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6 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Taylor Swift’s Songs

6 Life Lessons We Can Learn From Taylor Swift’s Songs

Since late 2006, Taylor Swift has released five albums every two years. She has written, both as a co-author and solo, every single song on each of them.

If you remember T-Swift from back in her country days, you remember why you loved her old music so much. While her pop is catchy and her lyrics are still on fleek, they don’t teach us quite the same classic life lessons they did circa 2008.

We’re strumming back to pre-1989 (the album, not the year) to dig up some of the most valuable lessons Taylor’s song lyrics have engraved in our country-loving hearts. We’ll get back to shaking it off, but first, we need to talk about love, dreaming big and bashing the haters (with a bit more of a twang to it).

“Fifteen”

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    Do you remember being 15? Well, T-Swift does, and she has an important lesson to teach our lovesick selves about boys.

    There is more to high school — and life — than finding your soul mate. Obviously, when someone says, “I love you,” you’re sold. Your dreams aren’t going to write you off the second someone better comes along, though. Chase those dreams. They won’t break your heart quite as easily.

    “Mean”

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      Whether it’s the head cheerleader or your new boss, at some point you’re going to come face-to-face with the meanest of the mean. They don’t respect you or even consider that you have feelings behind that brave face you put on. Taylor’s solution was obviously to write a song about it, but picturing yourself as the big-time CEO with all your haters working underneath you is just as satisfying.

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      “Ours”

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        Ah, office life. If you haven’t been there yet, you’ll get there eventually. It’s basically like high school with a paycheck (still not worth it). Cubicle-bound Taylor has a camo-clad hottie waiting at the end of the longest nine-to-five workday ever, so forget all those judgmental elevator passengers. You might only have a cat to come home to, but you can’t please everyone, no matter how hard you try.

        Be strong, until you can leave the office world behind.

        “Begin Again”

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          People probably let you down way more often than you’re willing to admit. After a while, it’s all you can do not to throw in the nice shoes and red lipstick and make peace with being single for the rest of forever. You probably won’t ever forget the ones who hurt you, but you can’t let them keep you from all the better people out there waiting for you.

          The past is in the past. Learn from it, strap on those heels and start over.

          “Back to December”

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            We’ve all said and done things we wish we hadn’t said or done. There’s always going to be that moment, or maybe even an entire month, our minds always creep back to when we’re sitting alone lost in our thoughts. Taylor’s here to remind us, though, that no matter how much you might wish you could go back and fix what you broke, you just can’t. The only way to put it behind you is to forgive yourself and move on.

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            “Love Story”

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              Your Romeo (or Juliet) is out there somewhere. If you still haven’t found them yet, it’s probably because you’ve been standing in front of your window waiting for them to show up. Stop that. If you want a fairytale ending, you have to make your own voice heard. What you want is important, and nobody else has the right to tell you what that should be. You decide your own happy ending.

              See? It’s not all about love. Just like Taylor herself, you’re your own person. You have to chase your own dreams and make do with what you have. That’s what her songs teach us, if you listen closely. There are life lessons to be found in a lot of music, old and new. T-Swift’s lyrics speak to our struggles even still. And they always will.

              Featured photo credit: Eva Rinaldi via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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