – Bono.
If life were easy and all our dreams came true, we would all be amazingly successful over-achievers: famous, rich, smart, talented, successful, attractive, super-athletes, perfect parents.
But life’s not like that and that would be boring anyway, wouldn’t it?
I want you to take a moment to remember back to when you were a child and all things were possible: being a rockstar, garbage collector, ballerina, astronaut, model or explorer were all totally realistic career options.
But to make my point here, I’m going for rockstar. Think Pink, Beyonce, Prince (bless him), or whoever rocks your boat. I’m going to put before you what it takes to be a rockstar, with the emphasis on the star part.
Can you unleash your inner rockstar? Image: AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK
Let’s look at what rockstars have done to get to where they are. Firstly, they do something well – they hone their skills and they practise and practise. They pick their genre and refine their ‘act’; they know how they want to present themselves and what they want to be known for. They learn as much as they can about their specialty area. They learn from others, from books, from trial and error – however they can. They work and work, and every time they get knocked down, they get back up and try again. They’re determined, they’re focused on their goal, they believe in themselves and they persevere.
They know it won’t be easy and they know it’s up to them to make success happen. They get disillusioned sometimes, but they just keep going. They’re passionate about what they’re doing, and they have fun and probably shed a few tears along the way.
They do everything possible to make it. They commit to punishing touring schedules and know they might have to start small and work their way up. They know that every person they meet is a potential fan, and that every time they go on stage it is an opportunity. They are working to be the very best version of themselves every single time they record or perform.
They continue to grow, improve, learn, create and evolve. They put themselves out there at every opportunity: gigs, interviews, press conferences, media releases and social media. They let people see who they really, uniquely are.
Some, looking for energy, longevity, good looks and good feelings – think Pink, Sting, Mick Jagger – also commit fully to looking after themselves.
OK, you get the idea I hope. But here’s what I want to say. Many rockstars look pretty ordinary in their Grade Six school photos, and they come from pretty ordinary backgrounds – quite possibly just like me and you. But what got them Rockstar status was their drive and commitment to their goal. And we can all do that, be our own version of a rockstar.
We just need to do… well, all of the above. Find our passion and be the best version of ourselves.
So how am I being the very best version of me? (Thank you for asking.) Well, I plan my food, I schedule exercise, I educate myself and I take on career opportunities that are terrifying. I persevere.
Change and challenge and big goals are hard and uncomfortable. And things don’t always go to plan; life throws us curve balls and sometimes we fumble or even drop them!
But the rockstar version of you is so full of possibility, fun and adventure. This is where dreams live. When we are rockstars in our own world, magic happens. We become obsessed, consumed and passionate. Everything is different when we have the vision and we’re prepared to do the work and go after what we want.
Who did you want to be, before you became a grown up? And/or (think big here), who or what do you really want to be now?
TIP: Take action. Start now – take a first small step towards getting closer to who or what you want to be
Do I know who my inner rockstar is?
Does it matter to me if I don’t live the dream?
What skills and knowledge do I have that serve me in going after my rockstar dream?
Who do I know who could mentor me?
Am I having enough fun in my life?
Do I remember what I am passionate about?
Am I prepared to do what’s required?
What are the consequences of me doing nothing?
How do I get started?