I’ve been contemplating on writing about Michael Jackson ever since the famous singer passed away simply because his death was the buzz of the blogsphere and was headline news all over the world. It seems that I can’t seem to find anything to write about him because I am really not a fan. However I do respect the man’s contribution to the world of music.
Michael Jackson is known for his famous moon walk, a dance step that he popularized and is defined by Wikipedia as “a dance technique that presents the illusion of the dancer being pulled backwards while attempting to walk forward.”
I pondered upon this definition and realized that the death of Michael Jackson and his famous moon walk could teach us lessons in life. This post is not intended as a put down of the King of pop, rather this post focuses on the lessons that we can learn from Michael Jackson and his last moon walk.
Michael Jackson is considered as the most successful entertainer of all times. Having sold over 750 million records and winning several awards including 13 Grammies and 13 number one singles. His total lifetime earnings are estimated to be $500 million with some people saying that his music catalog holdings are worth more than a billion dollars.
Yet despite the fame and fortune, at the latter part of his life, he struggled with debt and depression. Some people would even go to the extent of saying that what complicated his health issues was his reported two year isolation from family and friends and his financial struggles. Despite being loved by millions all over the world, he died a broken hearted, depressed and lonely man.
I call Michael Jackson’s last years on earth as his last moon walk and just like the moon walk, instead of going forward in life; he is being pulled backward instead. Sadly unlike the moon walk, what happened to him during his last years on earth was not an illusion. Here three things that I think we can learn from Michael Jackson’s last moon walk.
1.) Always live within your means – Despite earning millions of dollars every year, during the last years of his life it is said that Michael Jackson spends $ 20 to 30 million more than what he earns with his lavish lifestyle. As a result he was deeply in debt. Various people including a Bahraini sheik accused him of not paying what he owed them. He lost his well beloved Neverland Ranch. Although his assets outweigh his debt by an estimated $200 million U.S dollars, Michael Jackson died owing more than $ 400 million.
While it is true that as a “star” he earned the right to live a lavish lifestyle because he deserved it, he should have lived well within his means and should have properly taken care of his finances. Because of his failure to do such, it further contributed to his depression.
I’m so glad I learned the lesson about finances at a very young age. You can read more about my experiences in the following post “The financial script of life“, “6 Steps to Financial Freedom” and “Are you on your way to financial freedom ?”
2.) Life may be tough, but you’ve got to learn to face your problems – Michael Jackson may have achieved a certain amount of success in his life, but he never learned to face his problems. When he became depressed he turned to anything from plastic surgery, acne treatment, isolation and drug abuse. After he was accused of child molestation, he was so depressed that he was never the same again. J Randy Taraborrelli described how he escaped from his problem in an article for the daily mail, “He surrounded himself with children, animals and a false reality – so much so that he never learned how to cope in the real world. He never wanted to grow up, and his managers encouraged these eccentricities when they should have encouraged therapy.”
Whenever I feel depressed I always get inspired to learn to face life’s challenges by being reminded that I am so “Blessed in ways I may never know” I also draw inspiration from a guy named Nick Vujicic. To read more about him, click on the link.
3.) Happiness and joy in life is not all about fame and fortune – Nobody can dispute the fact that Michael Jackson achieved so much in his lifetime. He broke records, racial barriers and transformed the world of music. Yet despite his successes and despite his being loved by millions of fans all over the world, he died unhappy, sad, depressed, and feeling unloved. He isolated himself from friends and family.
If there was anybody that could relate to him it is King Solomon. The book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon best describes what Michael Jackson went through. Just like Michael Jackson, King Solomon tried everything else in life in order to find meaning and happiness. He had wealth and fame. He built buildings, palaces, resorted to pleasure and entertainment, tried knowledge and philosophy yet despite all of that, he describes everything that he experienced as vanity, meaningless, futile, useless, a chasing after the wind and more aptly a “vexation of the spirit”
However unlike the king of pop, the wisest king, correctly concluded in the last part of Ecclesiastes that the purpose of man’s life is to “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes12:13 & 14)
Happiness and joy is not all about fame and fortune. It’s about finding meaning in life and you can’t find meaning apart from God.
When I was a kid, they said the formula for JOY is very simple; it’s placing Jesus first in your life, Others second and You last. The formula may sound simplistic but I believe it is the best formula for having happiness and joy in life.
I could say more and there are lots of other things that can be learned from Michael Jackson’s last moon walk. However I’ll stop here and let you do your own evaluation of Michael Jackson’s last moon walk. It is my hope and prayer that you will also learn something and hoping that our last moon walk on this planet may be better than what Michael Jackson had to go through.