Weekender: Johnny Rotten’s Unexpected Positivity

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Welcome to another edition of leadersayswhat’s the Weekender, an imp’s worth of thought to start your weekend on the right track. Why an imp? Because it’s the weekend!

As our ambitious career goals, deadlines, and self-inflicted pressures mount, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking ourselves too seriously. If only we could be more like Johnny Rotten.

Johnny is the iconic ringleader of the 1970s band the Sex Pistols, a group who set the tone for the future of punk rock and what it means to be truly rebellious. On a personal note, the Sex Pistols is one my favorite bands. I loved them when I was in their target demographic of youthful angst, and I love them in my now older demography that they ridiculed in their songs.

In a recent interview for Rolling Stone magazine, Johnny was discussing his new autobiography, Anger Is an Energy: My Life Uncensored. Johnny has never been known to take himself too seriously, but its nice to see that his worldview remains intact after 40 years of notoriety. Here are three quotes to show what I mean.

[When reflecting on my life] I didn’t learn too much. How short life is and you best cram in as much as you possibly can. Once you’re gone, you’re gone and that’s it. I’m doing things to the best of my disabilities.

It’s important to not wallow in it and get on with it… I got into [music] very early and I never looked back… There’s no morbidity in it. There’s no self-pity or wingding or any of that, ’cause that’s incredibly unhealthy.

Hindsight is of no use… I was lucky enough to be somewhat capable of writing songs for the first time ever. Animosities aside, the whole situation thrilled me.

What an incredible outlook on life. With all his ups and downs, Johnny upholds a perspective on life that we should all aspire towards. It’s self-deprecating, future-focused, and so incredibly punk rock.

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