The other day I saw a great documentary about the musician Prince. It was called ‘Purple Reign’, and while watching it I was struck by 3 goal achievement tips. In this article I want to go over them, and see how they fit into my idea of goal achievement theory…
The first point is the sheer number of instruments that he can play! It’s not one or two, it’s said to be somewhere between 20-30. Now, fair enough, the world of showbiz is notorious for exaggeration, but there is no doubt that he plays more than a few!
Something else that shouldn’t be doubted is his natural ability, because not everyone can learn to play that many instruments that well, no matter how hard they work.
Prince did work hard to learn though, on top of any natural ability, and the huge volume of music he has put out, and continues to put out, is a testament to one of the most overlooked and yet simple aspects to goal achievement – hard work.
That’s point number 1, and point number 2 is about overcoming adversity. At 19, Prince had been signed to Warner Bros, had gained a following, and got to appear on TV’s American Bandstand.
After a flamboyant performance, host Dick Clark came on and started an interview with a simple question, and Prince answered with…
A very awkward pause followed, then a quiet mumble. The whole interview carried on like this, with Dick Clark trying hard to rescue it, pointing to Prince’s (genuine) shyness.
Here’s the video, it’s awkward!
Prince said afterwards that he had simply frozen, the realisation of all the people watching on TV had just been too much. The key point though, is that he said he would ‘never allow that to happen again – ever’.
It’s a huge point – he had hit adversity, and in a pretty big way too – but his reaction was to learn from it, and put to use it as part of his strength from then on.
The third lesson is about his musical differences with Warner. Despite them giving him an unusual amount of control over his output, he still felt restricted, mainly due to the fact that the speed of his musical output went so much faster than the standard record industry cycles.
He ended up in a bitter dispute, going on strike and refusing to use the name Prince.
It could well be argued that his commercial mainstream presence was never the same after that, but in his eyes he had kept his integrity and done what he felt was right for him.
So, that 3rd point is about being true to yourself, and not being afraid to go against the accepted norms. Add to that the point about overcoming problems and putting in good old hard work, and I think you’ll agree they are 3 great goal achievement lessons from His Purpleness.
I’d love to hear what you think as ever – do leave a comment!
‘Til Next time,
Health & happiness,