Life will give you a dream and the winds to start the race, but in the midst, life is going to test you to prove how bad you really want it. In the end–after all of the blood, sweat and tears–you will know that the victory is yours to keep because you have earned it. It’s a universal theme of light and dark. Christianity defines it as good and evil, Eastern philosophy calls it the Yin and the Yang, but the basic principle is the same: without darkness, there is no light. Life is about balance and contrast, and it’s impossible to recognize, appreciate and sustain the ups if there aren’t any downs.
Your darkest hour is often your greatest gift, but whether it’s what does you in or pushes you forward is solely up to you. It’s so easy in the midst of the storm to think you’ve failed. The rapper from Queensbridge had become a living meme, the phrase “smarten up, Nas” used as a cautionary tale for anyone on the downswing.
But he didn’t smarten up. He picked himself up. One of my favorite sayings is: “When the mason finally broke open the stone, he knew that it wasn’t the final blow that did it but instead all the many blows that came before it.”
Nasir used the many challenges to fuel his creativity and tell the story that only he could tell. Then he had sense enough to title it Life is Good, because it is, even the parts that don’t seem like it. After a very public and bitter divorce, in which he lost half of his net worth, then a seven-figure tax lien and a daughter publicly spiraling, could it be possible that a great album–one that fans have been waiting years for–was inevitable? Perhaps, this is just the long-awaited return on his taxes.
What do we take away from this – in addition to some great music? You might be in the thick of the pack right now, there are many ahead of you and you can’t quite see how you will get to the front. Consider this the period where you pay your taxes. The race isn’t over and you never know where you’re going to place until you cross that finish line, so keep running. –JasFly (@JasFly)