I’ll just come right out and admit it; over the last few months, I have become a Lady Gaga fan, aka a “Little Monster” (along with some of my fellow bloggers *cough* Matt Chevy). If you’re unfamiliar with who Lady Gaga is, please come out from that rock you’re under. She’s become immensely popular, which for me is usually a sign that I would never enjoy her music. I’ve never been a real big fan of pop music, and didn’t much care for “Poker Face” when I first heard it. But I heard other songs by her, saw some of the extravagant outfits she wears, watched her perform on TV, and eventually saw an interview.
Wow. A truly genuine, truly original, truly hard working, truly devoted and strangely alluring artist. Emphasis on artist. I was quickly converted to a Little Monster.
After listening to her two albums, watching and reading many interviews, and seeing her live in Radio City Music Hall, I’ve learned some things I definitely didn’t expect to from someone who “wants your bad romance“
To me, these things apply to me as a blogger, as a writer, and as a person setting off into the first year of their career.
They can probably apply to you and some aspect of your life as well.
1. Love What you Do
There’s really only one place to start: doing what you love. Gaga may have gained her massive popularity over the last year or so, but that success represents a lifetime of work. From a young age, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta was passionate about music- so that’s what she did. Practicing piano from age 4, went to school to study music, and spent years playing at open mic nights and dive bars (you can read the full details of her back story here). Gaga spent her entire life working towards her goals, putting in the effort endlessly because she was doing what she loves. We all can’t be incredibly successful pop stars, but we can always follow what we love, and be true to ourselves, no matter our individual situation. You may not have your dream job, you may not be where you want to be quite yet, but don’t let your passions go. Start a blog about what you love, start a web comic, start writing more. Replace time spent watching TV with doing something you’re passionate about. Try it.
2. Be Your Authentic Self
Everything Lady Gaga does is about individuality. Her most recent tour is called “The Monster Ball” tour. Gaga said, “I don’t care what people think about me, I care what they think about themselves.” The idea of the Monster Ball was to create a free environment where her fans could be themselves and release their inner freak, and not feel self-conscious. It worked. The show I went to one of the shows on this tour and saw some of the most unique “outfits” I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen l so much leather, sequins, duct tape, flashing lights, tin foil, confidence and charisma in one place.
Now translate this into your online/professional identity. Granted, you shouldn’t wear this to your next job interview or change you LinkedIn picture to something with lots of leather and glitter, but be authentic. Worry less about forging a bland personal brand, and spend more thought in developing your own unique style and skill set. Bring your own blend of flavors to whatever you do. We’re all individuals, so why work against what you’ve already got going for you that makes you stand out?
3. Filter Criticism
We’ve all heard some pretty extreme rumors about Lady Gaga. When asked how she deals with all the scrutiny, she responded “Only value the opinion of those that you respect.” Short and sweet.
4. Hate Money
Okay, maybe hate is a strong word; we all have to pay the bills and buy coffee now and again. During her show at Radio City Music Hall, Gaga said “Do you know what the 2nd thing is that I hate most? Money. I hate money.” In the beginning to her song Teeth, she says “Don’t want your money, (that shit’s ugly)” It was rumored that she spends all her money on her shows. When asked about it, she said “Yeah,” without hesitation. “Ask my manager,” she said chuckling. “I’d much rather have the biggest show on Earth than the best house..” An article in January estimates that the Monster Ball Tour “lost $4 million.” They say lost, I say cost; either way, Lady Gaga values what she loves over money. What’s the point of being rich if you’re not pursuing what you love?
The takeaway here is that many of us (myself included) loose sight of what they truly love in pursuit of money. Work a job making less money doing something you love, instead of a high paying job you hate going to every day.
Gaga did mention the thing she hates the most, even more than money: the truth.
5. Make the Lie True
In an interview with Fuse after being asked when she decided to fully become “Gaga” instead of Stephanie, she replied “It’s sort of like a mantra. You know, you repeat it to yourself every day: music is my life, music is my life, the fame is inside of me, I’m going to make a number one record, with number one hits. And it’s not yet; it’s a lie. You’re saying a lie over and over and over again. And then one day, the lie is true.” She announces at her shows, “People say Lady Gaga is a lie, and they are right. I am a lie. And every day I kill to make it true.” She’s also said “I operate from a place of delusion… I want people to walk around delusional about how great they can be – and then to fight so hard for it every day that the lie becomes the truth.”
Although this an extreme example of goal setting, it does stress the point that to accomplish your goals, you have to have a clear vision of what you’re trying to achieve, and you have to be infinitely positive and confident about reaching that goal. This post will get 100 comments, this post will get 100 comments. One of them will be from Gaga.
Thoughts, comments? What life lessons have you taken away from a musician or their music?