NYC, about twenty years ago, there was a young girl growing up in a Roman Catholic School. She was a bit of an outcast. With few friends she found pleasure in something she did like; the piano. She practised regularly and auditioned for school plays and singing contests. Despite getting some good roles in school she wasn’t lucky beyond that. She auditioned for some of the New York theatres but failed to even get a callback.
Despite this she had a belief. That belief was that if she kept practising, kept learning, she would eventually get on those stages. Determined to make it she kept practising, working at a Diner in the evenings to also pay for acting classes. School wasn’t fun for her and she eventually dropped out, hoping to pursue a career in music. She gave it everything. Initially that meant playing the piano in dive bars – any that would let her. Alongside she managed to secure an apprenticeship as a songwriter. A culmination of these efforts finally saw her signed to a record label. Three months later however, she was dropped.
This was devastating.
After some time to regroup, she was inspired by the expression of Burlesque and decided to fuse her music with the liberation of Burlesque performance. She started to breakthrough as a songwriter which led her to meeting singer and producer Akon. He was so impressed he re-signed her to his label.
Born Stefani, she is now known better as Lady Gaga and on Sunday she picked up the Academy Award for ‘Best Original Song’, making her the first person in history to have won an Oscar, Grammy, BAFTA and Golden Globe within a single year.
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February, Birthday month of Abraham Lincoln and the shortest month in the year. It’s also the only month women in the Western world are allowed to propose. Only one one day every fourth year of course ;-). It’s one example of a rule or tradition many of us accept because someone told us once it was a thing.
There are so many rules which guide our behaviour and decisions on a daily basis. Most of them we don’t notice because we’ve already fully accepted them.
It was also Steve Jobs’ Birthday this month. The now legendary founder of Apple once said: “When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life inside the world… Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you.”
Personally I don’t think it’s beneficial to question everything – that would be kinda exhausting. But the most successful people get ahead of everyone else because they actively decide not to accept the limitations that other people do. Or the standards of their immediate surroundings. So as you slip into March, maybe think about beliefs you’ve accepted that are limiting you and how you can re-think these.
Beliefs like, “I don’t have any contacts so I can’t enter that industry.” Lady Gaga had no contacts. Instead consider that because you haven’t been immersed into a world yet you have the advantage of being more open-minded and prepared to rewrite the rules as they suit you!
Good luck and big love.