Dolly Parton Tells You How to Dream Big

by Natasha Wolff | October 15, 2012 12:00 am

Dolly Parton[1] can do much more than sing. While the Tennessee-born superstar might be best known for her many musical hits—including classics like “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene” (both composed by her)—Parton bas also found success as an actress, theme park owner, Broadway lyricist, philanthropist and author. This week she adds another book to her credits.

Parton’s new book, Dream More[2], is a collection of her wit and wisdom about living up to one’s potential. “Don’t ask me how I feel about dreaming unless you really have some time to listen,” she writes—which sounds like the start to one of her songs—before launching into more than 120 pages of thoughts on the subject. Parton doesn’t promise readers they’ll end up with her fame and fortune, but she doles out plenty of advice on how to live a life that’s spiritually satisfying—and drops more than a few winning anecdotes and tidbits along the way. Here are five of our favorites.

On Dreaming Big

“I always dreamed hard and had a big imagination. When I was a kid, I used to put a tin can on a tobacco stick. I would jab one end of it into a crack on the porch of our old cabin. And those were not chickens out in the yard, they were my audience. And that was no ragged dress I was wearing, it was a dress all aglitter with rhinestones. And it was made of the finest silk. Of course, in my mind’s eye, I was standing onstage with my guitar and singing my heart out into a microphone, with thousands of people listening to me.”

On Her Early Beauty Secrets

“Until I was a teenager, I used red pokeberries for lipstick and a burnt matchstick for eyeliner. I used honeysuckle for perfume. We were raised in the Pentecostal Church of God and they believed that wearing makeup was sinful. My Grandpa Jake, my Mama’s dad, was a preacher. So I had to sneak around and make myself look all pretty but then wash it off before they caught me.” 

On Not Judging This Book By Its Cover:

“I am pretty sure that if no one knew who I was and you put my picture in front of ten people and asked them how many times this person has been married, I think on the low end, the guess would be two and on the upper end, at least five times. Even knowing who I am people are surprised to find out that I have been married to the same man for forty-six years. I look like a serial bridge, but I am a ‘one and done’ kind of girl.”

On How She Stays Youthful

“People think I’m a vegan. I’m not. Or they think I take lots of vitamins. I don’t. Or they think I have a daily exercise routine. But I certainly can’t jog or I’d black both my eyes and beat myself to death. So where does all my energy come from? Well, I’m blessed that I do not require much sleep, which is a very good thing for me.” 

On Weathering Tough Times

“We all go through down times in our lives, myself included. People problems, female problems, male problems, family problems… You name it, I’ve felt it. Yet I’m glad I’ve been through these times. When they happen, you feel like it’s God telling you to slow down and take inventory…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.”

  1. Dolly Parton:
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