John Daly: 'My resolution for next year? Be more like Snoop Dogg'
Enlightenment can come from the most unexpected places. Up until last week, I'd never have credited gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg with having any wisdom relevant to my life - but I was wrong.
Celebrating his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the often controversial musician went in an unexpected direction during his acceptance speech. "I want to thank me for believing in me, for doing all this hard work. I want to thank me for never quitting and for just being me at all times." If you pass over the possible egotism, there's no doubting the man's hit on something important.
How many of us stop to ponder our achievements and successes, regardless of how minor or insignificant they might appear? A friend who's recently peered into the dark chasm that is the Big C told me he now starts every day with the same simple phrase: "I'm still here."
Self-affirming mantras are proven factors in helping us achieve more in our lives, with the added bonus of maintaining a more balanced emotional health into the bargain. A score of academic studies into the power of self-esteem found it provides a psychological uplift to career ambition and life intentions - especially during times of mental and physical stress.
Gratitude to ourselves for who we are and how far we've come is a personal love bomb capable of diluting serious physical pain and affliction, to say nothing of the bonus inner contentment it bestows. A first cousin of self-confidence is gratitude, a rope-bridge across the raging rapids of doubt and insecurity that plague us all.
"The world will see you the way you see yourself and treat you the way you treat yourself -your independence comes from knowing who you are and being happy with yourself." Wise words from another musician who's climbed the slippery ladder of success - Beyoncé.
While it might be a little early for New Year's resolutions, I'm going to take Snoop and Beyoncé's savvy sagacity to heart even more in 2019, and conduct a full-blown love affair with the person most worthy of affection - myself.
As part of this new me, I'm heading to church this weekend - but for a sermon of a slightly different kind. On Friday next I'll be genuflecting before the high altar of expert musicianship at St James's Church in Dingle for this year's 'Other Voices' gathering. A venue so small that performers must climb a ladder and enter by a side window, it has become one of the music world's annual hottest tickets.
In this low season mercifully devoid of tourist crowds and 'Star Wars' fans, 'Other Voices' wafts an atmosphere that encourages a musical interplay as entrancing as it is unusual. Last year Richard Hawley sang a duet with Elbow, followed by Mick Flannery sharing a mic with Lisa Hannigan - ensemble moments that simply wouldn't happen anywhere else.