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Lady Gaga Teaches Us One Very Important Lesson

Lady Gaga Teaches Us One Very Important Lesson

By Amy Elisa Jackson

While Lady Gaga has made a career out of being avant-garde with costumes, makeup, and over-the-top head pieces, those things are not why she’s our favorite celeb this Halloween weekend.

In a recent Q&A at Yale, Gaga (aka Stefani Germanotta) taught us all one very important lesson about being true to yourself. And this lesson boils down to one word: No.

"I have had to make decisions like, why am I unhappy? Okay, Stefani/Gaga hybrid person, why are you unhappy?" she told the audience at Yale's Center for Emotional Intelligence. "I feel sad when I'm overworked and I just become a moneymaking machine and my passion and creativity take a backseat. So what did I do? I started to say 'no.'"

Gaga's talk at the Emotion Revolution summit highlighted how young people today are feeling and emphasized the value of emotional intelligence as a means of empowerment. Since she has always been open about her struggles with addiction and depression via her Born This Way Foundation, she partnered with Yale to provide concrete research to back the value of self-love.

In a conversation with Soledad O’Brien, Gaga continued, "I started to say no. I'm not doing that. I don't want to do that. I'm not taking that picture. I'm not going to that event. I'm not standing by that because that's not what I stand for. And slowly but surely, I remembered who I am, and then you go home, and you look in the mirror, and you're like, 'Yes, I can go to bed with you every night.' Because that person, I know that person. That person has balls, that person has integrity, that person has an opinion. That person doesn't say 'yes.'"

As any hard-working Millennial can relate, saying yes to meetings, job opportunities, and weeknight networking opportunities can feel like an obligation on the path toward success. After all, you don’t want to risk FOMO especially when your career is on the line and you're trying to go from intern X to CEO. But somewhere along the road to the C-suite or that six-figure salary, we can lose ourselves in the hustle.

Lady Gaga reminds us to evaluate what really makes us happy and the power of just saying no.

"It is your right to choose what you do and don't do. It is your right to choose what you believe in and don't believe in. It is your right to curate your life and your own perspective."

The next time you're feeling pulled in a million directions and burn out is one team meeting away, take a page from the Book of Gaga. Sit. Re-evaluate. Breathe. And just say no. Self-care is far more important than success.

"You have to be a rebel. … You have to be the antithesis of the status quo. You have to work against it. It's not about a reaction. You don't need to react to anything. We need to be proactive in our own movement of positivity."

Watch a portion of Lady Gaga's talk here:

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Photo Credit: Mike Windle/Getty Images