Remember recording artist Mike Posner? His hit single "Cooler Than Me" took over radio waves across the U.S. in 2010 and rocketed him from college student to fast international famedom. I personally remember Mike Posner as the party-loving celebrity that performed at Ohio University's 7 Fest (a day-long music, and lots of drinking, festival in the middle of nowhere, awesome town of Athens, Ohio). And anyone famous that chooses to perform at a number one party school, that I just happened to attend, is pretty legit in my book.
But fast forward six years and the once-famous, now kind of trying to be famous again, musician is shining light on the not-so-easy aspects of becoming famous and then losing it and then trying to make it back again.
Posner recently penned an essay on Medium.com to share with the world where he was the last few self-discovering years, and where he's going next. Through his very well-written essay (let's remember he was a student at Duke, so this should have been a given, but damn he's a good writer) he gives us some extremely deep life-lessons and reminders of how we can be our best selves in the world. Here's how he's helping me remember I can still kill it in life:
He reminds us that we get to choose our own identities.
Ever read things and your first response is, "Duh! Why didn't I say that first?!" This was one of them for me. I mean on the surface, duh, we all get to choose our own personal identities, but isn't that easier said than done sometimes? Posner reminds us that too often we box ourselves in with identities that others have given us, when we need to remember we can always reinvent who we are and who we want to be. Amen to that, Pose! I often get caught up in this. Forgetting not only do I choose my own path in life, but how I define myself and how I can be who I want to be in the world. This reminder is re-post worthy.
He reminds us that we're always learners
Even for a smash-hit, music writing performer, Posner admits he's still a learner. In the past few years, he learned piano, took voice lessons, enrolled in music classes. Remembering no matter how old or wise in life you are, that you can always still learn, is humbling, and rewarding. I find in life that it seems to be just when I think I've got it all figured out, that really I have so much still to learn. And the even cooler part of his learning journey? He did so while donating all of his clothes and driving across the country in a van, taking it all in. If that doesn't remind us all to de-clutter our lives and remember what's important in life, I don't know what would.
He reminds us that sometimes humility is what's needed for success
So what happened once Posner admitted a little celebrity defeat, sold his belongings and set out to explore and learn from the world and his music mentors? He got his second chance. As he puts, ironic, isn't it? So true. Through all that self-discovery and becoming more secure as a human and with himself, he was able to re-find his place in the music industry, get a record deal and (how cool does this sound?) have a remix of one of his new songs become a top hit in Denmark! He admits this newness in life is a bit unpredictable and can't we all take something from that? It reminds me a great lesson in life that can be hard to remember: sometimes you have to admit you're not the world's greatest, to become great.
Most of all, he reminds us that we can learn from ourselves
My favorite part of his essay is where he lists out all the crazily awesome things he learned throughout this whole discovery and reinventing of himself. He details his insanely busy schedule for his promotional tour through Europe, and at the end of the day, realizes that he is still happy, energized and above all grateful for what he was experiencing. Can't we all be reminded to be grateful through life's crazy times? He reminds us to love people, enjoy this ride of life and "none of this shit really matters." Right?! I know I need that reminder on a daily basis, but it's not often that I force myself to remember it. Thanks for keeping us all grounded, Mike. We could all be better people by following in your footsteps.
I highly encourage you to read Posner's full essay here. You won't be disappointed.