June 9, 2016

Work Hard, Stay Humble, Be Kind


(*photo found via Pinterest)

Ok, if you haven’t seen the video of 12 year old Grace VanderWaal on America’s Got Talent yet, just brace yourself now. Brace your self to laugh, cry, get chills, smile so BIG your face hurts, and want to give her a standing ovation in your living room. All within the space of about five minutes.

Justin was actually the first one of us to see this video and he insisted that I watch it…and after I did, I could immediately see why. She is just a DOLL. And so SO talented. The judges actually called her the next Taylor Swift, and immediately approved her through to the next round of the show. Which is amazing. But watching her performance, I think there is something even MORE inspiring than just her very clear raw talent. It’s a way that she carries herself (under what must have been such intense pressure) that I think speaks volumes to all the creative hearts out there & what we should ALL strive to be with our own gifts. Here are just some of the things I saw in her:

Work Hard. She is obviously naturally gifted, but you can tell that she’s also put hours of practice into what she loves and getting always better at her craft.

Stay Humble. In one of my favorite moments of the whole video, Simon Cowell asks her if she thinks she can actually win, and her response made me immediately fall in love with her. She said, “well miracles can happen… so possibly” I don’t know what it was about it, it was just such a humble but hopeful and honest answer. She didn’t swagger, she didn’t have to self promote. She just put out a belief in a bigger plan for her life and trusted in the possibilities.

Be Kind. I think it’s something way too many creatives forget. You can be the most talented person in the room, but no one will ever care if they first don’t feel like you’re the kind of person they actually want to cheer for. As the old adage goes, “it’s nice to be important, but it’s way more important to be nice.”

Be Original. I love love love that she put the hard work into innovating something brand new into the world by performing an original song. WAY too many “creative” people are content to just do a watered down version of something someone else has already done, rather than do the hard work to actually create something truly new. It takes effort to do that, it takes time. And way too many people are so busy trying to make a name for themselves FAST that they don’t want to slow down and put in the effort & the time that it takes to make a difference. This 12 year old is way ahead of a lot of adults I know.

Enjoy Every Minute. I love that you could just look at her and tell that she was soaking in every second of it. Not worrying it to death or stressing so much that she missed what was right in front of her. How many of us get the chance to do exactly what we always dreamed of doing and we MISS it because we’re so busy worrying our way through it. She had done the work & knew that all that was left was to open up her hands and go do what she was created to do.

Go for it. To go along with that there is this moment in the song & you’ll see it when you watch, where you can tell that she just decides to really GO for it. To put it all out there, do what she came to do & leave it on the table. No regrets.

I don’t know about you, but I hope there’s a lot more GRACE in me like that as I go out and chase my own crazy dreams this year.

Go rock it out!



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