“Here is a test to find out if you mission on Earth is finished: if you are alive, it isn’t.” -Richard Bach
On February 11, 2012, one-time singing sensation Whitney Houston died of a rumored (although as of yet unconfirmed) drug over dose.
According to CBS News:
“Whitney Houston, who ruled as pop music’s queen until her majestic voice and regal image were ravaged by drug use, erratic behavior and a tumultuous marriage to singer Bobby Brown, has died. She was 48.
Houston’s publicist, Kristen Foster, said Saturday that the singer had died, but the cause and the location of her death were unknown.
But by the end of her career, Houston became a stunning cautionary tale of the toll of drug use. Her album sales plummeted and the hits stopped coming; her once serene image was shattered by a wild demeanor and bizarre public appearances. She confessed to abusing cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her once pristine voice became raspy and hoarse, unable to hit the high notes as she had during her prime.
“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 interview with then-husband Brown by her side.
It was a tragic fall for a superstar who was one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone.”
So in this article, I’d rather talk what lead up to this tragedy, and how we can learn from it in order to avoid future tragedies and enjoy or fully enjoy our own lives.
So what drives a person with fame and fortune down a path of depression, drug use, and ultimately death?
I have to say up front, I never met Whitney Houston, so I am only speculating. But I have the privilege of knowing many celebrities and witnessed various stages of self-destructive behavior, so I can share with you what I’ve learned.
Stephen Covey has said that “you don’t want to climb the ladder of success, only to find that it is leaning against the wrong wall” and I couldn’t agree more.
The challenge arises when some people, first pursue goals that aren’t their own. They give into pressure from parents, family, friends, etc. to chase a dream that isn’t actually theirs in the first place; and when it arrives it brings no joy since it wasn’t theirs to begin with.
Another mistake, to quote T.S. Elliot: “The last temptation is the greatest treason, to do the right deed for the wrong reason.”
Often times we pursue goals to try and fill some void in our lives; as if attaining celebrity or achievements of any sort will ‘prove our worth’ and make people love us. But nothing could be farther from the truth; quite often success and celebrity bring a lot of false friends, and even real friends looking for a hand out; and all this pressure can eat you alive if you aren’t ready for it.
So how can we learn from this great tragedy, and apply these lessons to our own lives?
In the video below, I give many pointers on how to have a happy and successful life. But if I had to pick the most important point, it would be realize that your happiness hinges on one thing and one thing only: you.
You are not valuable because of what you do, you are valuable because of who you are. Realize that you are already good enough, and deserve all the love and good things this world has to offer.
A trick I’ve mentioned many times in the past, is to look in the mirror and say to yourself (out loud, or in your head), “you’re great, and I love you”.
If you find that hard to do or you’ve heard me say it before and haven’t even tried it yet, then that shows you just how harsh you’ve been with yourself up until now. We all come into the world needing love, and we never out grow it; so start giving it to yourself and you’ll find you need less and less external approval.
Once you have improved your relationship with yourself, then you can start looking at figuring out what you want and your mission in life. But realize, as I’ve also stated many times, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. It doesn’t really matter what career your parents think is right for you, or whether or not your goals make sense to your spouse. YOU have to figure out what’s right for *you * and get after it!
Because while I can also tell you it’s better to try and fail then not try at all, it is just as bad to try and succeed, and still be miserable.
Just ask Whitney Houston.
What do you think ? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters
Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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