Don’t Stop Believing

6 years, 8 months ago


This is an interesting Article by Joseph Sale about the sentiments in the song, “Don’t Stop Believing”.

Don’t Stop Believing

“Corny though the phrase may have become, and though the song (one of my personal favourites) was probably not intended to bear such philosophical weight, none the less the sentiment is an essential one for all human beings. Ultimately we are taught through literature, music, art and all feats of creative imagination that the core and unshakeable thing shared through each true work of genius is belief. This is not necessarily religious, though often it can be, it is a belief in oneself (which is not pride or arrogance) and one’s task. Famously Shakespeare penned “I shall be the thing that I am…”, a self affirmation that no matter one’s condition, belief in your own personal self is central, or else destruction and despair follow. Similarly in ‘Dark Age Heroes’ we see Hagen doubts Siegfried’s capabilities to lead them to victory: “you have far exceeded my expectation my friend…”, in contrast Siegfried never once seemed uncertain of the outcome of the battle, he believed victory was ascertainable right from the start: “that will not serve to save your armies from destruction.”

Siegfried is seen almost as a biblical figure with his conviction and power, Hagen by contrast is troubled and eventually commits the unforgivable act of betraying Siegfried. We are reminded deeply of Jesus’ words: “If your faith were as great as a mustard seed, you could command that mountain to move, and it would move.”

Similarly Thomas Edison the inventor of the light-bulb, Don't stop believing was asked how he felt about failing so many times before finally discovering the secret, he said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

A thing to note would be that before the start of their endeavours, most creators had no idea how successful or powerful their works would be; I’m sure that Shakespeare did not plan to be celebrated for four hundreds years after his death, or design his plays specifically to remain relevant, the end result was inconsequential next to the importance of them creating the art that they loved. In contrast those that have infinitely high designs for themselves often seem to end, as Bosola remarks in ‘The Duchess of Malfie’: “…thou, which stood’st like a huge pyramid / Begun upon a large and ample base, / Shalt end in a little point, a kind of nothing.” This is not to say that ambition is not required, obviously there is a different between a determination to succeed and an egomaniacal obsession with reputation and success, or what Macbeth called: “vaulting ambition which o’er leaps itself…”

Great people always seem to have an endless capacity to believe that what they are doing is possible and achievable, and so perhaps we should emulate them, by believing in what we do”…

To see more of Joseph’s articles and blogs check out his Twitter account:!/josephwordsmith

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14 thoughts on “Don’t Stop Believing”

  1. Its great that you have shed light on a few things that I didn’t understand. Thank you.

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  3. Shed light on alot of things, very encouraging, I can see things like this helping later on in life.
    Thanks roy!

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