Not all success is inspired by rebel entrepreneurs and billionaires. Much of my own motivation comes from the arts. Music provides a compelling soundtrack that can fuel my energy, passion, and creativity.
One artist who has been riding along with me my entire life is Sir Paul McCartney. I was born the year the Beatles came to the U.S. Whether it's "If I Fell," "Eleanor Rigby," or "Let It Be," I can't help but be moved and sing along.
Of course it's hard to ignore the long-lasting success and impact of this genius. Not only did he write hundreds of songs and consistently reshape a powerful industry but he has made several non-musical contributions to society, garnering accolades and awards that include knighthood. He was also named an honorary NYPD detective due to his charity work post 9/11.
So sit back, crank up Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and listen to what the man said.
1. "I don't work at being ordinary."
2. "Life is quite mysterious and quite miraculous. Every time I come to write a song, there's this magic little thing where I go, 'Ooh, ooh, it's happening again.' I just sit down at the piano and go, 'Oh my God, I don't know this one,' and suddenly there's a song."
3. "Criticism didn't really stop us and it shouldn't ever stop anyone, because critics are only the people who can't get a record deal themselves."
4. "There's an urge in us to stop the terrible fleetingness of time. Music. Paintings."
5. "Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young."
6. "Look, people are allowed their own opinions and they don't always coincide with yours. As an artist you just have to keep plugging on."
7. "It's hard to follow my own act. But the only answer to that would be to give up after the Beatles. I only had two alternatives. Give up or carry on."
8. "It's also not unusual for writers to look backward. Because that's your pool of resources."
9. "I used to think that anyone doing anything weird was weird. I suddenly realized that anyone doing anything weird wasn't weird at all and it was the people saying they were weird that were weird."
10. "I'm always trying to do better music. I don't know if I've written my best song yet. That's the big question. It doesn't stop you trying."
11. "I am the eternal optimist. No matter how rough it gets, there's always light somewhere. The rest of the sky may be cloudy, but that little bit of blue draws me on."
12. "I love to hear a choir. I love the humanity to see the faces of real people devoting themselves to a piece of music. I like the teamwork. It makes me feel optimistic about the human race when I see them cooperating like that."
13. "I should be able to look at my accolades and go, 'Come on, Paul. That's enough.' But there's still this little voice...that goes, 'No, no, no. You could do better. This person over here is excelling. Try harder!'"
14. "It gets dangerous when you start believing your own legacy. That's why I've not gone back."
15. "If you love your life, everybody will love you too."
16. "Meditation is a lifelong gift. It's something you can call on at any time."
17. "You get the argument, 'Make way for the young kids,' and you think...let them make way for themselves. If they're better than me, they'll beat me."
18. "When we first started out, I was terrified of doing anything wrong onstage. I got to learn, though, that people don't mind. In fact, they kind of like it."