Saturday, August 9, 2014

Dream More:Celebrate The Dreamer In You

This next book is one that comes from the heart of a GENUINE country LEGEND. One who TRULY made the best with what she had. It's more than a life story, it's about a dream. Having one and keeping it alive. Learning from one another's experiences and sharing them. Have care & compassion for one another. Along with a life story comes the many lessons along the way. To share hers, here is the story and inspirational words from the one & only, Ms. Dolly Parton.

It begins with Dolly at the University Of Tennessee's graduating class receiving an honorary doctorate. Since her early childhood, Dolly has felt that dreams were the foundation of her drive to accomplish ALL that she loved. It was dreaming that made Dolly feel she was wearing to be dressed up when they were hand-me-downs. The dream to see more than what there truly was. Dolly's worldview as a child in a shack back in Tennessee was seen MORE than it was. What the world viewed as shabby and nasty, Dolly seen it different and full of life still inside. The night she graduated from Sevier County High School in 1964, everyone commenced w/ their life plans afterward. Dolly confessed her truth of becoming a star while facing ridicule. She was so embarrassed. She was not shaken or deterred from her dream. It was something the rest of them weren't used to. Sometimes a failure is just a success dressed in different clothes.

The most logical difference between a dream and a wish is this: a dream is working hard and taking steps to make it happen. A wish is hoping it will. If you fail, it's NOT the end. What's the worst that can happen? I can fail. . . .I've done that. It's all about how you approach it. In life, everyone has successes & failures. Sometimes the successes outshine the failures. But then at times, your worst failure is also your biggest success. The dream that carried Dolly from her mountain home in TN to Nashville and beyond was to simply perform on the Grand Ole Opry. It was all she talked about growing up. When the moment finally came, NO MATTER what happens after, that dream came true! The key is to not be bitter . . . . but have gratitude for the opportunity.

Growing up, Dolly didn't like school. She only made average grades. The school she attended was run by one man, whom Dolly thought was scary, who taught multiple grades (1st-8th) at once. He wasn't mean. Dolly had begun school a year earlier due to a January birthday. He was scary and strict due to the oldest kids behaving so wild. He didn't stand for it. But Dolly KNEW she was smart. The more you learn, the easier it is or becomes. As a kid, along w/ her family, the Parton's didn't have television. Their radio was used only to listen to the Grand Ole Opry each week and the news. Their mother was their entertainment. She sang, read the Bible to them, showed them how to cook, sew and make something out of nothing. Something Dolly continues to do. The Bible was the only book they had in the house each & every day. Hearing stories and creating some imagination to them excited Dolly. It made her want to read and know more.

Dolly brings up a VALID, HONEST & GENUINE point: When you read, even if you don't get a chance of an education, you can truly learn about everything. Dolly loves historical fiction, fairy tales, books about religion & philosophy. But, if you give it to her, she'll read it. It becomes an emotional and creative experience. (Something I can honestly verify and attest to!) Dolly's father truly inspired her to create her Imagination Library. Before he passed in 2000, he expressed pride in his daughter. Throughout ALL of her achievements (both personally and professionally), it's that globally kids recognize her as The Book Lady. To them, kids, that's who Dolly is and who they associate her to! Her dad was very smart, even though he NEVER learned to read/write. She seen it, through her dad, that learning comes easier if you can read.

Dolly's dad was smart and lived by what was dubbed as "horse sense", flat out common sense that helps in ANY situation. When she began making extra money and the town of Sevierville thought Dolly was famous w/ celebrity, she decided to live up to being a hometown celebrity; having concerts and raising money for her local high school's band. (Dolly herself was in band playing the drums.) In 1986, Dolly created and began her Dollywood Company and The Dollywood Foundation. She TRULY got INVOLVED to MAKE SURE that kids in middle school and continued their education further through high school. Dolly has been there and seen what happens by not continuing something this valuable. Her mom became known to find ways for ways she could tell children that they are people who do care for them, love them and most of all, want them to learn more. After TAKING AN INTEREST & SHOWING CARE, Dolly and her foundation were DETERMINED to help solve this problem. Dolly could relate: being treated to feel dumb or less than thanks to your poor finances. On a lower scale than the rich kids. So the Imagination Library was founded in 1996. It has grown WORLDWIDE over several countries.

By the time Dolly's parents reached their 30s, they had 12 kids to feed. Her dad was constantly working. A hard work ethic Dolly got from her dad. When she was asked to write 15 songs for a Broadway musical, she wrote 30. Going the extra mile. NEVER once to complain. Work hard for a dream. Working even harder to keep the dream alive! It's not being a perfectionist, but a professionalist. As Dolly said: "If you want the rainbow, you have to put up w/ the rain." You just have to figure out where the unhappiness is coming from and then set about fixing it.

For Dolly, writing has become a therapy. Anything you share can be seen through the RIGHT emotion. The way a certain song can only GENUINELY do. A part to help in this is to surround yourself w/ those who share in the same positivity. There who don't just bring the negativity. You are REPEATEDLY the doorstep in which they constantly lay their drama and negativity. These same people are the exact same ones that SUCK your energy and drain it dry. (Personally speaking, believe me, I've dealt w/ my own bullshit from others who suck the energy dry.) Another step within itself is also learning.

