There are moments when we need to be lifted up, to take time out to think, or to break away from the chaos that surrounds us. When I’m experiencing these moments, I usually put my headphones on and listen to my playlist of hits. On a recent flight, I experienced just such a moment when I needed a timeout. I put on my pink headphones, closed my eyes, and listened. My ‘Boss’ playlist started, but something was different this time. I’ve always known these songs lift me up, but what I heard this time, were the lessons that these songs teach me, how they help me, and motivate me in some way. What, you ask, were these songs and what did I learn, well here, let me share:
- Lose Yourself (Eminem) – “You have one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything you ever wanted… You only get one shot, because opportunity comes once in a lifetime.”
- Learning: Don’t let opportunities pass you by. Grab them even if you are afraid. Yes, there will be failures, but you need to keep getting up and trying. You never know when that one moment comes that leads to success.
- Hall of Fame (The Script) – “You can move a mountain, you can break rocks (be a champion); You could be a master, don’t wait for luck (be a champion); Dedicate yourself and you gon’ find yourself (be a champion); Standing in the hall of fame.”
- Learning: Life is full of options and opportunities. You can be anything you want to be, if you’re willing to put in the effort and work for it.
- Fight Song (Rachel Platten) – “I might only have one match; But I can make an explosion; And all those things I didn’t say; Wrecking balls inside my brain; I will scream them loud tonight; Can you hear my voice this time? This is my fight song; Take back my life song; Prove I’m alright song; My power’s turned on; Starting right now I’ll be strong; I’ll play my fight song; And I don’t really care if nobody else believes; ‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me”
- Learning: Believe in yourself; You can do it. Even in dark times, you can make an impact. Even when the words inside our brains are causing us harm (those wrecking balls), you need to remember you are strong and powerful. Not only will you survive, you will thrive because you have a lot of fight left in yourself.
- Can’t Hold Us (Macklemore & Ryan Lewis) – “Trust me, on my I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T shi*, hustlin’; Chasing dreams since I was 14;… This is the moment; Tonight is the night, we’ll fight ’til it’s over; So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us; … Yeah, I’m so damn grateful; … We came here to live life like nobody was watching; Learn from that failure gain humility; And then we keep marching.”
- Learning: Embrace your life, and don’t let anyone hold you back. The moment is now; grab what you can and smash through the ceilings that are holding you back.
- Stronger (Kelly Clarkson): “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger; Just me, myself and I (what doesn’t kill you); What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (stronger); Stand a little taller (taller); Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone.”
- Learning: This is probably one of my favorites, and the lyrics are crystal clear about the message of resiliency. There will be challenges, and there will be failures. What’s important is that you face them, because when you come through it to the other end, You will be a stronger and more resilient person.
- The Greatest (Sia) – “Hey, I work hard, pray hard, pay dues, hey; I transform with pressure; I’m hands-on with effort; I fell twice before; my bounce back was special; Letdowns will get you, and the critics will test you; But the strong will survive; another scar may bless you; … I’m free to be the greatest, I’m alive; I’m free to be the greatest here tonight; … Don’t give up; I won’t give up; Don’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up; I got stamina.”
- Learning: As a mom of 3, this one has a lot of meaning. Some days it seems like I’m always running, and I just can’t win. If I take two steps forward, something will happen to take one back. We all need to be our own cheerleaders. This cheerleader reminds me that I can do it, that I’ve got stamina, and YES I am the greatest. This is my self-love song.
- Heroes (Alesso) – “We could hide away in daylight; … Every day people do everyday things, but I; Can’t be one of them; I know you hear me now, we are a different kind; We can do anything; We could be heroes; We could be heroes, me and you; … Anybody’s got the power; They don’t see it ’cause they don’t understand.”
- Learning: We all have Greatness within us. We don’t have to be famous to make a difference and nothing is beyond our abilities. We can all do great things; we just need to work for them.
- Glorious (Macklemore) – “So when I leave here on this earth, did I take more than I gave? Did I look out for the people, or did I do it all for fame? … My mama told me never bow your head; … I made it through the darkest part of the night; And now I see the sunrise; Now I feel glorious, glorious.”
- Learning: Things don’t matter – people do. It is important to make sure that I am lifting and supporting the people around me, rather than thinking about how they can lift and support me.
- Rise UP ( Andra Day) – “When the silence isn’t quiet; And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe; And I know you feel like dying; But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet; And move mountains; …And I’ll rise up; I’ll rise like the day; I’ll rise up; I’ll rise unafraid; … I’ll rise up; In spite of the ache; …I’ll rise up; And I’ll do it a thousand times again.”
- Learning: Get Up. When life brings you down, make sure you don’t stay down; Get up. No matter what happens in life, Get Up.
- Good as Hell (Lizzo) – “Woo child, tired of the b*llsh*t; Go on dust your shoulders off, keep it moving; … You know you a star, you can touch the sky; I know that it’s hard but you have to try; … I do my hair toss; Check my nails; Baby how you feelin’? Feeling good as hell; … Got to take a deep breath, time to focus on you; All the big fights, long nights that you been through; … Boss up and change your life; You can have it all, no sacrifice.”
- Learning: You are the boss of your life; OWN IT. You are beautiful, and if others can’t see that, change those people, but don’t sacrifice yourself.
There are many other songs in this playlist, but these felt different that day. It’s not easy being a woman in a largely male industry, where the bar is so different for us vs. others. We hear the snide comments, under-breath remarks, and condescending statements, which can make it hard for us to be strong. We may not show the impact these things have on us outwardly because of our tough exterior, but inside, they hurt, and they take a toll on us. These songs, on that flight, reminded me to keep going. I was reminded to pick myself up, dust myself off, to keep going, and always keep moving forward.
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