Imagine Dragons – “Whatever It Takes” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

“Whatever It Takes” is a powerful anthem about resilience, determination, and the willingness to go the extra mile to achieve one’s dreams. At its core, the song speaks to the human spirit’s unyielding desire to overcome obstacles, regardless of the challenges faced. The lyricist, channeling personal experiences and a broader perspective on human ambition, crafts a narrative of embracing challenges head-on. This is not just a song; it’s a declaration of perseverance, a rallying cry for anyone who has ever faced adversity. It’s about breaking free from the chains of mediocrity and pushing beyond the limits to realize one’s true potential.

Ever wondered what drives people to push their limits? Imagine Dragons’ “Whatever It Takes” might just have the answer. Dive into an exploration of ambition, resilience, and breaking free.


“Whatever It Takes” Lyrics Meaning

“Whatever It Takes” opens with a sense of urgency and a recognition of the inherent risks in striving for greatness. The lines “Falling too fast to prepare for this / Tripping in the world could be dangerous” set the stage for a journey fraught with challenges, mirroring the unpredictability and potential perils of pursuing one’s dreams. This idea is further amplified with “Everybody circling, it’s vulturous,” suggesting a world where others may prey on one’s vulnerabilities or wait for one’s downfall.

As the song progresses, the lyrics “I was born to run, I was born for this” resonate with a deep sense of purpose and destiny. It’s a declaration of innate drive and ambition, suggesting that the singer feels predestined to pursue their dreams, despite the challenges. This is intertwined with the chorus, “Whatever it takes / ‘Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins,” highlighting the thrill and passion that drives the pursuit of goals. It’s not just about the end result but also about the journey and the exhilarating experiences along the way.

In the verses, the song delves into personal struggles and vulnerabilities, with lines like “Looking at my body feeling miserable” and “Always hanging on to the visual.” These lines speak to the internal battles one faces, the struggle with self-image, and the pressure to conform to societal expectations. However, the song swiftly counters this with a message of self-acceptance and the courage to be different, as seen in “I wanna be invisible.”

The bridge introduces a philosophical element with “I’m just a product of the system, a catastrophe / And yet a masterpiece.” This duality captures the complexity of the human experience – being shaped by external forces yet retaining a unique identity. The lines “And when I am deceased / At least I go down to the grave and die happily” reflect a sense of peace and fulfillment in having lived a life true to oneself, striving for personal goals.

Throughout, “Whatever It Takes” maintains a theme of overcoming adversity and embracing one’s identity. It’s a song that speaks to the heart of anyone striving to make their mark in the world, encouraging listeners to push through their limitations and societal constraints to achieve their fullest potential.

The Story Behind “Whatever It Takes”

Reynolds has been vocal about his battles with depression and the impact it has had on his life and music. “Whatever It Takes” can be seen as a reflection of his mental state during a particularly challenging period. It’s a testament to his determination to overcome his struggles and not just survive, but thrive. The song’s energetic tempo and defiant lyrics mirror Reynolds’ resolve to fight through the darkness and emerge stronger.

Moreover, the band’s journey to stardom was not without its hurdles. They faced numerous rejections and setbacks before finding success. This background adds depth to lines like “Always had a fear of being typical” and “Never be enough, I’m the prodigal son.” These are not just lyrics; they are snippets of the band’s real-life experiences, a narrative of their journey from obscurity to the global stage.

“Whatever It Takes” also reflects the broader human condition – the constant struggle between conforming to societal norms and breaking free to pursue one’s true passions. The song is an ode to the underdog, to those who dare to dream big and defy expectations. It’s about the relentless pursuit of one’s goals, regardless of the obstacles and naysayers.