Home Inspiration What I Learned About Life And Blogging From Prince

What I Learned About Life And Blogging From Prince

by Vidya Sury October 18, 2013 27 comments

If you’re wondering, “eh, what?” I must confess that this post has been brewing in my head for a while. And the moment I read that Prince was the recipient of the Billboard Icon Award 2013 I could contain myself no longer.

Those who know me, know I am a BIG fan of Prince (or the Artist Formerly Known As Prince). Years ago, when I playfully asked some of my friends to mention five things they love about me, I got lists far exceeding that number.  I felt overwhelmed. And when I asked for one thing they hate about me, you could have struck me down without a feather – it was my love for Prince. But that is not what this post is about. This post is about some solid life lessons that could easily segue into blogging tips – as you will see.

Oh yes. I have all of Prince’s music.

Almost every person we love teaches us something. Would you agree? I would. And here is a list of things I learned – about attitude, life from Prince, a true Artist.


A scene from the song “When Doves Cry”


.. is a legend

.. is an engima

.. is larger than life

.. is a visionary

.. is original

.. is fearless

.. is daring

.. is stylish, flamboyant

.. is creative and creates constantly

.. is controversial

.. is inspiring

.. breaks new ground all the time

.. experiments

.. improvises

.. never rests on his laurels

He says, “Don’t ever compromise on your art, or who you are, ever”

From a musical career that began in 1975 and spans decades – Prince is still going strong and shows no signs of waning. His performances are always energizing and the one at the Billboard Music Awards 2013 was no less – he blazed the show. As soon as the award was announced, he directly launching into his fabulous performance doing what his fans love best, without stopping to make acceptance speeches.


From listening to Prince and following him for decades now, here are some life lessons I’ve learned and try my best to practice. I’ve listed 50, for obvious reasons. And you don’t really have to be a fan of Prince to enjoy this list.

  1. Be original
  2. Be bold
  3. Be true to yourself, your abilities
  4. Be Yourself. There’s no one quite like you.
  5. Collaborate
  6. Showcase / appreciate others
  7. Try new things
  8. Be gutsy
  9. Don’t be afraid to give away your idea. You still own it.
  10. There is nothing to fear. Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real
  11. Follow your passion
  12. Fly out of your comfort zone
  13. Practice, practice, practice.
  14. Strrrretch  – it feels good!
  15. Challenge yourself constantly
  16. Don’t be afraid that others won’t like you
  17. Go on creating, no matter what
  18. Keep on learning
  19. Help others, raise them up
  20. Don’t worry about reciprocation
  21. Don’t hang around waiting for appreciation/gratitude/credit
  22. Just do what you love
  23. Playing second fiddle to someone is not infra dig
  24. Keep your energy levels high
  25. Don’t be afraid to flaunt what you have. You never know who you might inspire
  26. An award or fame is not the goal for what you do. Inner satisfaction is.
  27. It is fine to experiment.
  28. Be consistent.
  29. Be self-motivated
  30. Stick with what you do.
  31. Don’t give up
  32. Be humble
  33. Be committed to what you do
  34. Dream big
  35. Be faithful to your dream
  36. It is okay to not go with the flow
  37. Give yourself permission to be different
  38. Be generous with praise
  39. Don’t hesitate to highlight others
  40. Enjoy what you do
  41. Love yourself
  42. Do your thang with style
  43. Modesty IS a virtue
  44. Don’t be stingy about acknowledging those who inspire you.
  45. Use what you learn
  46. Don’t brag. Let others do it for you
  47. Innovate. all the time
  48. Be proactive about supporting others
  49. Talk is cheap. Actions count
  50. It is okay to be a perfectionist

Prince has used pseudonyms to separate himself from the music (either his own or that of others) for which he has had input; “I was just getting tired of seeing my name,” he said, “If you give away an idea, you still own that idea. In fact, giving it away strengthens it. Why do people feel they have to take credit for everything they do? Ego, that’s the only reason.

Let go of ego.

In 1984, Prince accomplished something only the Beatles had one before him: He was topping charts simultaneously with an album, a film and a single (Purple Rain and “When Doves Cry,” respectively).

“The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Check out Billboard’s cover story on Prince

I am deeply grateful to my close friend Ranjit, who first introduced me to Prince in 1987. And it was love at first sight. I have fond memories of sharing wonderful hours walking with Ranjit, talking about the music we enjoyed. Thank you Ranjit. Cheers to 27 years of being friends. Gasp!

