Sunday, April 24, 2016

What We Can All Learn From Prince

As everyone knows, superstar Prince passed away last week at the age of 57. On my other blog, Go Retro, I posted about nine great songs that he wrote that were covered by other artists, but I also mentioned that I never found Prince sexy while one of my college friends did. That isn't being disrespectful -- I certainly respect him as a talented artist -- but I bring it up because there's a lot that some of us could learn from Prince's approach to life.

For example, after his death I learned that he was only 5'2"! I was really surprised to hear that he was that height, because in photos and on camera he definitely carried himself as a much taller man. Maybe part of that was due to his flashy wardrobe (and heels), but more likely it was his swagger and confidence that made him seem larger.

One of the biggest complaints I've read online from men struggling with dating is that they feel women only go for tall men. There was one very negative guy that would routinely leave that same comment on a dating site I used to read. He would reiterate that he was "only" 5'8" -- which happens to be my height. Some of us would tell him, "Well, look at it this're not 5'4" or 5'6" -- you're 5'8". Think of the guys that are shorter than you to put things in perspective"...but it always fell on deaf ears.

Prince was proof that having a lot of confidence and believing in yourself trumps being six feet tall when it came to attracting women. One of the interviews I heard the morning after his death was with a friend of his in the music industry that said his attraction of the opposite sex was legendary, and that a common refrain in his circle became, "Don't introduce your girlfriend to Prince." Apparently he had that kind of effect on women. If only we could bottle and sell that kind of confidence. 

Not only that, but Prince was epileptic -- a detail of his private life he kept hidden until some years after he had achieved fame and established himself as a music legend. In an interview with Tavis Smiley from 2009 he mentioned that he had a difficult childhood at times and was teased. Smiley asked him how he overcame that, and he said he focused on himself and honed his musical skills. Before long the neighborhood was hearing about how talented he was. 

Another thing I heard about him is that he cared very little about the critics and other people's opinions of him. He did his own thing and didn't let the judgment of others affect it. It was described as having a strong sense of freedom -- a wonderful thing to develop and goes along with one of my favorite sayings by Wayne Dyer: "What other people think about me is none of my business."

It sounds kind of hokey, but from now on when I listen to Prince's songs that I enjoy best from my childhood and teenage years, I'll be thinking about the guy's positive attitude as well as his talent. He was definitely more than just his music. 

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