What John Legend Taught Me

With our youngest son being away on his first co-op in Grand Rapids, we decided we wanted to see the city one more time before he returned home.

Grand Rapids is a fun city with a lively downtown so we opted to stay there. The last time we were there it was unbelievably cold. We were looking forward to taking in the city with the warmer temps.

Since our oldest son was able to join us, they had planned “bro time” at the gym. The boys are seven years apart. Luckily, they have found something that’s creating a bond between them…strength training (and doing the pec dance!).

While they were off doing their thing, the husband and I debated about going to work out. You know the one where you know you’ll feel so great after, but getting there feels like SO much effort. Ugh…

We were about twenty minutes into our workout when someone else joined us. When he jumped on the treadmill beside me, I glanced over to acknowledge him and went on with my workout.

My husband was convinced it was John Legend, but I was not so sure. We checked to see if he was on tour (he wasn’t), but still I wasn’t convinced.

I knew I had to ask. When I think back to what I said “Has anyone told you look like John Legend?,” it sounds like such a pickup line. Oops…

He smiled at me and said yes they do and yes he is. He said that he was in town for a private event. Mystery solved!

Amazingly, I’m doing my jump squats and bicep curls right beside him, and “All of Me” was playing in my mind. Maybe I should have asked for a few lyrics to really be sure it was him.

While seeing him was a memorable experience, it was also a good reminder that he’s a human being just like the rest of us.

When my daughter was a teenager and loved her Us Weekly magazine, we took so much delight in reading the section, “Stars, They’re Just Like Us.” Who knew stars also enjoyed going to Target and pumped their own gas?!

But meeting John Legend in person sweating at a gym was a good reminder that he really is just like us. Too often, we put people up on a pedestal based on their status. It’s easy to do. The reality is they’re more like us than they’re not. Sure, they may have more houses, money, etc., but they also experience emotions and go about their daily lives like the rest of us.

If you search out John Legend on Instagram (with his 10 million followers), you take a quick photographic peek into his world. But like all of us, what you see is what his team (or maybe even he) choose to show us.

We all show a glossy view of our lives on social media. Meeting him in person was a good reminder of how it’s easy to scroll through social media, and begin to quickly feel that everyone else has life so much better than you do.

The reality is we are all human with our complicated lives. We share the same needs–even the famous. We all have our gifts and talents that we bring to this world. We all love and are loved.

While we appreciate the gifts of those with talents like John, we can’t overlook the amazing goodness that each of us bring to this world. We must not judge our lives against what we THINK is the reality of someone else’s life.

Truth is…we just have to stop judging ourselves. There is not another person just like you! Explore your talents. Recognize your greatness. And as John would say, love “all your perfect imperfections.”

Do you struggle to recognize your inner greatness? Do you spend too much of your day finding yourself lacking compared with what you believe is all around you? You can start to turn that around by reaching out to me for support and guidance at hello@anneeppley.com.

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