OPEN YOUR (REBEL) HEART

Relax, Rejoice, Reboot with Stephen Lincoln

Someone I recently met at a dinner party stopped me while I was telling him what I do for a living and said, "How do you do so much and have that much energy?" I replied that I have a great team of people that help me out and I have wonderful role models that inspire me, like Madonna. She’s a Rebel Heart. 

Anyone who knows me knows that Madonna is as likely to come up in conversation as whey protein is. And after experiencing her Rebel Heart Tour, she has re-energized my creative spirit. She truly is a rebel in the business world, answering to no one but herself. She will not be pigeon-holed. She will not let anyone else define her limits. She won't color within the lines. Say what you want about her—but you can't deny Madonna's got serious game. I marvel at how she proves 'em wrong every time. Defying expectations. Standing right back up if she gets knocked down. "So what? I'm Madonna, bitch." She changed the music industry, stayed true to herself and created her own empire. Three decades is a long time to be a successful entrepreneur, let alone a superstar. Every facet of her career motivates me to rethink my limits. To do better. 

And my resolution for 2016 is to make my mark, in my own rebel way. In fact, it will be my daily resolution.  

As much as I hate to think she too will not stay the same age forever, if anyone is going to school us all that age is just a number, she is that rebel. And for that reason alone, I am kind of excited to see Madonna's 60-year old self slay her cynics. Is there any doubt she will keep on keepin' on? I swear, should she need a walking cane, she'll work it. And just like that, the stigma of needing one will be gone. And it'll have major style points. She'll forever be a trend-setter. That's why she's such a touchstone for me. Madonna doesn't rest. She doesn't phone it in. No matter how bright her star gets. She wants her life to always shine brighter!  

So as I shuffled through the highlights of this year, my mind drifted to seeing her on stage— and I realized I too can do better at making a mark and making it matter. Not just at the bakery. But with those people that I love. And those friends that I appreciate. I want to stay focused on what's important. Big and small. To me, that's when time counts most. 

I wish we'd all question ourselves—our choices, our behavior. (Instead of twitter-ranting our moral outrage about everyone else's.) Simply stated— create our unique version of "quality time" and keep at it. I don't want to just acknowledge the new year and leave it at that. I would like to honor every day with that spirit. 

A Rebel Heart. That's how I want mine to beat next year and beyond. To ensure that I run, not sleepwalk my days away. Here's to all the Rebel Hearts—let's pump up the volume in 2016!


Stephen Charles Lincoln

Author