I just watched a clip of Kanye West on the Jimmy Kimmel show. Yes, of Kanye West. Now, I realize a lot of people may not be a fan of his, because of his cockiness, his rudeness, his oft-occurring a**hole-ish-ness. I too have said, I’m over Kanye, he’s a cancer on society, his time is over, whatever. But after watching the sheer truth in this clip, my respect level for him has increased. Whether you love him or hate him, this man is intelligent, and a true artist and business man. I’m not going to give you a blanket statement – I’ll also give you some of what I saw in there, some points I came away with, that you can utilize for your own life.
Don’t let other people define who you are.
We tend to start a career, or our education, with one goal in mind. Maybe it’s to be an engineer, or an actor, or we’re chasing a dream in the medical field. And we gain these accolades, these diplomas and degrees, and suddenly, we’re a Bio-Engineer, or Doctor whomever, or an accomplished dramatic performer. Just because that’s one of our hats, doesn’t mean it has to be our only hat. Oftentimes though, we let other people decide for us that this is who we are. We become scared to branch out from that, for fear of what others may think, or perceived dilution of our credibility in which we worked so hard for. Why should what “they” think matter though? It is up to you to decide who you, how multi-faceted you can be.
Never stop learning new things.
I think it’s great when someone can be whole-heartedly dedicated to a particular craft, and pour themselves into perfecting it. I don’t think it’s great though, when that’s all they do. You know the type – they eat, breathe, and sleep body-building, but have a hard time with conversing about anything not fitness related. By isolating your research and learning to just one interest, you’re actually providing a disservice to yourself. And truth be told, most of the best new ideas come out of the intersection of different careers and hobbies. Imagine: there would be no smartphones if someone didn’t allow themselves to learn about computers, and instead limited themselves to the world of telephony. Be a student of life.
Know who you are – believe in yourself.
In the video clip, Kanye says that he doesn’t care what others say, because he knows who he is. He said his mother always taught him to believe in himself, and that’s just what he does (much to the chagrin of the public). But you cannot truly hate someone who is that certain about who they are, and if you do, chances are, you aren’t focused enough on who YOU are. Some people are easily swayed through different schools of thinking, or perceiving themselves based on what they encounter with other people. When you don’t know who you are, your personality – hell, your soul! – is always in flux. You’ll find yourself scrambling about, feeling unsure, because you aren’t steadfast in your own being. You have to make a conscious, concerted effort to make sure you are being true to who you are. And if you don’t know where to start, a great book to help you find your purpose is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
Kanye West is a lot of things (and many of them include a curse word of some sort), but one thing he is not is someone else. I urge all of you to use some of those lessons from the Kanye School of Thought, and apply them to your own lives. Love yourself as much as Kanye loves Kanye. Who knows – you could uncover some hidden greatness in your own spirit!