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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 October 20, 2020

              How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

              How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

              You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

              We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

              The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

              Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

              1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

              Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

              For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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              • (1) Research
              • (2) Deciding the topic
              • (3) Creating the outline
              • (4) Drafting the content
              • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
              • (6) Revision
              • (7) etc.

              Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

              2. Change Your Environment

              Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

              One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

              3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

              Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

              Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

              My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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              Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

              4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

              If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

              Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

              I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

              5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

              I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

              Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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              As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

              6. Get a Buddy

              Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

              I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

              7. Tell Others About Your Goals

              This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

              For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

              8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

              What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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              9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

              If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

              Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

              10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

              Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

              Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

              11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

              At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

              Reality check:

              I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

              Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

              More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

              Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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