10 Unforgettable Lessons I Learned From the King of Pop, Michael Jackson

With the sudden passing of Michael Jackson has come a celebration of gigantic proportions all around the world. Michael wasn’t just a celebrity. He was a mega star and legend even while he was alive. He was also a great example for other people to aspire to, including myself.

Although he made Thriller, one of the best-selling albums of all time, he should not just be remembered for the number of records he sold. Like many superstars, he had multiple talents and many admirable qualities and achievements.

Not only was he a phenomenal dancer, but he had a unique dancing style and invented his own dance moves. The most famous dance is his moonwalk. Although I did learn the moonwalk, I’ve never been much of a dancer. However, I have no doubt that many people could learn to be great dancers by learning his moves. In fact, one of Britney Spears dance instructors learned dancing by doing just that. This brings me to my first lesson I learned from Michael Jackson.

1. Successful people don’t just achieve success for themselves. They also plant seeds for the success of multiple other people. If it weren’t for Michael Jackson, many others would not have landed where they are, including Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, and some of Michael’s own relatives, such as Janet Jackson.

2. You don’t have to be the best singer to be a music sensation. You just have to enjoy singing and make songs that touch people’s hearts. Michael did not have an operatic voice, but his voice was enjoyable enough to make people want to hear him sing.

2. It’s very important to create something that is uniquely yours. Michael wrote a lot of his own songs. While there are many people who achieve fame without writing songs, it’s always best to do some of your own song writing. His  songs were not necessarily intellectually profound, but they were good enough to pull millions of heart strings. That is the most important goal a song can achieve.

3. Don’t forget to enjoy the simple things in life. I read a story that Michael’s good friends blindfolded him and took him to a supermarket so he could go grocery-shopping. His other friends acted as shoppers who pretended he was just an ordinary shopper like them. Grocery shopping is such a mundane thing for most of us that we can’t imagine someone enjoying something so simple. But there Michael was, giggling like a schoolboy at the prospect of wheeling a cart around, looking for food to buy.

4. No matter what, take care of your body. At this time, we don’t know what caused Michael Jackson’s death. However, it is well-known that in the past he took drugs that were not essential for his health, namely painkillers. On the one hand, Michael was an example of someone who exercised. He couldn’t be a great dancer without being in good shape. The problem is that too many medications can be hurtful to your body and can undo the effects of other healthy behaviors you engage in.

The importance of adequate sleep, exercise and eating well can never be overstated. Prescription medications are sometimes necessary and can save your life, but they should definitely be kept to a minimum.

5. Don’t let people you care about hurt themselves, if you can help it. Do or say something to discourage them. Ultimately, what a person does is their choice, and sometimes you can’t stop them. When you can help, however, you should.

I saw an interview with a medical professional who said that Michael Jackson asked her for a powerful and dangerous drug to help him sleep. It may be that someone eventually gave him what he wanted. That could have resulted in his death. A good friend and provider should not appease someone by allowing them to do harm to themselves.

6. Whatever you do in life, do your best. Michael had a reputation as a consummate professional. This is definitely one of the qualities that led to his success as an entertainer.

7. Even if you come from generations of poverty, you can become successful. Most people never escape the socioeconomic status they are born into. However, it could be simply because they convince themselves that it is impossible to break the glass ceiling. The Jackson family are proof that this is not true.

8. Your race is not a barrier to what you want to do in life. Don’t get me wrong. There is still plenty of racism in this country. Michael Jackson broke the color barrier long before President Obama showed up, at a time when it was even harder to do.

9. Never forget those who have helped you. We don’t always agree with friends, but we should never cut them out of our lives entirely. The success of a person is never the result of that person’s efforts alone. A successful person is usually the result of multiple joint ventures in their life. An example of this is Michael’s friendship with Diana Ross. It is believed Diana Ross helped the Jackson family’s career, and Michael always remained friends with her.

10. Always help those less fortunate than yourself. Use your success to help others. Helping others makes you a better person.

Many people remember the “We Are The World” song. I think the reason this song is notable is that people think of celebrities as rich and self-centered. This was one example that some stars do believe in using their fame to help poor people.

If you read about multiple famous people, you will see similar patterns in their behavior. If you want any level of success in your career or just to be a good person, there are habits you can develop that will help. Michael Jackson had these habits and more, and that is why he will always be in the hearts of minds of millions of people.


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