Johnny Cash often acknowledged the fact that there was both “good and evil” inside of him, as there is good and bad with pretty much every human being on this planet.
Hell, that kind of self-awareness led him to becoming one of the most legendary singers/songwriters/performers on this planet.
With that being said, Cash tried to keep his actions to a minimum as much as possible. And how did he keep himself in-check, you may ask?
His iconic to-do list.
According to the Johnny Cash museum, the list was written as a New Year’s Resolution in the ’70s.
Just a few little reminders to make life easier, better, more fulfilling, and to keep his focus on the things that matter, and quite literally… keep himself alive. Something tells me we could all use a little reminder like this every day.
And as you’d expect, it’s about as straightforward and simplified as possible:
1. Not smoke
2. Kiss June
3. Not kiss anyone else
7. Not eat too much
9. Go see Mama
10. Practice piano
Yeah, I’d say a number of those points are, ya know, vital for living. I’ll admit, two and three are my favorite by far, with “Not kiss anyone else” topping the list. I mean hey, a few drinks in sometimes you need a reminder…
And fun fact, the undated to-do list from The Man in Black sold for $6,400 at an auction… not bad for a piece of Johnny Cash history.
Johnny and June… the ultimate country music power couple.
In 1968, many years after they first met backstage at the Grand Ole Opry, Johnny Cash proposed to June Carter during the middle of a show in London, Ontario, right there on the stage. June urged him to keep singing, but Johnny wasn’t gonna continue the how until he got an answer.
She said yes and the couple married on March 1, 1968, in Franklin, Kentucky.
Through thick and thin, including Johnny’s well-documented drug issues, they were married until June’s death in 2003. In fact, Johnny dedicated his final live performance to her, and passed away as well shortly after.
But back in 1994, Johnny Cash wrote what was voted to be the greatest love letter of all time to his wife June Carter.
It read as follows:
“Happy Birthday Princess,
We get old and get used to each other. We think alike. We read each others [sic] minds. We know what the other wants without asking. Sometimes we irritate each other a little bit. Maybe sometimes take each other for granted.
But once in awhile, like today, I meditate on it and realize how lucky I am to share my life with the greatest woman I ever met. You still fascinate and inspire me. You influence me for the better. You’re the object of my desire, the #1 Earthly reason for my existence. I love you very much.
Happy Birthday Princess.
Fellas…. if you’re not paying attention, you better start.
Take a page out of the Johnny Cash playbook and write your lady a letter… you can’t go wrong.