I remember when this song came out. I heard it first on KEXP on my regular drive into work, the morning show DJ John Richards playing it twice in a row (as he is known to do with new tracks that he loves) and most mornings after that. It perfectly encapsulated a lot of the “self-help” reading I was doing at the time, with the lyrics seeming to come straight from Tim Ferriss or Derek Sivers, two of my favorite authors. It made me smile at the time and still does today.
Star Slinger, the artist who made Choose Yourself, seems to have had quite the rollercoaster of a career after making a splash a decade ago, being named a rising star by many, including Pitchfork. This song was made eight years after that. In a now-deleted blog post about the track, Star Slinger said the following:
The biggest option you have at any time is to Choose Yourself. Ie, to change your mindset from one where people & objects dictate your life (overly emotional) to one where you see things for what they are and you are in control (stoic mentality). You’re calling the shots because now you see things for what they are. You realise that 30% will love you, 30% will hate you and 30% won’t care about you & that your focus should be on the 30% who love you. Thats where I’m at creatively & relationship wise. I’m making music for me and those who love it. I was in a relationship with a narcissist for the past 8 years. I’ve been love bombed & cheated on at the roughest time in my life, while I was busy looking after my daughter and my ex. I had the wool over my eyes for many years & now the wool is off, I understand what I need to do. Its what James did. Its what I did when I began making music under Star Slinger. I chose myself & I lost my way. Now you know what I’m doing & I’m trying to help others who get stuck.
The lyrics in the song were taken from James Altucher’s book Choose Yourself! (which I haven’t yet read). Like a lot of self-helpy books and advice in general, your perspective on the material matters:
This spoken word song condenses quotes from a very helpful book I read last year. I guess the book itself could be perceived as self-help nonsense on the surface but under the hood it is sage practical advise from a guy who had it all and lost it all. He got back up & repeated that cycle several times and eventually found peace in the middle.
One of my favorite parts about rediscovering this song was that I learned it was inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s Everyone’s Free To Wear Sunscreen, another inspired essay and song I hadn’t come across yet.
Hearing Choose Yourself on my drive into work was a little thing that made a big difference in my day.
No matter who you are No matter what you do No matter who your audience is 30% will love it 30% will hate it And 30% won’t care Stick with the people who love you And don’t spend a single second on the rest Life will be better that way
When you get in the mud with a pig You get dirty and the pig gets happy
Forget purpose. its ok to be happy without one The quest for a single purpose has ruined many lives
Luck is created by the prepared. I have lots of ideas, how do i pick the right one? Execute on as many possible. the right one will pick you
Diversification is everything. We get past this by having lots of that
We’re taught at an early age, that we’re not good enough That someone else has to choose us In order for us to be what? Blessed? rich? certified? legitimized? educated? partnership material?
Remember this phrase.”Get paid, get laid, lose weight”‘ Cause those are the 3 things people will pay for
One candle can light a thousand other candles And still remain lit itself Be that candle
Only worry about your own happiness That doesn’t have to be limited by anyone else’s stupidity Unless you allow it to be
If something’s not a hell yeah, then its no
If you can’t walk away from a negotiation Then you’re not negotiating You’re just working out the terms of your slavery
Study the history of the form you want to master
Out of silence comes the greatest creativity Not when we are rushing and panicking
Ultimately mastery is about connecting the dots of many fields
If you don’t choose yourself, someone else will
Hear more from Star Slinger on this playlist: