Recently we lost a legend. A transcendent and prolific cultural icon. A musical god. The Purple One. Prince.
Often teased as a kid, Prince found an outlet by teaching himself to play instruments and music. He was truly a genius as he masterfully played every instrument and has an extensive collection of work with an incredible number of hits.
One of his most memorable pieces is award-winning album and same-titled movie—Purple Rain. The cult classic was a HUGE box office hit raking in over $80 million back in 1984.
In this loosely autobiographical, musical biopic, Prince is “The Kid”. An up and coming musician on the Minneapolis underground scene. The Kid has a tumultuous home life. With an abusive alcoholic father and emotionally unstable mother, the Kid escapes his reality through his music.
One of the most striking features of the film is Kid’s complex relationship with his father. His dad, also a gifted musician, won’t teach or share his musical compositions with him. After hitting his girlfriend in a heated argument, the Kid realizes he has more of his father in him that he’d like to admit.
The Kid on an alienating and self-destructive path finally reached his breaking point when his father tries to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head. In a fit of rage, Kid tears through the basement and stumbles upon a box full of his father’s arrangements. He calms himself and begins to compose. That night, he completed a song that was written by two members of his band. Two members who previously resented him for not taking their musical contributions into consideration.
When he finally performed the song—Purple Rain—he shut the crowd down. By the end, he had everyone waving their hands and shedding tears. You could feel his transcendence of pain and struggle. You saw the transformative power of love and forgiveness as he did visit his dad in the hospital.
So what can we take away from Purple Rain? How does this apply to us?
Often times, our gift is often our biggest struggle. Where we come from, the situations we have to overcome are all channeled to express the fullest versions of ourselves to the Universe. Many times business owners, especially lifestyle entrepreneurs, build a business around a problem they had to solve for themselves.
The Kid had to grapple with all of his emotions around music—the fact that his greatest gift was given to him by the person who hurt him the most. Once he was able to fully go there, tap into all of his emotions surrounding his father and connect with HIS music, he was finally able to forgive and produce something that was greater than himself.
If you haven’t seen the movie go watch it. If you have seen the movie watch it again. This is one film you can’t watch enough.