Yesterday marked the 18th anniversary of the death of legendary hip-hop artist, the Notorious B.I.G.  Biggie made such a lasting impact on pop culture that even those that aren’t hip-hop fans have most likely heard of him. Some may have classified him, as a “gangster” rapper, but regardless of what label you gave him, lessons can be found in everything in life if you choose to look for them. Christopher Wallace, The Notorious BIG, was killed at the young age of 24 but he left behind valuable knowledge that will honor his legacy forever.
Here are five life lessons we can all use from selected lyrics of the late artist.

“Mo Money, Mo Problems

Money buys pleasure but it does not buy happiness. Have you ever heard the expression, “love of money is the root of all evil?” When you have more, evil is attracted to it sometimes.  I’m not saying that being wealthy is a bad thing. It’s just important to know that you have to be stronger, both mentally and spiritually, when you have more.  There’s a huge misconception that money will solve all of your problems; ask any wealthy person you know and they’ll inform you that it actually creates new and larger problems.

“My Hunger is Unexplainable”

To become highly successful in life you have to possess an “unexplainable hunger” to achieve.  You must treat your dream or goal like the oxygen you need to breathe.  An unexplainable hunger is one that you can’t define. There may be people in your life that won’t get it or understand. It requires an extreme focus. You don’t get to the top by merely just existing or going with the flow. You don’t get there just by “wanting” success; you have to “need it.”

“I love the Life I Live, I Turned a Negative into a Positive”

I’ve been blessed to have sold a lot of books because of the many mistakes that I’ve made. We all have a past. We’ve all made mistakes.  However, too many people think that their past mistakes are too much to overcome; that they’ve messed up “too bad.”  God forgives us so we should forgive ourselves.  We’re blessed to have the ability to overcome negative pasts and situations and turn them into positive and productive lives. There is a bright future for anyone that chooses to create one.  After all, all beautiful pictures come from “negatives.” Strive to make yours a picture perfect life.

“Never Timid, Only Make Moves When Your Heart’s In It”

You have to attack your goals and your dreams confidently and fearlessly.  But in order to do that, you must strongly believe in what it is you’re trying to achieve.  If you don’t believe you can accomplish something or that your goals are possible to attain, you’ll be beaten to that dream by someone who does believe. It’s vital to only chase dreams that your heart is fully into. The heart is what will keep you moving towards your goals when adrenaline and initial excitement dies.

“If the Game Shakes Me or Breaks me, I Hope it Makes Me a Better Man”

The game of life is filled with twists and turns, triumphs and trials.  It’s not a smooth and easy ride for anyone and nor is it supposed to be.  There’s a silver lining in every dark cloud; you have to go through the valleys to appreciate the mountaintops.  When life is beating you down, don’t’ worry so much about “getting through it” because you will; instead focus on improving, learning, and growing from the experience.  The peak of the mountain is a good place to be, but remember, it’s the sides of the mountain, also known as the journey, that sustains life.  Learn to appreciate the journey.
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