Dolly Parton seems to have an inspiring aphorism for every day of the week. Her savvy team post her most famous sound bites frequently on social media and there are even books you can buy just filled with wise quotations from the Queen herself.
Most of those quotes are so well known now they have almost become cliche – like ‘if you want the rainbow you have to put up with the rain’ and ‘if you don’t like the road you’re walking on, start paving a new one’. When I was reading the interview by her biographer Alanna Nash in the book ‘Behind Closed Doors: Talking with the Legends of Country Music’, I was stunned by the fact that Dolly offers these pearls of wisdom and insight so often that many of them have been forgotten. As I read I began writing some of my favourites down in a little pink notebook to consult anytime I felt down or stressed.
So I thought I would share my ten favourites that you might not have heard before (or are worth hearing again). As usual Dolly offers inspiration, advice and a model of how to thrive:
1. I’m very self critical so I’m always trying to improve even though, like I say, I like myself.
2. The Bible doesn’t say ‘some things are possible’. It says ‘all things are possible’ and I believe that.
3. I feel like anyone can sing, anyone can learn to perform. But I don’t think just anybody can write. I think that’s a gift you must exercise.
4. I don’t dwell on other people’s music. I’m too busy creatin’ my own.
5. I write from what I feel, whether it’s commercial or whether it isn’t.
6. I’ve never seen a mountain I didn’t think I could climb.
7. Now I’ve been down but I have never been out.
8. Show business is a big fake…so I choose to do the fake part in a joyful way. I don’t want to look like everyone else, I don’t want to be like everyone else.
9. Everybody should be free, if you don’t want to stay home, get out and do somethin’; if you want to stay home, stay home and be happy.
10. I will always step over if somebody’s in the path of where I want to go, but that ain’t bad. It’s just necessary.
These are just ten nuggets for starters – I hope to make this a series and find as many quotes from old interviews as I can to help us get through. The interview collection is also highly recommended if you want to read more about Dolly and other country music legends.