I can count on one hand the amount of concerts I’ve been to in my life: there was Blink 182, KISS, Naughty By Nature, Dashboard Confessionals, Dierks Bentley…OK, maybe two hands. But the point is: I’m not a regular concert goer (BTW, if you can find any continuity in that band list, please let me know. Talk about random).

Last Friday, I added another one to my list, Brad Paisley. He played at the Giant Center in Hershey, and a friend asked if I’d want to go. We, including our wives, made it a Valentine’s Day treat. Other than being told by a handful of people that I look like him (See here), I didn’t know too much about him. BUT, I do believe in Surrounding Yourself with the Best. Brad Paisley is an example of “the Best.”

As a daily practice, I am scanning my environment for inspiration in whatever form it may come. Last Friday, it was in the form of a country singer I didn’t know much about. As I sat there in total awe of what he was doing, I had to ask myself, “What am I so drawn to him?”.

So, I did some thinking, and here are some bullet points:

  • His passion – In order to be world-class, you have to love what you’re doing. Brad Paisley loves being on stage and singing/producing country music. Passion is transparent.
  • His journey – Brad Paisley was not always¬†Brad Paisley. At one time, he was just a normal guy with a dream. I guess I love hard work, and I know how much hard work it had to take to get where he is. I appreciate that in anyone, no matter their arena.
  • His normalcy – Brad Paisley is, by all means, normal in appearance. Opposite a model, we don’t revere him because of his appearance, we revere him because of what the man, Brad Paisley, represents. To me, with my limited BP knowledge, he represents: hard work, excellence, power/ability to impact others and values.
  • His connection – Brad Paisley is able to stand on a stage in front of 15k people and connect with every single one of them. He inspires. My job, as a performer is to connect and inspire. I revere that ability.
  • His humility – 2 examples jump out at me: 1. He mentioned several times how grateful he is that we spent our money and time to consume his talent, and 2. He made a point to highlight his opening acts several times throughout the concert, removing the focus from him.

Greatness is admirable. Search it out and surround yourself with it.

Something worth noting…at one point, Taylor Swift was Brad Paisley’s opener. During the concert, BP signed a guitar and handed it to a little girl in the front row. He said, “Now that’s how a little Taylor Swift is born.” If you have that gift to inspire others, use it.