Lesson from Lady Gaga

When I first heard of Lady Gaga, I was intrigued. Where the hell does she come from? Who is this person? To me, she seemed the kind of artist who was fabricated with the sole purpose of creating buzz and money. She looks like this random person discovered out of nowhere and is now omnipresent in every radio station and in the minds of every YouTube viewer.

As I couldn’t handle my own curiosity, I sought to read more about her story and found it fascinating. What’s intriguing about Stefani Germanotta (Gaga’s real name) is the transformation that led to the creation of Lady Gaga. The character Germanotta incorporates – conveyed by her makeup, wigs, wardrobe, dance moves, voice, videos, behavior etc. – is cryptic, controversial and at the same time, mesmerizing.

The New York Magazine recently published a great article about Gaga’s story. The magazine describes Gaga as a “self-invented, manufactured, accidental, totally on-purpose” pop star. Contradictory? Yes. But accurate. The part I didn’t know about Lady Gaga was the effort she put to become what she is today. While it is true that she is a product of the industry, it is also true that she wouldn’t get where she is now if it was not her will power and drive to become famous.

I found it interesting to discover that not only did Germanotta create and transform herself into the Gaga character, she also transformed her own body to became famous. She realized she was over-weighted to be a pop star, so she got thin. Her nose was a little too big, so she got a nose job. She knew that if she was blonde, she would have more chances to succeed, so she got her hair dyed. Her name was way too complicated, so she chose a better one for herself.

While the success in Gaga’s case came from a mix of personal effort, personal talent and – most importantly – luck, her story taught me a lesson: there is no such thing as to be born for success; no one is born with the success gene in their DNA.

When you are a kid singing in a choir, and there is always that cooler girl who sings way better than you, you tend to believe that you just don’t have the talent. The cooler girl, of course, was born for singing. What I’ve been learning is that the cooler girl was probably taking voice lessons secretly while everyone else was envying her. She just wouldn’t tell anyone.

Success doesn’t come out of nowhere and is not written in your genes. It involves determination, will power, meeting the right people and, sometimes, luck. Next time you see someone who is more successful than you, think about what this person has done to get where she is today. It may give you another perspective about your own success and you may think, well, I can also do that.

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