Lately, I’m nothing less than inspired every day. Boy is that refreshing!
I’m motivated by the books I read, the emails I receive, the stories I hear and beat of my heart that tells me there’s always more where that came from.
I wake up everyday knowing & believing — thanks to the power & opportunity of the Internet — I can do something spectacular. Put an idea into play, take advantage of a trending hashtag, converse with someone important on Twitter, make the media take notice. There is SO much possibility in every singe day, thank you social media.
Long ago, when I had no interest in a “real career” and just wanted to work, collect a paycheck and “live the rest of my life” — because that’s what really mattered — I had it all wrong. We spend at minimum 40 hours of our lives at work…if you can find something you actually like, don’t waste that opportunity. I didn’t.
I almost accidentally stumbled into my career but I know it was also Divine. I had prayed for this path unknowingly — and God more than answered that prayer.
Placement only takes you so far though. Without a dream — or a nugget of one — in your heart, things will be mediocre. I’ve always had the dream but couldn’t decipher it, sometimes I still can’t but that doesn’t matter.
The truth is, if you wait until everything becomes clear, you miss the opportunity to make it real. It’s never too early to start moving — but it is often too late.
When I came to DC, it was “impossible” to get a good job on Capitol Hill without an internship or good connections. I got one anyway. Good thing I didn’t listen to the naysayers.
When I interned here, my boss told me to get a job I had to “want it more than anyone else.” I told him, “I don’t.” It was true, I wanted a job I enjoyed but I didn’t have the passion it took to convince someone I wanted it more than anyone else. Despite his advice, I’ve gotten great jobs and grown within them. You’ve got to do YOU — you can’t be an authentic version of anyone but yourself.
These are just a couple of examples where I didn’t listen to the crowd, did my own thing and succeeded. I despise when someone tells me there’s no reason to try and write a memoir because “it’s not likely” to be published. There are too many memoirs, they say, you should just publish it yourself. What if I have the audacity to believe mine will work? Maybe I’ll do it, maybe I won’t but don’t tell me I can’t.
So often, I hear…”it’s been done” or “it’s not likely” or “we’ve tried that and it didn’t work.” Why does anyone put dream killers out into the atmosphere like that? Don’t verbalize pessimism and failure — words have power, thoughts have power and there’s absolutely no reason to put the toxicity into someone’s mind.
Don’t believe it. You can’t succeed if you don’t try. You can’t succeed if you don’t embrace risk and welcome failure because with every inch of it, you eliminate the ways to do it badly, you elevate the ways it may work.
I’m fortunate to work with a great team. We are encouraged taking chances, throw things to the wall and seeing what sticks. Every idea is welcome, even if it seems far-fetched, even if others in the building say it will never work. The status quo is poison and I feel extremely lucky that we have this environment. We must often work to break through the habits of a 40-year-old organization but we believe we can do it — and we DO.
Something to remember from Seth Godin:
The secret of being wrong isn’t to avoid being wrong.
The secret is willing to be wrong.
The only thing that makes people and organizations great is their willingness to be not great along the way.
One thing I’ve learned from Marie Forleo while taking her B-School class: Every single person has unique strengths, ideas, personality, thoughts and ideas. No matter what you are doing, you can do it differently than anyone else on the planet. What are your unique blends of strength? Build them and truly, authentically believe in them.
As Marie Forleo ask:
“How would you act if you were the number one expert on your subject/issue in the world?”
Certainly not timidly, certainly not with question or fear. Be BOLD.
Every dream you have isn’t going to succeed. You can’t be good at everything but you can be good at something. Focus and let the dream killers keep living in their own mediocrity.
I read somewhere once something profound. I can’t remember the exact wording but it was someting like this:
“If you stopped telling little girls they are at a disadvantage, they would never dream that they were.”
That goes for so many people. Simply by verbalizing a supposed weakness, you are starting to kill the dream. Don’t do that.
Godin says, “Cynicism is a lousy strategy.”
True, hope without strategy will get you nowhere but that’s where it starts. Now GO DO!