Running on a treadmill going at 3 mph used to kill the shite out of me. It was embarrassing. To aid me in improving my treadmill performance, I created a custom playlist specifically for it. Beats must be fast. Lyrics should be appropriate. “Don't stop me now. Don't need to catch my breath. I can go on and on and on,” I heard in the pre-chorus. Fitting. “Give it to me, yeah! No one's going to show me how. Give it to me, yeah. No one's going to stop me now!” sang the singer in the chorus. I made it to the end of the timer, and my “treadmill skill” improved gradually over time. The song, Give It 2 Me, was a great motivator, a perfect treadmill track you would say. If we listen closely, it's a song that continues to resonate off the treadmill, off the gym, and in life.
Released as the second single from her final Warner Records studio album, Hard Candy, the song was described by Madonna as a celebratory anthem. Pharrell Williams who co-wrote and produced the song provided his vocals to the song, accentuating the funky rhythm and stomping beats. In one glance, the lyrics appear simplistic but that should not take away from the song's brilliance. After all, some of the most philosophical questions in life are simple such as “What is true happiness?”, “What is true strength?”, and “What is freedom?”. So Madonna opens the song asking, “What are you waiting for? Nobody's gonna show you how.” Before you even have a second to ponder, she follows it up with, “Why work for someone else to do what you can do right now?”
Now you're probably thinking, “Yeah, what am I waiting for? Why am I hesitating to do stuff I can do now?” That's a good sign. It got you thinking and evaluating yourself, your actions, and your life choices. Go and find your passion or your ambition. Live your life on a path that will lead you to the accomplishment of it. As a writer, I suffer from procrastination a lot. An idea or two flashes in my head and I play around with it. When it's time to write it, I chicken out in fear that I may not live up to my expectation. Then I remind myself, no one is going to show me how to do it or do it for me, except myself. It gives me courage to face the blank page.
Then the song goes, “Got no boundaries and no limits. If there's excitement, put me in it.” People suffer from a mental illness. They put a restriction on the things they can achieve and accomplish, and that is what indeed happens. The mind is powerful and is where great things originate from. Most people don't understand that. They discourage themselves before they even begin to attempt something. The cliche “Once you start, you can't stop” is very true. I rebooted my blogging by posting random personal musings. Then I wrote poems, short stories, motivational articles, and who knows what else I can do in the future? The initial step became a walk, then it became a sprint, then it will become a marathon. I write what I want to write, not giving a care on what others are writing. No boundaries. No limits.
“If it's against the law, arrest me. If you can handle it, undress me.” The law is not the governmental law but a metaphorical law. Another disease that plagues society is the fear of standing out. Only the brave risks being different. The rest contents themselves with conforming to what is defined as “normal”. They become part of the herd and spend the rest of their lives as a member of the herd. They live. They die. They're not remembered.
Some people have it in them to stick out from the crowd but the hands of the herd prevent them from stepping away from the pack. “They say that a good thing never lasts and then it has to fall. Those are the people that did not amount to much at all.” When you do something successful, people will mock you. It's an automatic reaction from the masses. Don't get discouraged by them. Yes, that's one of the prices to pay for accomplishing something. They will ridicule you and make fun of you but it means nothing. Nothing great is done by playing it safe. If you want to do great things, then you need to step out from your comfort zone and the herd's comfort zone. Don't settle for being a nameless and faceless blur among the crowd. They just live, then die, but they're not remembered. Don't be another Joe What-Have-You or Jane I-Can't-Remember-If-That-Was-Her-Name.
“Get stupid. Get stupid. Get stupid. Don't stop it.” Name-calling is one of society's disease. When you dare to do something different, people will call you names. When you don't act the way others do, they judge you. I've been called a lot of things in my entire life but one of the lessons I learned is that they're just words uttered by people who do not know me and who do not matter. The great Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper publisher because of his 'lack of creativity', but we all know what happened next.
Before the song finishes, Madonna and Pharrell give us a final reminder. “You're only here to win. Get what they say? You're only here to win. Get what they do?” That's right. You're only here to win. When you're out to do something, give it your all. Whether you win or lose, you don't have to say to yourself, “I wish I did my best.” Live for the now, not for the past which cannot be changed, and not for the future which we cannot foresee.
People look online for motivational articles. Some attend conferences by motivational speakers. Others listen to podcasts. They're all good means of boosting one's confidence and helping steer our lives to the right direction. Maybe, you can try to find motivation from music too. It's two chocolate bars for the price of one. You have music to groove to, and the words that you can strip off from the audio to be enjoyed on its own. My treadmill days are put on hiatus at the moment, but it never really stopped me. You may hear me singing in the shower, or chanting while walking on a street, or talking in my sleep, or hilariously serenading you. You make out my words. “Get stupid. Get stupid. Get stupid. Don't stop it.” How you react to it determines if you are stupid like me or not.