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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 January 21, 2020

              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

              Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

              your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                Why You Need a Vision

                Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                How to Create Your Life Vision

                Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                What Do You Want?

                The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                Some tips to guide you:

                • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                • Give yourself permission to dream.
                • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                Some questions to start your exploration:

                • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                • What qualities would you like to develop?
                • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                • What would you most like to accomplish?
                • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                A few prompts to get you started:

                • What will you have accomplished already?
                • How will you feel about yourself?
                • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                • What does your ideal day look like?
                • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                • What would you be doing?
                • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                • How are you dressed?
                • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                Plan Backwards

                It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                • What important actions would you have had to take?
                • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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