Ed Sheeran’s story is one of immense pain that he’s experienced throughout his life. Despite this, he found his passion and joy through music. Besides healing him, music became his outlet for emotions and a way of communicating with the world.

It’s true what they say; humble beginnings don’t hinder you from becoming anything you want. Looking at Ed Sheeran’s journey, he could’ve chosen to give up countless time but didn’t, and today, he’s amongst the most prominent of artists.

Things weren’t always as shiny as they are for Ed now. In fact, despite his immense success, he still faces struggles and challenges.

Early childhood

From a very young age, Ed Sheeran was a victim of bullying. He had a very tough childhood because of his stutter, lazy eye and big glasses. His red hair wasn’t much help either. Finding early love in music, he began his career at the very young age of four when he played with the church choir.

In addition to the constant bullying, he found himself gradually becoming an introvert and, in a way, disappearing into himself. He was insecure and ashamed which made him retreat and not want to participate in friendly, social events. Music, however, kept calling to him. He was never more alive than when he played.

“It was my love for the guitar that first got me into music and singing,” he says. He would often play the guitar in his room which gave him control over his inner struggles. Sheeran left home at 14 to pursue his career in music, at 14. He had no place to stay or enough money for food so often he’d spend nights on the subway.

Moving to America

Ed Sheeran struggled, playing music and selling CDs in London before deciding to move to America to follow his dream. He had no place to stay or a record label waiting for him, he just took a leap of faith and continued to play at different gigs.

Social media played a massive role in Ed Sheeran’s start. He would upload videos of his music and, one day luckily, got discovered by the rapper Example. After touring with the rapper, Ed grew his social media presence and gained more recognition.

It was during a radio show that Jamie Foxx, as host, asked Sheeran to play. He wowed both the crowd and Jamie. Jamie Foxx then let Sheeran crush on his couch for a couple of weeks and use his recording studio.

From the poor ginger boy who was bullied almost daily, Ed Sheeran grew and with him his music as well. His songs gained recognition and landed a recording contract with Atlantic Records in Los Angeles where he released his first album. He got to work with some of the biggest names in music such as Taylor Swift and One Direction.

Sheeran has broken several records and won a Grammy Award in 2016. With Ed’s unique style of music and soothing voice, his albums and singles continue to garner recognition all over the world. 

We can learn a lot of Ed Sheeran’s story and apply some of those lessons as we strive to live a more wholesome life.

1. Being different is a beautiful thing

There is a very pervasive need for people to fit into what others believe is normal. If you fall outside those bounds, then you’re termed weird. In his case, Ed Sheeran has been the odd kid his entire life. However, he says that being different aided his music career.

“Being a ginger can seem like a bad thing when you are young, but as a musician, it has been my saving grace.”  He recalls, “If you see a ginger kid on TV and there is only one messy-haired ginger kid who plays guitar, it is very easy to find them on YouTube.”

Embrace yourself in your weirdness because that’s what makes you unique.

2. Find an outlet for your struggles

Turning the other cheek and pretending all is OK might work, but the façade soon falls leaving you with years of issues to address. Ed Sheeran faced struggles his entire life but did not run from them; instead, he found strength to deal with them through music.

Social media is a very toxic place that many often fall into depressive episodes from the abuse they get. In fact, Ed Sheeran has faced this, “one comment ruins your day.” Speaking to the sun, Ed says, “The puzzle for me has been trying to work out why people dislike me so much.”

However, Ed Sheeran chooses to focus on music which brings him comfort and tears him away from anything hateful. You can find consolation in your passion as well.

3. Tough times don’t last

If you’d asked young Ed if he believed that his stutter would disappear, he probably wouldn’t have imagined it; however, that came to pass.

Each struggle came to shape and transform him into who he is today. Similarly, your battles won’t last, they’ll teach you a lesson and equip you for the next phase of life then disappear.