If there's an expert in dreaming big and achieving your heart's greatest desires, it's Dolly Parton. Growing up the fourth of 12 children to a poor tobacco farmer in Tennessee, Parton realized her biggest dream -- singing on the Grand Ole Opry stage -- at the age of 13. Now 66 and a certified country music icon, Parton is sharing her philosophy for success in her new book "Dream More."
"People are always asking me for advice and asking me how to do this, how to do that. I don't give advice. I like to give information and just try to help," Parton says. With that approach, writing her experiences to share in the book "just rolled out," she says.
"Dream More" is based on the wisdom the singer delivered in a 2009 commencement speech at the University of Tennessee. A sweet, concise little book of inspiration, it is broken into four chapters that define the principles Parton lives by: dream more, learn more, care more and be more.
"You have to come up with little slogans ... and I just thought those were beautiful words," Parton says of her preparation to deliver a message of hope to graduates. It was only when she began to expand on those "slogans" for the book that she realized "what all those things really meant for me," she says. "That's really who I am and how I've lived my life."
The power of positive thinking
Despite her hardscrabble background, Dolly Parton’s bubbly, oversized personality bursts with warmth and positivity. The power of a good attitude is a message she shares in “Dream More.”
“I’ve always hoped for things to be good, but I’ve also learned the best way to make things good is to make things good,” she says. “If things are really falling apart, don’t just fall into that — try to mend it, try to fix it, try to move forward. I still have a lot of hard times myself — when people say, ‘Oh, you just seem to be so happy all the time,’ I say, ‘That’s bull-talk’ — but I honestly do try to fix things that are wrong.”