Michael Jackson: The King of Pop (and Confidence)
Surely, you’ve seen one of his videos or live performances, but have you ever watched an interview Michael Jackson happened to give? Here he was, THE biggest star in the world – millions of album sold, numerous #1 hit, sold-out concerts – and the guy was humble, gracious and soft-spoken. What set Jackson apart from other uber-famous entertainers? He didn’t have to boast about his talent; he proved it. He didn’t knock other artists; he appreciated them. Nowadays, we’ve got guys like Kanye West hopping up onstage to tear down another artist’s accomplishments.
How could Jackson, a guy with so much confidence, be so humble? Sure, he might have nicknamed himself the King of Pop, but that’s pretty much where his bravado ended. What enables a guy with all the fame, money and adoration in the world, to not be a douchebag? The answer: true confidence. Jackson, however bonkers he may have been, was confident in his abilities, confident enough not to have to act like a dick or criticize other to make himself feel better.
Inspired by a discussion on Jackson’s music last week, I went on a YouTube spree and watched a bunch of his concert videos. Like him or not, this guy was super-talented. He’s mesmerizing to watch. During my Jackson-fest, I happened upon a few interviews he gave, and was surprised to see just how modest and seemingly shy the guy was. You’d expect someone with his fame to be some motor-mouthed ego-maniac, but he wasn’t. He was just chill.
Certainly Jackson had issues, many of which stemmed from his horrendous childhood, but he managed to be confident without putting on a front. How many guys do you know who feel the need to tear down others or act like total macho idiots? How many people do you know that actually possess no talent of any kind, but act like they’re the greatest thing since stuffed-crust pizza? You know what sets these guys apart from guys like MJ? The answer again is true confidence.
Jackson was confident in his abilities because he put in literally decades of work to perfect his craft. He had something to offer the world in his music, fashion, dance, etc. and didn’t have to hide behind fake bravado. He was so confident, in fact, that he didn’t have to worry about how he compared to other artists: he knew he was good.
While you may not be able to ever moonwalk effectively (I’m still working on it), you can learn a thing from the King of Pop. Be confident in your abilities enough not to have to boast or make fun of others. Hyper-egotism and being critical of others are traits of a man lacking in confidence. You don’t have to be super-famous, super rich or super-talented to be confident. Take a cue from MJ and display true confidence at all times. Be yourself. Just go easy on the sequined clothes.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.