X Factor, the highly successful and much followed singing contest holds many lessons that carry over into other fields. Here are 11 observations.

Lesson 1 ~ Shout loudly for attention, sing softly to touch people’s hearts

One grabs, the other gives, one pushes, one lifts; the biggest or loudest are not always best, often subtlety is a ticket to sublime. It’s not all blinking lights and tumbling acrobats – close your eyes and “see”. Wasp in the ear or warm buzz in the heart?

Lesson 2 ~ In the charts the Top 10 are all winners even though there can only be one number 1

A Top 10 hit is a highly successful position to achieve, despite the jostling for position and the desire to reach the very top. In the charts, every Top 10 song is a hit and a success, each in their own right, and on their own merit, in their own unique way. Each placement, each entry, each act is equally victorious.

Lesson 3 ~ Millions of viewers, one performer; critics to creator ratio is high

People have such a diverse range of tastes you’ll never please everybody; for every fan there’ll be a critic or more. Recall all the things you dislike, from food to music, clothing, cars, styles, even smells – would you seek out, follow or intentionally sample “things” that you have no passion for? Whilst it is important to learn from feedback and criticism, it’s never worth letting other people’s opinions overshadow the good you do. Listen, filter and then be “you”.

Lesson 4 ~ Three minutes can change your life

Have you ever contemplated how 3 minutes or 180 seconds can alter your life? For better or worse of course. Maybe you have experienced it? Christopher Reeve comes to mind, the actor who played Superman, fell off his horse and ended up paralysed from the neck down. Imagine the lottery ticket millionaire winner; one minute checking the numbers, one minute double checking in disbelief, another minute passes and instant riches. In the context of the singer, one 3 minute performance could be the pivotal life changing moment. What might you do in 3 minutes that could alter “everything”?

Lesson 5 ~ Awe-inspiring is when a song stops your thoughts, captures the moment and captivates you

Compelled to listen? Dumbstruck of gaze? Totally absorbed in the moment? Feel an inner warmth, a charm; a powerful connection beyond words? That speechless moment that takes your breath away can’t always be defined, yet you’ll know when it strikes – that’s the X Factor!

Lesson 6 ~ Exceptional performances reward you with the memorability factor

That time you’ll never forget, that moment you’ll want to relive because it touched your heart, possibly even left you choked or crying happy tears. That’s the memorability factor; the exceptional performance that not only stood out, it etched an inner tattoo on your soul. These moments don’t come along very often yet you’ll know when they do.

Lesson 7 ~ Let the song sing for itself

Forget hype, forget words and opinions and advice and reasons and analysis and endless comparisons – all you have to do is “listen”. Listen with every fibre of your body, not just your ears. Let the song, sing, for itself.

Lesson 8 ~ Just because the audience is quiet doesn’t mean that they haven’t heard you

You give your best and silence. You up your game and silence. You reinvent, improve, hone and silence. Remember your doctor’s advice “No news is good news”? It doesn’t always follow that a quiet response means disinterested – perhaps the audience is in awe. The crowd might cheer loudly, you might get a standing ovation or you might meet a gob-smacked group who have nothing to say perhaps having heard the voice of an angel. Silence isn’t failure.

Lesson 9 ~ Your effortless best comes through you not to you

You’ll never mimic others and present the “you” within. You share your best, you give your heart and soul over to what you do and know you can do no more. Your effortless best comes through you not to you. Birth the inner you.

Lesson 10 ~ Pour all your emotion, whether you label it good or bad, into passion for your positive performance.

Ever cried without knowing why? Ever felt emotional yet unable to define it as happy or sad? Something inside you longs to channel itself into a positive force for good. Whatever “it” is, nothing is more beautiful than seeing “it” expressed, seeing “it” flourish. Release “it” which is beyond analysis yet accessible – the “it” within you that makes you who you are in your uniqueness.

Lesson 11 ~ Sing!

Whatever your “song” – sing it, express it, share it. Sing!

Lessons from X Factor; touching hearts and changing lives, one “song” at a time.

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