How often do you say what you want?

Today is December 11 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you say what you want?” Recounting how he got his foot in the door of a local radio station through the sheer force of persistence, Ray Bradbury reflected on the broader role of doggedness in success and said: “I discovered early on that if you wanted a thing, you went for it — and you got it. Most people never go anywhere or want anything — so they never get anything.”

The first step, and one would think obvious, in navigating the chaos is to identity what you are pursuing. As discussed in other Navigate the Chaos posts, it is important to always dream and has as many dreams as you need two lifetimes to achieve. Doing so allows you to be in a constant state of perpetual forward motion. One person who knew what she wanted and went after it was one of the top selling artists of the last few decades: Madonna.

Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She achieved popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content in mainstream popular music and imagery in her music videos, which became a fixture on MTV. Madonna is known for reinventing both her music and image, and for maintaining her autonomy within the recording industry.

In December 2016, Billboard selected Madonna as its Woman of the Year. In her deeply personal speech reflecting upon her 34 years in the industry, Madonna discusses how she was able to navigate the chaos and keep moving forward as an artist, a woman, and a human. Having sold more than 300 million records worldwide, Madonna is recognized as the best-selling female recording artist of all time by Guinness World Records. The Recording Industry Association of America listed her as the best-selling female rock artist of the 20th century and the second highest-certified female artist in the United States, with 64.5 million album units.

Madonna is the highest-grossing solo touring artist of all time, earning US $1.31 billion from her concerts since 1990. Madonna became one of the five founding members of the UK Music Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in her first year of eligibility. She was ranked at number one on VH1's list of 100 Greatest Women in Music and number two (behind only The Beatles) on Billboard's list of Greatest Hot 100 Artists of All Time.

As Madonna said “A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.”

How often do you say what you want?