My eyes grow moist each time I think of my Mom calling me at work to say a Prince video is airing on TV. I’ve had this poster of Prince on my wall for years. It now resides on the inside door of one of my bookshelves.


My husband, who has no interest in western pop /rock music, went out of his way to source Prince’s movie “Purple Rain” and paid a ridiculous price for it, because he cares for me and respected my taste in music.

Prince is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. He has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. He has written several hundred songs and produces and records his own music for his own music label. In addition, he has promoted the careers of Sheila E., Carmen Electra, the Time and Vanity 6, and his songs have been recorded by these artists and others, including Chaka Khan, the Bangles, Sinéad O’Connor, and Kim Basinger. Source: Wikipedia

Question for you:

Do you like Prince?

Who is your favorite artist?

What is your favorite song?

Share this post ❤

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Sandra Pawula October 18, 2013 at 1:54 am

I’m so impressed that you have learned so much from Prince. I’ve never listened to Prince and rarely listen to music at all. Is it funny? So many different fish in this world. Thank you for these lessons though. I really like this point about ego! Much love to you!
Sandra Pawula recently posted…4 Reasons I Don’t Believe in the Law of Attraction

Sarah Arrow October 18, 2013 at 3:39 am

I love love love Prince! Glad to know you are a fellow fan Vidya. I fell in love with him when I was 5 years old and have been a fan ever since. I’ve loved Prince longer than I’ve been married! His music is storytelling at its best and I love your list 🙂
Sarah Arrow recently posted…Talking the TalkTalk

Vidya Sury October 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

I am thrilled to know you are, too, Sarah! Yep, I’ve loved Prince for a lot longer than I’ve been married! 😀 I simply adore him! Thanks for coming by! Ah, I remember that amazing epic 6,400 post of yours still (“365 days of blogging-marketing tips”). Have I told you you rock too. You do.

vanita October 18, 2013 at 6:03 am

this is an awesome list sis! love it love it. i’ve always loved Prince sis. but haven’t followed in years. so i take it he’s no longer the “artist formerly known as prince” he’s back to being prince? he’s just awesome. i love the original version of this song though. great seeing the video. thanks mama
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Jairam Mohan October 18, 2013 at 6:12 am

OMG, an entire post, and that too this long talking about lessons learnt from AFKAP (yes, that is the acronym). You really love the phenomenon called AFKAP, don’t you 😀

Your admiration, passion, love, affection, craziness, endless adulation of AFKAP clearly comes out from this post. And not just that, the fact that you have taken time out to list out the things you like about him, the things that you have learnt from him, speak volumes for how seriously you take this obsession of yours.

And yes, I used to love him when I was a Western music junkie at one point in time, but truth be told “The King of Pop” Michael Jackson ended up overshadowing AFKAP and I ended up being a MJ Junkie for a long long time.
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Proactive Indian October 18, 2013 at 7:55 am

So many lessons in one post! I’ll have to reread many times.

‘Don’t ever compromise on your art, or who you are, ever.’ Excellent statement, followed by very few people. Unfortunately, most people compromise on who they are and everything else just to get the approval of others.
Proactive Indian recently posted…Fortune favours the ethical!

Betsy/Zen Mama October 18, 2013 at 10:11 am

I, too, am a huge Prince fan but mostly from his “Purple Rain” days. I saw his concert in college and loved it with Jerome and Sheila E. Just fantastic. Then I saw him a few years ago and didn’t like it nearly as much. But you have to give him credit… he’s amazing!
Thanks for the link!
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meenamenon October 18, 2013 at 11:26 am

Will u disown me if I dint know of him (k am IGNORANT abt music scene) until this post… But whoa! really so many lessons from him!

Vidya Sury October 18, 2013 at 11:41 am

I won’t Meena. 😀 In fact, I am excited to be the one to introduce you to Prince. 🙂 You know, what we learn is all in our perception 😉

Nischala October 18, 2013 at 1:24 pm

That post is a lifetime of learning Vidya. Wonderfully summed up, and if we all follow even 50% of what you’ve shared – I guess our lives will be a lot lot better. Nischala
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Corinne Rodrigues October 18, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Okay, so you know already that I don’t like Prince. But I do love this post and all the learning in it. The best part is that I can see you living out a lot of what you’ve listed! Prince will be happy with you. 😉
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Angela Artemis|Powered by Intuition October 18, 2013 at 7:06 pm

I will have to read the Billboard interview. I had no idea he was such an influence on your life. This is fascinating. I have always like Prince too.

