8 Lessons Beyoncè's Coachella Performance Taught Me About The Journey To Greatness
*Note: I'm preparing to listen to the word of the Lord on this cold Sunday morning and had no time to edit this blog. Still, enjoy!*
So, I fell asleep last night (because I'm an early bird) before Beyoncè hit the stage at Coachella. Mind you, I'm not the biggest Beyoncè fan, but I love the girl for more reasons than I can name. She exudes greatness, and when the word is spoken she's often who comes to mind. As an aspiring legend, I'm mindful of the qualities she possess and often take note on her continuous rise and method of going about things. So, it was no surprise when I woke this morning and began scrambling to find snippets and clips that detailed her performance. Shamefully, I didn't get the full performance, still. But, I didn't need it to began constructing my notes. In the midst of writing, I discovered the tips I was jotting could be used amongst others as well. Hence, this blog was born. Let's jump right into it.
Before I begin, I will say that Queen Bey didn't acquire her name on accident.
1. To reap the reward, you must do the work.
*Rumor* has it that Beyoncè was practicing eleven hours a day and was on a vegan diet before she was set to hit the stage. I'm not sure about you, but I consider that dedication. I can't even go 14 days without juice, drink or some sort of sugary treat. In addition to the stressful practicing and strict diet, Beyoncè is a mother of three (twins are in the mix, might I add) and a wife.
In learning this, I chastised myself something serious. I'm a multiple award-winning & #1 National bestselling author who has began to complain about three hour work days because I've grown so content and lazy on my "so-called" journey to greatness. This wife and mother of three dieted and worked eleven hour shifts to secure success for ONE performance. I don't have any room to complain about shit.
2. Don’t ever sacrifice yourself for the sake of someone else or their comfort.
Now, I've seen this time and time, again. People conforming to the person others think they "need" to be in order to solidify their success. If there's nothing else I've learned from Cardi B, Tiffany Haddish and Beyoncè, it's that success is attainable being exactly who you are.
Beyoncè got her fine ass up on that stage with her dancers and strutted while they became whole-ass majorettes. If nothing else screams AFRICAN AMERICAN-HOOD like majorettes and a marching band, then I don't know what to tell you. You remember the jamborees with the concession stand, bands, majorettes, yelling from your family in the stands, pickle juice and slushes? Okay, I'm hoping you're smiling after a run-in with nostalgia and I'm not in this memory alone.
Moving along, I'm pointing out the fact that Beyoncè has retained her BLACKNESS, unapologetically. She hasn't switched up or become who the world deemed to be a success to become one of the BIGGEST successes ( or, the biggest. musically, anyway). For me, this means a lot. As a career author and businesswoman, I feel as if I'm expected to be a certain way, act a certain way, look a certain way and move a certain way.
Don't use profanity. Don't talk about sex. Don't mention that. Don't be too vocal. Don't wear this. Dim your light so that others can feel like they're shining, too.
Fxck that. My bold personality has led to many upturned noses, the rolling of so many eyes and shunned opportunities for reasons beyond my control. Those snippets that I was able to catch confirmed that I don't have to nip and tuck or contain any part of me to reach my potential. That's my superpower, being me.
3. Become the product and anything your produce will be accepted.
I'll keep this short. Beyoncè has become one of the most likable (and hateable) women in history. Even her haters support her. She has become the product, which means that everything she touches is accepted.
This is a huge deal in my career of choice for many reasons. As an author, it is pretty easy to become a series or a book that you produced. Readers will, literally, only support that piece of work and anything that has to do with it so shamelessly. Yet, when you produce something different or try to move on from that storyline, you get crickets.
Let's put the Beyoncè effect on it. If Beyonce was to produce a gospel album right now, it would sell by the millions. She developed a sportswear line and it was supported like crazy. She had people voting for Obama because she was at his side during his campaign. Why? Because Beyoncè has become the main attraction, not her music. Yes, it's great and we love to hear as much as we can. But, let's be honest, if she never produced another track, the beehive would still be intact.
I'm still working on this lesson, day in and day out.
P.S. At least, I thought I would keep it short.
4. Your happiness must not be defined by other’s definition.
If you don't read any other lesson, at least scan this one. We're so caught up on what happiness looks like to others that we wouldn't know what happiness was to ourselves if it hit us in the face. Validation. Social Inclination. Instant gratification. They've all become leading factors in our definition of happiness due to the misconstrued logic we've developed about this feeling. Truth is, you're not always the happiest in happiness.
