Thoughts for Phillip
Phillip Phillips won Season 11 American Idol. He was my idol from the first song as one of the top 12. I wasn’t sure that he was going to be “crowned”, ultimately, because the competition was fierce in terms of singing ability but also because so many of the voters are teen girls who, I thought, might enjoy the fantasy of young Hollie or Jessica winning. In fact, I believe Hollie outlasted some of the other competitors, like Elise and Colton precisely because she is a teenager and very beautiful and seems to have a lovely personality. Phillip, on the other hand, is a little bit older, definitely rougher around the edges in a boyish, awe-shucks, kind of way, and kept refusing to play the game of dressing up in Tommy Hilfiger clothing.
Phillip, I’m a fan. You have something fantastic. However, maturity, wisdom, and quick wits may not be in place just yet. Those do take time, so, from my lofty heights I thought I’d be so presumptuous as to offer a few thoughts:
- Find ways to learn something hard to learn every day. Not a new chord or a new song. I’m sure you will do that, and it won’t always be easy but with the couple of seconds of breathing space you are given right now, do an assessment. In what areas can you make some changes so that happiness follows along with this success?
- Find ways to “play the game” that work for you. I don’t think t-shirts and slacker pants are “being true to yourself”. I rather suspect that with 8 kidney stone interventions you did not have time to get over yourself and take the opportunity to learn something about yourself through clothing and experimenting in different ways. Of course, you shouldn’t be Joshua, or Tommy Hilfiger, but your formal jacket over the t-shirt on your winning night looked good. Some comfortable shoes that don’t look like you are trying too hard but become invisible rather than drawing the eye, as your stomping footwear did on the show, will increase the possibility of people focussing on the music, not take our attention away from it.
- Train your brain to be thinking ahead, being strategic. Whether it’s true, or not, the image we have of you is a great guy. Fun. Ethical but not stodgy. Someone who loves his family and gets a lot of support from them. On the down side, you have given the impression that you are still a kid, perhaps a bit gullible, willing to work without a contract just for the joy, fun, and meaning. Again, I could be wrong, but you do not want to be Leonard Cohen finding out, years into things, that your agent has ripped you off. (Are you familiar with Leonard Cohen? He may be inspiring, lyrically, for you.) Be willing to be seen as smart. Consider being Steve Martin.
- Louise Hay, airy fairy, new age guru, who seems to know a lot that I have found holds true, says that kidney problems are related to criticism, disappointment, failure. Shame. Reacting like a little kid. The actual kidney stones represent lumps of undissolved anger. Her antidotes? Try to remember that good can come from each experience and it is safe to grow up. Past problems can dissolve with ease if you let them. My interpretation is that you may be holding onto some skewed beliefs that keep you dependent and young. Of course you would be angry. Who is keeping you in that role? (Yourself? Someone else?) As the American Idol, you should be able to find independence and pride. You will be a fabulous, safe, sexy, man with wonderful integrity. Show the young men how to do it. Don’t get trapped into the perennial immaturity of so many man-boys.
Okay, enough with my thoughts. Have a very happy idol-hood. You deserve to be there. Not only have you worked hard but you have been given a gift that is bringing pleasure and meaning to millions of people. Me included.