5 Great Song Lyrics for Keeping Perspective – LinkedIn

I’m turning 30 tomorrow, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the things I’ve loved consistently throughout my three decades. Along with food and family, music tops my list.
In particular, I am a big fan of song lyrics. Lyrics can make us laugh, cry, ponder, and remember. Here are a few that I consider to be especially effective for helping me keep perspective whenever I’m feeling frustrated, disappointed or defeated. After cycling through a few of these, I usually remember how grateful I am to be healthy, happy and surrounded by all of you.
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“Hey, I’ve got nothing to do today but smile.” – Paul Simon, The Only Living Boy in New York
In my humble opinion, this is one of the most powerful lyrics ever written. It is so simple, yet so profound. Yes, there are other things that one needs to do every day, but Paul wants us to know that rarely should a situation get us to the point where we can’t take a step back and appreciate the things in our life that bring us joy.
In fact, I did this at my own wedding, surprising my wife by performing this song for her while our band, in on “the plan,” played along. When I arrived at this line, I closed my eyes and sang it with all my might, only to open them again and see my wonderful wife, closest family, and dearest friends surrounding me. I’ll never forget that moment, and with Mr. Simon’s help, I hope to always remember to smile.
“Take it easy, but take it.” – Woody Guthrie, who wrote This Land is Your Land
This is the current headline on my Instagram profile. I think it represents an excellent balance between keeping perspective and living life enthusiastically. Technically, this quote isn’t a lyric, but it does come from a prolific musician. Mr. Guthrie was an insightful and influential lyricist, and he used his musical fame as a platform to deliver some powerful messages. I consider this quote to be one of them: I try to associate “taking it easy” with avoiding unnecessary worry. As Dave Kerpen, my former boss and one of the most inspiring leaders I know, once told me, “Will, worry is a misuse of the imagination.” 
If you need some additional convincing, consider this: The Eagles also advised their audience to Take it Easy, and they sold a few albums in their day. 
“I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless, and in this moment I am happy.” – Incubus, Wish You Were Here
There is a ton of passion in this song, and while the eponymous chorus consists of only one line, the brief verses contain some beautifully poetic language. In particular, the last line leading into the first chorus reflects an ability to detach, unplug, and release. Inspired by this lyric, I have literally done this myself, and it’s a great way to find a bit of joy on an otherwise unpleasant, blustery day. Try it, you might enjoy it.
“Oh yeah life goes on, long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.” – John Cougar Mellencamp, Jack and Diane
This line is from one of my favorite songs to play on the guitar. It was also one of the first songs I memorized from start to finish, likely because the song tells a tale of a carefree couple living a carefree life, and as a kid, the prospect of that future reality appealed to me greatly. But the chorus strikes a more somber note, referring to the fatigue that can set it when life gets tough or mundane. I think perspective cuts both ways, and this lyric is important to me because it reminds me that, when I’m in a rut or feeling disillusioned, I have to remember to keep pressing forward, one day at a time, because the world is not going to slow down for me.  
“The sun will come out tomorrow.” – Annie, Tomorrow
This one is simple, and doesn’t require a lot of explaining. Annie lived a hard knock life as an orphan, but did an excellent job of keeping perspective. She kept her head up, advised her fellow commiserators to “hang on ’til tomorrow,” and reminded everyone that, after all, “it’s only a day away.” I’ve been down before, hitting the pillow after a rough day and feeling relieved that it was over, but I’ve always tried to keep in mind that a new day, perhaps a better one, would be around the corner. 
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What is your favorite lyric that helps you keep perspective? Please comment below!
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Will Morel is a Director of Media Analytics at Ampush Media, a tech-enabled marketing services company that helps all sorts of businesses achieve their goals on native, in-feed social platforms. A lifelong New Yorker, he cares about people, metrics and outcomes. He would love to talk to you about music, business or anything else you deem worthy of a conversation, and would love to connect with you on LinkedIn
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