Happy new year, fellow U2 fans! As I’m sitting at LAX awaiting a flight to New York City, I’m praying that all will be quiet on New Year’s Day and the days leading up to it – no protests, no violence, no deadly attacks on innocent police officers or innocent people, period. That seems like a reasonable New Year’s wish. Love and peace! (A crappy song, but a great ideal.) If you want to follow my NYC photos accompanied by applicable U2 lyrics, they’ll be at the hashtag #U2NY this week. And if you interact with me (positively) on any level, I will follow!
2014 was a year of new beginnings for U2: a new album, a new tour announced and new respect from the people who matter in music and business. For all the flack they took, we can’t forget that most of the people who spoke up to support U2 this year are far more culturally relevant than the ones who spoke out against them. If you needed inspiration for a new start in 2015 and you were hoping to get it from the band you love the most, there it is. Here are some life lessons U2 gave us in 2014:
Surprise everyone with something awesome. It doesn’t have to be on September 9. Any day will do.
Give something of value away for free to as many people as possible. If they don’t want it, that’s their problem.
Stay loyal to the people who have stayed loyal to you. Even if you’ve spent years talking about how you plan to make yourself relevant to people who never knew you existed, you can still create something amazing for the ones who have been there all along – even when you were going through your Village People/techno/ muscle suit phase back in ’97.
If you fall off your bike, get back on. Unless you have a fractured eye socket and broken arm, in which case you should lay low but still make sure your world tour is announced while you’re convalescing. In any case, the bike is really just a metaphor.
If you want to reveal something personal, only take the time to explain it to the people you care about. You want tell the world some little-known details about your late mother, or your first time with your spouse of 32 years? That’s cool, as long as you only delve into a dialogue about it on the radio shows your loyal fan base is streaming. They’re the ones who enjoy hearing about it, and they will reward you by frantically emptying their bank accounts to buy concert tickets for a show that’s still 7 months away – or whatever example is comparable in your life.
That’s what I learned from U2 in 2014. How about you?