Photo: David Gahr, Dolly Parton, NYC, 1976
What is the measure of a successful day? Is it checking everything off your to-do list? How about the incalculable prospect of some serendipitous, life-affirming encounter or perhaps just simply carving out some much-needed time for yourself?
While the criterion for a worthwhile day-in-the-life is ultimately relative, there's no denying that we could all learn a thing or two about the fine art of good living from country legend Dolly Parton who penned both "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You" on the same fortuitous day back in 1972. Having recently turned 75, the "9 to 5" superstar still finds time to cultivate Netflix specials, new music, philanthropic endeavors, viral sensations, lasting love with longtime husband Carl Dean and no shortage of iconic fashion moments at a rate that is truly unprecedented. Inspired by this enduring diamond whose pearls of wisdom enliven a rhinestone world, we've rounded up 25 of our favorite "Dollyisms" to live by.
1. “If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”
2. "Don’t get so busy making a living that you forgot to make a life.”
3. "You know, I look like a woman, but I think like a man. And in this world of business, that has helped me a lot. Because by the time they think that I don't know what's goin' on, I then got the money, and am gone."
4. "A rhinestone shines just as good as a diamond.”
5. “You never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”
6. "I make a point to appreciate all the little things in my life. I go out and smell the air after a good, hard rain. These small actions help remind me that there are so many great, glorious pieces of good in the world."
7. “You need to really believe in what you've got to offer, what your talent is — and if you believe, that gives you strength.”
8. “When someone shows me their true colors, I believe them.”
9. “The magic is inside you, there ain’t no crystal ball."
10. “I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb—and I'm not blonde either.”
11. “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain."
12. “Smile—it increases your face value.”
13. “I always count my blessings more than I count my money. I don’t work for money, never did."
14. "If you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one."
15. "Being a star just means that you just find your own special place, and that you shine where you are."
16. “Find out who you are and do it on purpose."
17.“People always say, ‘But you always look so happy.’ Well that’s Botox! Nobody’s happy all the time. But I work hard at it.”
18. "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap."
19. “I've had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love.”
20. “Storms make trees take deeper roots.”
21. “You don’t have to look like everybody else. You don’t have to be a raving beauty to be special and to be beautiful.”
22. “Everybody’s life is a soap opera. Everybody’s life is a country western song, depends on who’s writing it."
23. “You make your choices, you make your sacrifices and I never looked back. I knew early on that I was going to walk that road until God told me to stop."
24. "I don't like to give advice. I like to give people information because everyone's life is different, and everyone's journey is different."
25. "I want to go and go, and then drop dead in the middle of something I'm loving to do. And if that doesn't happen, if I wind up sitting in a wheelchair, at least I'll have my high heels on."