I have a confession to make. But first promise that you won’t laugh at me…too much. I have just finished True Love: Jennifer Lopez’s first book ever. And I actually loved it!
It is not the autobiographical kind of book that tells the story of her entire life. If this is what you are expecting than you will be disappointed. True Love delves into one of JLo’s life’s most defining periods – the year of her first world tour. One transformative year for the celebrity: not only as an artist, but also as a mother and a woman in love. Lopez takes us on a fascinating emotional and physical journey of this one year that ends up changing her entire life. After years of looking for love with capital L, Lopez finally finds it, the greatest love of all: the love for her own self. It is actually quite intriguing how Lopez manages to isolate her true self from the person that she has become over the years in the public eye: a glamorous diva. She fearlessly shows the human side of the celebrities. They hit rock bottom and cry, and suffer, and feel lonely; they are insecure about themselves and have their personal issues; they fight for love or tired of fighting they just let it go and then they explore the darkness. Just like normal people do. Lopez doesn’t seem to be afraid of loosing her sparkling, glittery face in front of the public. She is not afraid of being who she really is and showing her true self to the world.
Between the stories about the tour: its planning, layout and actual happening, Lopez makes references to her past and shares real-life anecdotes and stories. She writes about all the difficult relationships that have shaped her career trajectory and have inspired her to write some of her greatest love songs. JLo shares intimate details about the hardship that she experienced and all the darkness and the heartache that she suffered when going through her breakups and divorces. Lopez writes about how loosing herself completely so many time while trying so hard to be part of one whole: a couple, actually helped her get back to who she really was and start respecting and loving herself truly and unconditionally.
While some might be most excited by the juicy details of her breakups with Ben Affleck and Marc Anthony, in her tell-all book JLo also offers some nuggets of wisdom on success that can help anyone looking for career stardom. I guess an advice from a person with record sales topping $70 million is worth taking. Here are the highlights in my opinion:
1. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else but you.
‘Your power is in your individuality, in being exactly who you are … that’s why there is no competition in artistry. It’s not about being the best or the biggest, the king or queen. That notion is so ridiculous. That competition or comparison is actually the exact opposite of what being an artist is. As an artist, you should be in competition with only one person—yourself. You can’t worry about what others are doing or saying.’
2. Don’t let money make you complacent.
‘There was a certain hustle I grew up with, a hustle that I learned from watching my parents. They showed me that you put your head down and work—you work for a living and then, when you’re making a living, you still don’t stop… We don’t stop working because we have money in the bank—we do what we do and we keep on doing it.’
3. Love your mistakes.
‘Being ambitious, being a perfectionist, means I’ve spent my life beating myself up for not being good enough, or for screwing something up. It took a long time, but I finally figured out that I wouldn’t have half the instincts or insights I’ve had as an artist over the years if not for those screw-ups.'
4. Look for wise and experienced mentors and advisers.
‘Back in the beginning of my career… I was in a meeting with my agent and stepped out for a call with my boyfriend at the time. Through the glass door, my agent could see that I was arguing and pleading. She asked my assistant, “Does Jennifer have low self-esteem?” My assistant looked at her like she was crazy. Later, when my assistant told me she had said that, we couldn’t stop laughing … “That’s so stupid!” I told her. But was it really? That agent saw something I didn’t. She was a little bit older. Maybe she’d been through something like that herself, or maybe she’d seen it in others.’
5. Never stay in a job out of fear.
‘I had been so afraid of it all—afraid I would fail, afraid people would criticize me… And then I realized if I didn’t believe in myself, nobody else would either… If I didn’t do this tour, I’d probably regret it for the rest of my life… I loved being on Idol, but it was time to move on. It didn’t make sense for me to spend a third year in a row sitting on a panel, judging other singers, especially if the main reason I was doing it was for the security of it.’ …‘Listen to yourself; listen to your gut. Because only you know what’s right for you.’
And if everything above is still not enough to convince you to buy True Love than purchase it just for the sake of beauty and design. JLo is the queen of details. She pays great attention to every little detail: from the smoothness of the paper and the way that it feels when you pass your hand through its surface, to the stunning more than 200 never-before-seen images from Lopez’s personal archives, providing a rare behind-the-scenes look at JLo’s life. In the name of Love, or music, or beauty or curiosity: it doesn’t really matter why you would read True Love. Just do it!
To learn more about what love is read also L.O.V.E.
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