It’s been almost a week and I still can’t believe it. Prince is gone. Such a large part of him was cloaked in mystery that I feel like I’m just now learning who he really was. Through reading stories, watching old interviews, and listening to his music, I’ve been able to glean these powerful life lessons…
Give without expectation
I had no idea what a philanthropist Prince was. And he wanted it that way. In the wake of his death, I’ve heard countless stories about his charitable spirit. Van Jones said, “He just didn’t feel that he should be one of these people who jumps up and announces every time they give a check or a donation and get their name in the paper. He felt like he had already gotten enough attention.” Prince quietly gave his talent and money to support green jobs in poor communities, technology jobs for urban youth, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Lesson: The true spirit of a giver is one who gives and expects nothing in return. No accolades, no awards. no personal gain. When you seek to be a giver first, you understand that feelings of gratitude, joy, and purpose are your gift in return.
You don’t have anything to prove to anybody
Prince oozed confidence. Like he could bottle it up and sell it! He had zero effs to give about what anyone thought about his high heels, his sexuality, his fashion choices—or anything else for that matter. Zero. He showed up when he wanted to show up. He performed what songs he wanted to perform. He did interviews when he wanted to do interviews. That was Prince. Authentic and unapologetic.
Lesson: Who you are and what you want to be doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else but you. Part of living an authentic life is doing what makes YOU happy, regardless of the popularity of your decisions. Release the fear of pissing people off and making others uncomfortable and expand your life to the BIG that it was meant to be.
Stand up for what you believe in
Prince was a fierce advocate for artist rights until the end of his life. He fought against record companies, streaming services, and social media giants in copyright infringement disputes that set legal precedents. His actions paved the way for other artists to demand better royalties from online streaming services as well as creative control over their art and how it is consumed.
Lesson: A cause that you believe in is worth fighting for. Don’t ever think that you are too small to make a difference or that your voice doesn’t matter. It only takes the vision of one to spark a movement. Why not YOU? Be the change.
Even though we don’t have him anymore, I feel like he was at peace with who he was and what he had accomplished. He didn’t have anything else to prove. He knew he was royalty and was treated as such by all who loved him.
Rest in peace Prince.