Happiness isn't some fairytale place where nothing goes wrong. Happiness is the faith that everything will be okay if you just keep pushing. Happiness is the peace you have knowing that you've done everything in your power to better a situation. Happiness is waking up in the morning. Happiness is being surrounded by loved ones. Happiness is being able to provide for your children in a way that you never thought possible. Happiness is getting those taxes back the government snatched from you all year. (Just kidding. lol)
Now, let's take the Beyoncè and Jay-Z ordeal. Her HUSBAND cheated on her and they both broadcasted it to the public. I've heard a million times that if a man cheats on you, then you have to leave in order to be happy, again. That's what happiness might mean for the person who said it, but that must not be Bey's definition of happiness.
Her husband is a major factor in HER happiness and she doesn't have to explain or change that for anyone. That's why he's hitting stages and openly exploring her redemption for his infidelities in public. I can't tell you about their personal lives, but they look happier than they ever have.
Be(y) your own happy. Fxck other's definition.
5. Concern yourself with outperforming yesterday’s you and no one else.
Every time we see Bey, she's improved. As if that's even possible, she makes it happen. That's the type of resilience we should have. She's not trying to outperform or outsing anyone but BEY from the last performance. It's glorifying to watch.
If we could adapt the same mentality, our progress would triple.
This beautiful queen is in her own lane and being who she truly wants to be without reservation. That's how this thing should work. If we could eliminate the thought of competing with our sisters and compete with ourselves, we'd be less catty, spiteful, hateful and downright miserable. Comparison is the cousin of envy. They run in the same circle. You befriend one and it brings the other along. So, avoid them both by creating your own lane and staying within the lines, looking straight ahead.
6. Once you get the job, that doesn't mean stop working.
I feel so exposed. Lol. I'm chastising myself while writing this lesson. Just because you were hired does not mean that you stop working. Just as hard as you went during the interview, you must go after orientation has concluded.
Often, we become lazy when we've reached the point that we never assumed we would be. Like, our mind automatically tells our body that we've done enough. We've exceeded expectations and we can rest, now. WRONG.
I'm a witness. I used to write eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve and sometimes fifteen hours each day. It had gotten to the point that I needed braces on both of my arms to support my wrists and avoid getting carpal tunnel. Now, I'm satisfied if I even open my laptop for the day. How backwards is that? I've lost the momentum and urge to continue climbing and that shit sucks.
Imagine this. Bey sitting around weeks before her performance simply because she's Bey and know that she'll nail it anyway. That show would've even been good with some old moves and tunes. BUT, she worked her ass off to improve and level up, even being Bey!
Let's take notes and understand that although she has the job, she hasn't stopped working. Like Bey, we should work EVEN harder now that we're in position. Just being frank, it's not secured. There is always someone willing to outwork you, so don't let up.
7. Elevation requires separation. Don’t forget where you started, but be mindful of where you’re going.
Honey. I know I'm not the only one that used to LOVE Destiny's Child.
If his status ain't hood, I ain't checking for him.
Got to be street if he looking for me.
Yassss! That's my gospel. I felt like they got me when singing that song. Hood is a credential to me. If you can survive that, you can survive anything. Which is a point that leads into my next lesson. Yes, elevation requires separation, which is why I was all for the Destiny's Child's split.
Bey, as a single entity, has gone to do things that the threesome could only dream of doing together. But, that's just my opinion. Yet, Beyoncè has not forgotten her roots. In addition, she's mindful of her future as well. As much as I loved Destiny's Child, I love Beyonce even more.
Now, applying it to our journey to greatness. I've heard it a million times.
Don't forget where you came from.
Okay. How can I forget? I was there. I lived it. I survived it.
*queues I'm a survivor.*
Why must I be constantly reminded of that when my focus should be on reaching new heights and marking new territory? Remembering where I came from isn't going to get me where I'm going. Reminding myself of where I'm trying to be will. There's no code in the book that states that the only way to thrive is to keep a section of my brain blocked off so that I'm forever thinking of where I've came from. Come on, son.
Imagine every time Beyoncè got on stage, she invited Destiny's Child and they song their old songs for half of the show while the rest is dedicated to the rising Bey. No. Terrible idea. So, why are you so pressed about your past? It doesn't define you and carries weight that will keep you stagnant if you don't place it in your rearview and focus on what's in front of you.
8. Secure your wig.
The joke was made about Bey snatching wigs all night. Well. I took it literally and not just figuratively. This journey to greatness won't be smooth. There will be some bumps, some craters, some potholes, some hills, some valleys, some glass scattered, some unexpected twists and turns in your path. If you want to be sure that you're suitable for the ride, please use an elastic band, Got2BeGlued (super hold), needle and thread and some bobby pins to hold that wig in place.