I guess it just shows how little I know about this artist!
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Kaarina Dillabough October 18, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Well, you know my fave artist(s) my friend: the Beatles, of course! And you had me at ‘eh’. Great list of 50:) Cheers! Kaarina
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Richa Singh October 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Thanks to you I have come to know this info! Well Prince surely deserves it. But more importantly you deserve a hug for narrating your love for the singer 😀

For me it was backstreet boys at one time. I even had a scrapbook of the pictures cut out of a lot of newspapers 😀 😀 I wonder if I ever wrote a post of this sort 🙂 But of course there were a lot of points I loved as a person though not a prince fan 🙂

Shilpa Garg October 18, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Such wonderful lessons to learn and implement in life!! Wow… kudos to you Vidya for learning so much from Prince. 🙂
And thanks for sharing about Prince… was not aware of his work till now! 😛
Shilpa Garg recently posted…Friday Four Fill in Fun

Elle October 19, 2013 at 4:23 am

What a great list Vidya – Prince doesn’t do it for me, but I love your passion and I admire and respect his artistic talent and abilities – he’s a great showman.

Isn’t it amazing how, if we’re aware, we can learn life lessons everywhere. But not all of us can turn Prince into a blog post. Only you dear heart, only you.
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My Inner Chick October 19, 2013 at 8:16 pm

I am amazed, thrilled, surprised, and yet, not surprised that you LOVE PRINCE!

I have for years and years. OMGOsh, I’m serious. Did you know he lives about 2 1/2 hours from me?

A story: once in a club in Minneapolis in about 1985, my girlfriend Jean, danced with him in a hip club. Afterwards, she asked him for his autograph on her napkin. When she looked it later, it had one word written upon it: “GOD”

Can you imagine. I wish she would have saved that.

Besides Madonna, Gaga, Cher, and Tina Turner, he is who I MUST see in concert.

I LOVE you more now. If that’s possible.
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Arthur October 19, 2013 at 9:13 pm

I have to be honest and say I have never listened to Prince, but I am so glad he taught you so much!

I mostly listen to instrumental music, but you ask some tough questions. Favorite artist and song? Not sure I could have just one hehe, but I would say Celestial Soda Pop by Ray Lynch has to be right at the top, as well as Christopher Tin’s Baba Yetu and Mike Oldfield’s whole album The Songs of Distant Earth.

Ryan Biddulph October 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Prince is a classic artist Vidya, I love his old work. He is an original; definitely walked and played to the beat of his own drum. Thanks for sharing!

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Vishnu October 20, 2013 at 1:36 am

haha Great post Vidya. I never got Prince. NEver really got his songs or his style. I thought he was kind of a weird, honestly. LOL and I love the fact that his ‘weirdness’ or authenticity has such a loyal and passionate following. Not sure if I can appreciate Prince’s music but I can appreciate who he is and the impact he’s made on so many people in the world. And love all the tips about what he can teach us about blogging. So now, I’m thinking to myself, if Prince blogged, what would he do?

Another couple people of late who I enjoy watching because of their creativity and authenticity (but are pretty much out there too lol) are Drake and Nikki Minaj. Oh yeah, and the Sri Lankan pop singer, MIA. Regardless of what people think, they are who they are.

richmiraclefiles October 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hi Vidya,
I havent followed prince all that much but it’s quite intriguing to know that he helped with the careers of people like Kim Bassinger & Carmen Electra.
More than that i was absolutely floored with the list of great qualities you have ‘excavated’ from the life of one human being.Especially attributes like:-
Go on creating, no matter what
Be humble
Be consistent
Dream big
Give yourself permission to be different
Be generous with praise
Enjoy what you do
Love yourself
Modesty IS a virtue
THAT is some creative application of interest in the subject,because it truly highlights what we are all really capable of achieving,provided we follow up on our dreams.
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Pixie October 20, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Whoa!! I didn’t know so much about Prince!!
I do like a couple of his songs… I’ve never hated him. And yes, he does/did have a nice voice 🙂
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Rae Buchanan October 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Well, that post took me back a few years! I just loved purple rain and all the songs The Time did. I haven’t followed him much since then… I am not at all surprised about the traits that you listed about him. He definitely marches to the beat of his own drum, and so well. Your husband sounds very sweet Vidya!! Thanks for sharing.
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Sandi Amorim October 24, 2013 at 2:03 am

Oh my gosh Vidya, what fabulous lessons! I’ve been listening to Prince the past hour ever since I saw this post! An awesome flashback and great way to add energy to my day – thank you!
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