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22 Life Lessons Taylor Swift Taught Us

Taylor Swift achieved outstanding success at an early age. At 26, she's one of the most successful women of our time, and her work reaches far beyond her country music beginnings. Despite her mega-star status, Taylor Swift remains down-to-earth. Her attitude toward life, her career path, her behavior, and her songs offer lessons for going after your dreams.

Small-town Girls Can Win Big

Small-town Girls Can Win Big

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In 2010, Taylor Swift won the Grammy for best album at age 20. She was the youngest artist ever to do so.

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Being Named for a Talented Person Can't Hurt

Being Named for a Talented Person Can't Hurt

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Taylor's mom wanted her to have the business advantage of an androgynous name, which resulted in being named after singer-songwriter James Taylor. It turned out for the best because, in 2010, Swift sang a duet with her namesake during her "Speak Now" North American tour.

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Act on Inspiration

Act on Inspiration

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The young artist credited LeAnn Rimes with sparking her early interest in country music.

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Honor Your Influences

Honor Your Influences

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The singer's family has had an enduring impact on her music and her concept of love. Her mother's mother, Marjorie Finlay, traveled widely as a professional opera singer. Swift told Rolling Stone that her maternal grandparents remained madly in love into their 80s. They died a week apart.

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Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

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The singer-songwriter left RCA's artist development program to pursue her dream of releasing an album of her own. RCA had planned for her to wait until she was 18 for her first album.

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Present Your Skills to People Who Can Make Your Career

Present Your Skills to People Who Can Make Your Career

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The young artist performed at a music industry showcase at Nashville's Blue Bird Cafe in 2005. Scott Borchetta heard her there and signed her for his emerging company, Big Machine Records.

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Accept Guidance

Accept Guidance

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She took Scott Borchetta's advice and named the album she had intended to call Enchanted, Speak Now. He wanted the title to fit her music's mature themes.

Rise above It

Rise above It

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If T-Swift could keep her poise when Kanye West interrupted her first Grammy acceptance, then so can you. Today, she has more support than ever. At the 2015 Billboard Music awards, Swift had 8 wins, including top artist. Plus, the audience booed Kanye West's performance that night.

Photo: Instagram

Develop Business Smarts

Develop Business Smarts

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Taylor Swift placed second on Vogue's 2015 list of the highest-paid celebrities under 30, right behind One Direction with $80 million. You might not have royalties, endorsement deals, and a signature fragrance line, but Taylor has shown it's never too early to make wise money decisions. Look for ways to save, invest, and diversify your income, starting today.

Photo: Instagram

Examine Your Life

Examine Your Life

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The songwriter stated that after writing songs exploring drama-filled relationships for her album Red, she lost interest in such relationships. She has since gone on to form many meaningful friendships and a successful relationship with DJ Calvin Harris.

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Your Exes Can Provide Material

Your Exes Can Provide Material

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The multi-Grammy winner is known for her songs about her former loves, proving heartache isn't just for fueling phone conversations. See if it can energize a project in your life.

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Persist

Persist

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Along with all the obstacles to a happy love life that come through in her music, there's also optimism. And DJ Calvin Harris.

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Define Yourself

Define Yourself

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The artist chose to change her musical direction, growing past her country music roots into pop. Don't let other people's opinions of you limit you!

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Practice Self-Acceptance

Practice Self-Acceptance

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In an industry where looks have a major impact on careers and women are judged publicly and continuously for their bodies, fashion, and appearance, Swift has made her own way.

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Don't Buy into Being Compared to Other Women

Don't Buy into Being Compared to Other Women

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"You just try to lead by example; and you hope, someday, that if we talk about feminism enough, maybe we'll start to actually see it make a difference in the way young girls perceive themselves and each other," Swift told Time.

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Having a Great Girl Squad Helps

Having a Great Girl Squad Helps

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The star didn't have close friends growing up, and she's been making up for that. She trusts her friends and doesn't want people who would betray a friend in her life, she told Vanity Fair.

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Rock a Trademark Look

Rock a Trademark Look

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Perfect, bright red lips give the artist a polished appearance as part of her signature style. Find your distinct statement, and own it.

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Break Out of What People Expect of You

Break Out of What People Expect of You

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Known for looking polished and glamorous, Taylor got dirty, literally, in her music video Out of the Woods.

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Working Fast Can Have Powerful Results

Working Fast Can Have Powerful Results

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The songwriter creates most of her songs within half an hour. Her hit "Love Story" took 20 minutes. Grab your moments to do the things you love to do.

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Take Time Off When You Need It

Take Time Off When You Need It

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This powerhouse celebrity has canceled performances due to bronchitis. No matter how much of a dynamo you are, it pays to respect your limits.

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Live by Good Values

Live by Good Values

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"No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind, " Taylor says.

Photo: Instagram

Appreciate the People Who Are There for You

Appreciate the People Who Are There for You

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Taylor knows the value of staying close to family. "There were times when, in middle school and junior high, I didn't have a lot of friends. But my mom was always my friend. Always."

Photo: Instagram

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