I had the pleasure of going to New York City last week with my wife and fifteen year old daughter to see the first of three sold out shows at Madison Square Garden by Ed Sheeran. At fifteen, my daughter is very interested in music and what she likes does sometimes differ from what I might listen to, but when she suggested I listen to music by Ed Sheeran, I was sold after the first song. He is an amazing young artist who can teach us a lot about life and after seeing his show last week, I walked away with a few lessons we can all live by.

1. Be Yourself
The first thing my daughter said after Ed came out on stage, was that it was really cool that he just walked out like he normally does. This was the biggest venue Ed Sheeran had headlined and some people thought he should change and be different to accommodate the big audience. But what makes Ed Sheeran so appealing, is Ed Sheeran. It is who he is and the way he is so comfortable with who he is, that resonates with his fans and tells them, be who you are.

2. Do The Right Thing
We all have awkward situations to deal with from time to time. They can make us feel uncomfortable and unsure of what to do. In these situations, it is best to do the right thing. During the performance of ballad in which Ed had asked the audience to listen quietly, a girl screamed a rude comment. This was a situation that must have been very uncomfortable for Ed and it did not allow him much time to respond. But with a slight pause and with his calm and cool British accent, he simply said “That is not very appropriate”. The fans loved his response and I am sure there is a young woman somewhere wishing she had kept her mouth shut.

3. You Have a Voice
One of the most impressive parts of the concert was when Ed sang without a microphone. It was an incredible experience to hear his voice flow through the packed arena as everyone sat quietly and listened to his voice carry throughout Madison Square Garden without the use of a microphone. Always remember that there may be times when you feel your voice is not being heard, but people are listening and they will hear you clearly.

4. There is Strength in Numbers & Power in One – YOU!
Ed Sheeran said that some people suggested to him that to be successful headlining Madison Square Garden, he would finally have to add a band to support him. True to form, it was not going to happen because Ed Sheeran is a creative and brilliant artist who is about to redefine what one person can do. As he explained, just two years ago he was playing a small club in England and he is now headlining Madison Square Garden the same way, with no Band, just Ed, his guitar and the now infamous “loop pedal”. There may be times when people suggest that you don’t have what it takes, but trust in yourself and you will achieve the success you desire.

I have had the pleasure of seeing many artists perform over the years and I am happy to say that Ed Sheeran ranks as one of the best concerts I have seen. He sends a great message to young people about who you are and what you can achieve. It is exciting to see that his fans, my daughter included, are getting it and embracing it.

Keep going Ed….and all the best for continued success!