By Kyle Colley
Overly dedicated describes the ambition of Kendrick Lamar. A master of his craft, Kendrick inspires young people to stay away from becoming products of their harsh city environments. Lamar motivates them to spread their wings like a butterfly before they become influenced and “pimped” by the system.
Whether you have been a fan since Kendrick was named K.Dot, just heard To Pimp A Butterfly, or have never listen to any of his music; hopefully by the end of this countdown, his words will inspire you to continue to strive for excellence.
1. Build a Community of Growth
I’m tryna learn something new, I’m tryna surround myself with people that inspire me. (“Cut You Off”)
Take inventory of your friend circle. Do you surround yourself with assets or detriments? Do they encourage you to raise your standards or are they content with being mediocre? Your friends must be as hungry to succeed as you are or eventually you will grow apart. In the words of the famous life coach Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Find friends dedicated to growing, and you will be amazed at what greatness can sprout from you.
You’re blessed, take advantage, do your best, Don’t stress you was granted everything inside this planet, anything you imagine, you possess. (“Blessed”)
Oftentimes we spend so much time just living that we overlook the simplicity and beauty in our lives. Be thankful for water, the sun, the moon, nature, books, food, friends and family. Don’t get so hung up on materialistic things that you overlook the beauty around you. Aristotle talks about Eudaimonia, the embodiment of perfect well-being and blissful happiness. Reaching that state requires awareness of the essential blessings in your life.
3. Build Your Legacy
Am I really scared of passing away? If it’s today, I hope I hear a cry out from heaven so loud it can water down a demon with the Holy Ghost ‘til it drown in the blood of Jesus. (“Sing About Me, Dying of Thirst”)
Do you ever ask yourself what legacy you want to leave? Start asking yourself more thoughtful questions. Focusing on the bigger picture in life helps you to dismiss limiting factors. You build your legacy every day. Remembering that empowers you to make accurate life choices. It takes a lifetime to build a polished legacy … and a second to destroy it. Always protect the asset!
What love got to do with it when you do not love yourself? (“Real”)
Love is the essential ingredient for all human growth. What is passion, without love? What is peace without an expression of love? As humans we might never be able to define it, but it will forever be a universal language. People that love inward-outward express it freely without any inflictions to their soul. The people that search outward-inward may ultimately find a provision of love, but only self-love can detect false love that penetrates the soul. Self-love can be elusive, because at times we look external-internal instead of internal-external. No one can teach you how to love. You must find it within.
5. Be Authentic
You ain’t gotta lie to kick it, You ain’t gotta lie. [“You Ain’t Gotta Lie (Momma Said)”]
Authenticity comes from self-awareness. Be comfortable with your imperfections and allow yourself to be heard. Let your flaws shine and others will respect you. Remember, people only lie out of fear–a state of mind that can be neutralized and overcome. Strive to be your most charismatic self each day and the world will follow your lead.
6. Be Unquenchable
I captured the likes of NASA, My pedigree to fly pass ya. (“Rigamortus”)
Never be satisfied with your achievements. Strive to achieve new goals. Three championships did not quench Michael Jordan’s thirst, he needed three more. Vincent Van Gogh followed Café Terrace at Night with Starry Night.
Be relentless! Let your goals drive you.
7. Be a Game-changer
But little did they know, I’m tryna change the rules, That we’ve been confined to, so the corporate won’t make decisions. (The Heart Pt. 2)
Take pride in being yourself as a person who sees the world in a different way than others even if you occasionally feel like an outcast. See the end, even in the beginning and middle of your development. Game-changers don’t see eye-to-eye with everyone. Be open and willing to win friends and influence people in the process. Most people invest for the day, not for a lifetime. In the powerful words of the motivational life coach Eric Thomas, “Greatness cannot be rushed.” Be patient with those around you … and with yourself.
Proverb: Listen to music with a sponge mentality. Look beyond the artist’s words and try to find the underlying messages.