After Dolly's decision to leave The Porter Wagoner Show back in the 1970s, that was an example of taking chances. At the time, Porter was the most successful country artist on television. Dolly enjoyed it, but not always. She KNEW she had to go solo. She KNEW she wanted to branch out and expand further in her career but couldn't. The transition and change was not easy. While scared and apprehensive, Dolly did not fear failure. She welcomed the idea of going back to Tennessee. Not only did she learn ALOT on her own, she also wrote I Will Always Love You to sing to Porter to show her love & gratitude to him and she would always love him. Dolly will always love Porter and Whitney Houston's for the songs success. Other people thought Dolly was crazy for taking a chance to open a theme park: Dollywood. Learning is all about doing your homework and taking a chance.

What has always worked for Dolly is the fact that while she may look totally artificial, she is 100% COMPLETELY REAL! It's giving her something to work against. Overcoming a stereotype. Making more out of what people perceive! Giving her more initiative and willpower to work on her talents. Until she was a teenager, Dolly used her surroundings as help w/ her look. (She used red poke berries for lipstick, a red burnt stick for eyeliner and honeysuckle for perfume.) They were raised in the Pentecostal Church Of God, whom believed that wearing makeup was sinful. Dolly's grandfather, on her mother's side, was a preacher. Dolly had to slyly sneak to wear makeup. (On one minute and quickly off the next.) Once she hit her teens, Dolly traded nature's makeup for the store bought. She has always thought, and has often stated so, that - to her - the most beautiful woman in the county were the ones perceived as trash. Women w/ big dyed hair, bright red nails, feet tightly squeezed into a high heel, painted and perfumed. That was the look Dolly wanted to look like. A lesson in the same example from Dolly got from her mother taught to her was to care more. A lesson Dolly was trying to pass to the graduates of U.T.

The few people in this world who care more change the world and the people around them. The words Dolly's mother imprinted onto her daughter were the same ones Dolly passed onto the graduates.Something for them to remember for a lifetime. The song that most comes to mind when thinking of kids who were not taught to care of another's feelings was 'The Coat Of Many Colors'. A TRUE & PERSONAL story from Dolly's childhood. In today's society, that song is REAL & POWERFUL in addressing bullying and respect. That song is ALSO a POWERFUL EXAMPLE of the GRATITUDE missing in TODAY'S youth. Dolly's mother taught her ALOT about GRATITUDE within your roots. Her mom knew exactly what her daughter was about.

The reason why Dolly could NEVER be a contender/judge for anything is that basic moral principal: she couldn't tell one person they're better than the other. When they created The Imagination Library, Dolly herself MADE SURE that EVERY child who signed up received the books. NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND!

Knowing who she is and the perceived inclination, some would guess Dolly's been married 5 or 6 times, but in ALL ACTUAL TRUTH, people are surprised that Dolly's been married to the same man for 46 years. She takes commitment very seriously. They may have their ups & downs, but there is that deep love and respect for each other. Whether it's personal or professional, Dolly has managed to keep long relationships w/ friends and connections through the source of one thing: BEING STRAIGHT UP AND COMPLETELY HONEST W/ ONE ANOTHER! The truth from them and the truth from  Dolly. One important key value is also to be HONEST W/ YOURSELF. In her business, it's very easy to get too big for your britches. An inflated ego is DANGEROUS to own. KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES and WHAT YOUR GOOD AT!

Before working w/ someone, the first thing Dolly looks for and at is: trust! While it is formed over time, work on a daily basis is all about small commitments. Keeping these small commitments leads to trust. Punctuality says ALOT! After trust leads to respect! The respecting confidence that the job get done! The end leads to love & caring. When time passes, the love & caring friendship has relationship somewhat evolved where these relationships become your family. One very important factor that I personally deem forgotten in TODAY'S society is: People forget where they came from! Dolly heard the term that SOMEBODY from her dad, it took her a minute to understand it, but afterward the message meant someone who was REAL & AUTHENTIC and NOT the SELF-IMPORTANT. When her father died, Dolly vowed to be REAL. Say what you mean. Mean what you say.

Dolly served for more than 30 years as the Honorary Chairperson for the Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation in her home community. When many people have a daily affirmation that brings in life to their day or more, Dolly gets the same reception from prayer. The great irony to be more is to actually be less. The great sliding scale of time: I need to be more of this . . . .and less of that. Since the day Dolly gave the graduation speech, she has had numerous requests to write a book - this one - and give more speeches. That proved to be a challenge from others who doubted her. The way that she was treated to put up the challenge was what made her DO rather than say.

Dolly & Carl
They weren't trying to manipulate her or the situation. They were just excited about the project and believed in her. One important phrase to remember the difference between arrogance and confidence. The difference is humility. ALWAYS remember the one & pure Golden rule in life. Over the years, Dolly has had some angels, some were mentioned in the book. They have helped her succeed, taught her things she's needed to understand and grow and returned the love. Whether together or alone, they have ALL dreamed more, learned more, cared more and they have CERTAINLY become more. One of those true angels has been her husband, Carl Deen.

The only thing I can say about this book is just the OUTSTANDING writing that Dolly put into it as well as the OUTSTANDING POSITIVITY that bleeds throughout this ENTIRE book!

                    Traveling Thru (from the motion picture soundtrack TransAmerica)
                               One of my FAVORITE videos and songs from Dolly.


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