Do you have a dream for the future? Something you want to achieve at no matter what cost? A goal for which you would move mountains? Then I’d like you to listen to High Hopes by Panic! At The Disco. I’ve had the song on repeat for ages and this is why.

What is High Hopes about?

In an interview with Billboard, front man Brendon Urie talked about where he got the inspiration for this song:

“As a kid I thought I would never make it. I only had dreams and fantasies of being a rock star, making cardboard cut-outs of a guitar, standing in front of my mirror just dreaming of the day.”

Luckily (if the lyrics of this song are completely autobiographical) he has a wise mother. She gives him the following advice:

[Verse 1]
Mama said, fulfil the prophecy
Be something greater, go make a legacy
Manifest destiny, back in the days
We wanted everything, wanted everything
Mama said, burn your biographies
Rewrite your history
, light up your wildest dreams
Museum victories, every day
We wanted everything, wanted everything

When your dream has not yet become reality, it can be intimidating to look at the success of others. I interpret ‘burn your biographies’ and ‘rewrite your history’ as not being deterred by what others have achieved. Follow your own path and everything will be fine!

A while ago I realized that success stories are actually always told from the moment people are on the crest of a wave. Success often seems very obvious but even more often, years of hard work preceded those success stories.

Did you know, for example, that Katy Perry really had to sweat her guts out for 8 years before breaking through with her first hit song? You never hear anything about that, do you?

It’s no problem if success doesn’t come overnight, something mother Urie knows all about too:

[Pre-Chorus]
Mama said don’t give up, it’s a little complicated
All tied up, no more love and I’d hate to see you waiting

When you decide to go for it, you will experience setbacks sooner or later. Don’t sweat it, just persevere!

And… dream big – even if your goal seems (very) far from reality:

[Chorus]
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Shooting for the stars when I couldn’t make a killing
Didn’t have a dime but I always had a vision
Always had high, high hopes
Had to have high, high hopes for a living
Didn’t know how but I always had a feeling
I was gonna be that one in a million
Always had high, high hopes (High, high hopes)
High Hopes – Panic! At The Disco

For Panic!, success didn’t come without ifs and buts, but according to Brendon, this is an advantage. In the aforementioned interview, he says:

“I failed and tried again, but I felt much more happy once I accomplished it — the reward is much greater once you challenge yourself thoroughly.” 

Dream vs. Reality

Now that Brendon’s childhood dream has come true, the next question arises: does reality meet his expectations?

“(…) absolutely my reality beats my fantasy. Which is so crazy to say.”

He doesn’t just enjoy his new reality by himself, he decided to pass it on. Earlier this year he started the High Hopes Foundation, a non-profit organization with which he raises money to improve the position of people who are discriminated against because of their gender, origin, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

In the interview, he indicates that this is also the reason why his current success makes him so happy. He also wants anyone with a dream to know:

“I’m so happy to be here, because it’s another opportunity to share that with somebody else who has a passion — maybe not in music, but in something else. I stuck with [music] because it’s my biggest passion. Stick to yours. Do what makes you happy. It’s much easier than you all think.”

My own high hopes

I started Nolala with the mission to get people who don’t already listen to lyrics to start listening to them. I believe that you enjoy music to the fullest when you listen to a song that suits you perfectly in both sound and message. When I experienced how great this added value is for myself, I wanted to share it with others.

Research shows that 2/3 of music lovers have no idea what lyrics are about. This means that I want to change the listening behaviour of 2/3 of the people! Speaking of ‘shooting for the stars’.

There are times when I wonder why I decided to pursue this bizarrely ambitious mission. I have said goodbye to a well-paid job and with it, a stable life in order to invest all my time, energy and savings into something which I really have no idea if it will ever succeed.

Of course it brings me a lot of joy and I think it’s fantastic that I can take on this adventure, sometimes I have to remind myself that Beyoncé, Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs are also just people who have accomplished their missions step by step. It started with high hopes for them too. I’m going to listen to this Panic! banger once again!

Want to read more?

This is the result of Beyonce’s high hopes! Another life hack for Game Changers is Whatever It Takes – another power song worth listening to!

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– High Hopes is written by Brendon Boyd Urie / Ilsey Anna Juber / Jake Sinclair / Jenny Owen Youngs / Jonas Jeberg / Lauren Pritchard / Samuel Hollander / Tayla Parx / William Ernest Lobban-Bean © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., BMG Rights Management, Peermusic Publishing, Words & Music A Div Of Big Deal Music LLC, 2018.