Maybe you did not follow the path that was expected of you, and you probably questioned everything about your decision. But know that stepping out is the best thing you can do for self-discovery. I know how hard it is to step out and bet on yourself. There was a pivotal turning point in my life when I chose to build my own company many years ago.
Not enough Black women had a seat at the table, so I had to go and chop down that wood and build my own table. Then I had to invite the best there was to have a seat. That meant hiring women, men, outsiders, underdogs, people that were overlooked and waiting to be seen. Many of the best creatives and business people, who although supremely qualified and talented, were turned down over and over as executives at major corporations because they were female or because of racial disparity. And I’ve been very proud to provide them with a place at my table.
One of the main purposes of my art for many years has been dedicated to showing the beauty of Black people to the world, our history, our profundity, and the value of Black lives. I’ve tried my best to pull down the veil of appeasement to those who may feel uncomfortable with our excellence.
To the young women, our future leaders, know that you’re about to make the world turn. I see you. You are everything the world needs. Make those power moves. Be excellent. And to the young kings, lean into your vulnerability and redefine masculinity. Lead with heart. There are so many different ways to be brilliant. I believe you and every human being is born with a masterful gift. Don’t make the world make you feel that you have to look a certain way to be brilliant. And no, you don’t have to speak a certain way to be brilliant. But you do have to spread your gift around the planet in a way that is authentically you.
To all those who feel different. If you’re part of a group that’s called ‘other,’ a group that does not get the chance to be center stage, build your own stage and make them see you. Your queerness is beautiful, your blackness is beautiful. Your compassion, your understanding, your fight for people who may be different from you, is beautiful. I hope you continue to go into the world and show them that you will never stop being yourself. That it’s your time now, make them see you. Now, if you’ve ever been called dumb, unattractive, overweight, unworthy, untalented, well, so have I.
Whatever you do, don’t let negativity of people projecting their own self-doubts on you, deter you from your focus. I know those moments are painful, and you’re human and it hurts like hell, but now is the time to turn those criticisms into fuel and motivation to become a beautiful beast.
Respect is everything. There’s no successful relationship without respect, nor a successful movement if the basic principle is not respect. The world will respect you as much as you respect yourself. I’m often asked, “What’s your secrect to success?” The shorter answer, “Put it that work.” There may be more failures than victories. Yes, I’ve been blessed to have 24 Grammys, but I’ve lost 46 times. That meant rejections 46 times. Please don’t ever feel entitled to win, just keep working harder. Surrender to the cards you are dealt. It is from the surrunder that you get your power. Losing can be the best motivator to get you even bigger wins. So never compare yourself to anyone else.
“尊敬”重於一切，失去這個基本原則，就失去了成功的人際關係或可能的成就。自重而後別人才會尊敬你。我常被問到”你的成功祕訣是什麼?” 簡單地說，”投入更多時間和努力!” 失敗會比勝利多，的確如此，我榮幸得了24次葛萊美獎，但我輸了46次，也就是46次被拒於門外。千萬別認為勝利是理所當然，你能做的就是認真工作，不管你的人生拿到什麼牌，盡力面對，你越能面對自己的處境就越有力量。”失敗”是你贏得更大勝利的動力，所以，不用跟任何人比較。