Dolly Parton has been in the limelight for over five decades. Everyone knows who she is. Everyone could tell you at least one song that she’s famous for. She is the Queen of country, as known for her songwriting as she is her singing. But many people don’t really know anything personal about her life. In this day and age where gossip rules I find this incredible, and truly inspiring. Someone managing to be that successful while keeping their personal life- personal. What a great way to live. Getting all you ever dreamed, and your soul intact. Maybe something we should all be asking ourselves when faced with a tough decision is “What would Dolly do?”.

Change with the times

It’s easy to keep on living life the same way you’ve always lived it. It’s comfortable. Reliable. Feels safe. But if everything stays the same as it always was there is no growth. You won’t learn anything new about the world, or yourself.

Dolly Parton started with very bluegrass, classic country sounding songs wearing cute dresses. But she hasn’t stayed that way. She’s released feminist songs, pop songs, gospel songs etc. It would have been easy to stay with the same sound once you find it’s popular, but she explored what she could do. In times where women were singing about flowers and rainbows she sang a pleaing song to her partners mistress.

Being able to change with the times it what’s kept Dolly in popular culture. If she didn’t keep up and stay relevant she would have been forgotten long ago. I think this is something we could all take inspiration from. Who says you have to wear wool twin sets just because you’re over 70? If you don’t take that promotion you’ll never find out what a great manager you could have been. You’ll never know that Greek food is your favourite if you never try it. Whatever the level you want to go for trying new things, you have to go for it. Don’t allow yourself to stangnate.

Don’t change who you are

Through all of the versions of Dolly we’ve had though, she has always had the same principles. Her faith has always been important to her, and she has never left her favourite country sound completely. Even when there may have been more successful doing something else.

This is another lesson we can take from her. So many people are embarrssed into denying who they are. You should only change yourself for yourself. It’s your soul being fulfilled or denied, not anyone else’s. If you’re spiritual, go to church if you want to. If you don’t want to drink then turn down that shot you’re being pressured to have. Tell work you can’t change your contract to more hours because then you’d lose out on the only time you get with your daughter.

Make changes to your life, but don’t lose sight of who you are for someone else’s gain.

“Find who you are, and do it on purpose”- Dolly Parton

This is one of the greatest quotes of all time. And the reason for that is it says it all. You need to find out who you are. Not based on what other people expect of you. Not based on what other people tell you about yourself, But who you actually are inside. What lights you up? Which things fill you with dread? What do you truly want from life? How do you want to be towards other people?

Once you know yourself and what you want from life, do not apologise for it. And don’t shy away from it. Go for it. Be yourself with integrity and have the confidence to know that what you’re doing is always from your heart and the right thing to do.

What would Dolly do?

In short, she would spend her life doing the things she loves with the people she loves. And to hell with anyone who says differently. This is what we should all be aiming for.

Spend your life doing the things you love, with the people you love.