When we read about, see or hear about a celebrity, we tend to think of them in very special terms. Whether it is a dancer, singer, athlete or actor/actress, we often attribute super human qualities to them. Unfortunately we are a nation of celebrity worshipers. We think of celebrities as special and for some reason generally assume that they have always enjoyed a privileged life.
It is very easy to lump all celebrities in the same general category – they are special, they are out of touch with the average person, they lead a privileged life.
Looking at the very beautiful Nianell and listening to her lovely voice that covers a wide range of types and styles of songs, you might be tempted to assume she fits the mold of the typical celebrity. But you would be dead wrong.
As you begin to read Knowing Who I Am, the first thing that will really strike you is how humble she is. You will also be impressed about how open and honest she is about all the struggles she went through. Success did not come easy for her. From her early childhood she knew what she wanted but what she wanted required lots of sacrifices. To become successful it was necessary to make lots of adjustments. The world was not going to change to suit Nianell. This and many other lessons she eventually learned. And now she freely shares these lessons in her book.
I would not call her writing style highly polished. But it is highly effective. It is more like she is sitting down having a conversation with you. She speaks directly to the reader directly from her heart. Nianell shares her life, her difficulties in being a loner in grade school, her early professional career where she played mostly in dives, and her eventual but very gradual success. With each step of her journey, she learned a little more about herself. And she openly shares these lessons with the reader.
Nianell shares lots of stories about herself and her life in this book. One very interesting chapter of her life was the birth of her triplet daughters. While you might think someone so beautiful and talented would never feel insecure, Nianell often shares her inner most feelings of insecurity – that she was not good enough, attractive enough, talented enough. Through it all, you get to know her quite well and the lessons she learned should be a valuable path for others.
Included as a bonus to the book is a CD with 16 of her most popular and inspiring songs she wrote. Most of her own songs comes from some special inspiration, some event. In the book, she gives the background story and the lyrics to many of the songs. One of the reasons that her songs resonate with so many people is the story and meaning that inspired her composing them.
The underlying message of the book is to love yourself. There are countless valuable lessons in this book. It is literally a treasure of lessons for designing a life worth living. There are two which are really worth mentioning. The first is how to relate to others, in this case her audience. “My aim must be to give my audience something special; to share my heart and soul passionately, honestly and positively. To make my audience feel what I am feeling, I need to be sincere and willing to give completely, without expecting anything in return.” What a mantra for living.
The second lesson I wish to share from this book is this: If you seek fame and fortune you may or may not succeed. But even if you do, you may not find fulfillment. But if you do what comes from your heart, you will find fulfillment.
Some wonderful lessons – well worth reading. The book and the bonus CD together are a real bargain.