Nothing is scarier than not knowing which way is up. In the Afterlife things can get messy, but when there's mess there's rock and roll right?
Music can inspire nearly anything, but self improvement usually doesn't come to mind. Not at least, as much as self destruction. Flip the script and listen to these beautiful words from rockers to change your perspective.
1. "Fuck the past. Think about now. Think about the future. That's all you need to worry about." - Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day
I think we all get bogged down with the past, whether we're thinking about old boy/girl friends or reminiscing about college or high school we can break down on memory lane. No matter what the past has over us, it can be bested through hard work and dedication to the now.
2. "Anything can be art. Anything can be self expression. Now take your weapon and run with it."- Gerard Way, My Chemical Romance
It doesn't matter what medium you engage with. Whether you're a doctor, a college kid, a writer or a musician one thing is clear. Art is the weapon. Your artistry as a human is your contribution to the world. Don't sit around and wait for opportunities to find you. Go out and get them.
3. "I don’t really know what “intellectual” means, but if it means you’ve got a desire to learn, you’ve got a desire to look for things that haven’t been presented to you, then, maybe. I think that “intellectual” is quite an exclusive word. I think it’s just for anyone that has a thirst or a hunger to improve themselves, or a yearning to escape from somewhere to get to a better place.” - Pete Doherty, The Libertines, Babyshambles
Everyone is a free thinker if they want to be. Doherty thinks through this notion by saying if you want to learn, then you are able to learn. Doesn't that sound great? Read, write, listen and take in the world around you. If you're doing those things, you can lead a better life.
4. "The duty of youth is to challenge corruption." -Kurt Cobain, Nirvana
There's a reason why the twenty-somethings are game changers. For the most part we're young, hungry and willing to challenge ideas around us. We're not so set in our ways that we're a lost cause. We're malleable, changeable and have the ability to change others.
5. "Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free".-Jim Morrison, The Doors
We're all scared of something. Right now, I'm a bit scared of the future just based on the fact that it's unknown. When fear strikes we have two options: we can expose ourselves to it and become vulnerable like Morrison suggests, or we can run away. The goal is not to run, but to engage. And right out of college where we feel pinned down to yesterday, fear is common. It's our job in these early years of adulthood to challenge that, and come out the other side as something greater.
6. "At a very young age I decided I wouldn't follow the rules, it worked." Joan Jett, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Runaways
Joan Jett was always a renegade. She is a woman in a man's field.I bet most ladies can appreciate her ability to transcend the norm. As a musician in the rock genre I've experienced a lot of the same things she has. People will ask me if I'm a groupie when I play live. I'm not. I'm the artist. We all can feel out of place and insecure, but once we recognize that rules don't necessarily define us or our contributions to the world around us; we'll be one step closer to greatness.
7. "My heroes are the ones who survived doing it wrong, who made mistakes, but recovered from them." -Bono, U2
If you're a twenty-something, you're going to screw up. The challenge then is to learn from it, or not. It's easy to shut down when faced with something unfavorable or just downright shameful. If we look our screw-ups in the eye, we'll be less likely to repeat them. Sometimes the greatest pieces of art, music or literature came from discarded ideas. We do things wrong to make them right.
8. "You will only be great at the things you love to do, don't pursue a career in something you hate to do." Dave Grohl, Nirvana, Foo Fighters
Lots of kids right out of college get trapped into careers that they hate. They feel like a slave to their major. We feel like our time has been wasted if we're not working in our field, but in the darkness where our diplomas could never be hung, our passions lie. It's one thing to do something to make money in the mean time, but to discard a passion entirely is a mistake. Listen to the gut that got you were you are, and never give up hope that one day you'll transcend the mundane.
9. “We are symbolic. We are driving to the edge of the city and talking in vague-yet-resolute certainties about our dreams and our futures. We are leaving certain things in the medicine cabinet. We are falling in love.” - Pete Wentz, Fall Out Boy
This flowery image-laden quote from Fall Out Boy's resident poet alludes to the notion that you can forget the past, live in the now and go out on your own with even the smallest idea of a goal toward the future. Don't let uncertainty derail your ideas, let it carry them through.
10,"I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise it won't be boring."- David Bowie
This might be the most applicable statement to the plight of an early twenty-something fresh out of college. We don't know where we're going. All we can do to help is live each day out loud. Muddle through with the best intentions even when our will falters. We must never give up on the things that carry us through and we must never get boring. If we can commit to an exciting and vivid life, then we're halfway there. The rest will fall into place.