Friday, July 17, 2015

To Be Successful You Have to Try New Things





"To be successful, you have to try new things," Ron Friedman, author of The Best Place to Work
I was driving to work, listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Accidental Creative, when Ron Friedman said these words, and I couldn't help but repeat them over and over again. I found it to be so profoundly true. 

What does it mean to be successful? 

It means something different to everyone. Most likely, the goal is to find a measure of success in all areas of our lives. From our jobs to our relationships, to family, and even our hobbies. 

I experienced the most growth in the later years of my 20's. More than when I was in college and in the brief years following. Maybe because I didn't move away and live on my own, maybe it was because I didn't have kids or had to stress out about personal finances. There were few deaths in the family (which I am so grateful for), and few drastic, world-turned-upside-down events that really challenged how I perceived myself and the world as a whole. I saw things from a smaller bubble than how I see them now.  

(Waves hand dismissively) But that's a deeper conversation than I intended to go for on this post. 

What Ron Friedman had begun to discuss on the podcast was the value of failure. 

We experience phenomenal growth in times of failure and hardship. We should not be afraid of failing. But sometimes our circumstances, our jobs, our family, and our finances don't allow much room for grand experimentation. Life is short, and with each failure, it can quickly feel like it just got a whole lot shorter. 

My dream to become traditionally published is a couple years shy of reaching a decade. A near decade of writing, writing, and more writing. Lots of tears, lots of dizzying dreaming, the need for thicker skin, and learning exactly what the word grit means. I kept hitting a wall and every time I thought I reached the top of that mountainous blockade, there was yet another ridge to climb over

I've tried a lot of things. Some of them made me feel like I failed. (However, most have felt like successes.) But beyond that, failure is where I discovered the value of being resourceful

I'm reading more non-fiction than fiction these days. Listening to podcasts, watching more documentaries, and in 1:1 conversations, I'm doing a lot more listening than talking. Why is that important? 

I want to know what resources people used to get to where they are. Where have they gone to find information and inspiration, and did it help? Not everything I'm reading/watching/observing is directly related. From books on writing, to talks on architecture, memoir, motivational, and business books, Ted Talks, and even podcasts like the Gilmore Guys (no, that is not a misspelling). I am hungry for a wider array of knowledge than ever before. 

Knowledge is invigorating. It is an opening of doors to secret things and places in the world. 

And that's why the quote, "To be successful, you have to try new things," really struck a chord with me. You learn of new things by opening yourself up to knowledge of said new things. 

*Shrugs* Anyway, that's my spiel for the day. :)  

Happy Friday and go hug something cute and cuddly! Happy (the cat in the photo) would like you to know that he's available for bookings. 

23 comments:

  1. That's a great quote and definitely something good to think about. Things are upside down and inside out for me right now and I'm just trying to work through them. Telling myself I shouldn't be afraid of these changes helps (well, a little at least ;). I hope you have an excellent weekend, and a head-scratch to Happy from me!

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    1. Sorry to hear about the turbulence! You've got a book launching so I can only imagine the amount of work and stress. But all good things (I hope!!). :) Sending you virtual hugs and well wishes.

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  2. I hear you on the grit part! Some days I wonder why I'm still trying to get published, when all I hear are no's, but I'm too stubborn to quit. =)

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    1. I think that's exactly what it takes to get published. Stubbornness! :) Popping over to blog now to check in and see how things are going!

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  3. Great post! Being a writer is not for the faint of heart, it is often brutal. We take the blows, lick our wounds then get up and go again:) My thoughts on failing: The only failure is quitting.

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  4. PS Which I give thought to whenever I get a mediocre review. grin.

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    1. I completely agree! Definitely not for the faint of heart and can be quite scary. I agree with that statement: The only failure is quitting. (Had to repeat it to myself) ;)

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  5. Failing is part of life, and one of the most important things I can teach my kids is how to deal with failure. Because they will fail, and if they can't deal with that then they have problems.

    One of the best books I've ever read is HOW TO MEASURE YOUR LIFE by Clayton M Christensen. Great book for helping me prioritize what was most important and how I defined success.

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    1. Thanks for the book recommendation, Sara! :) I will definitely check it out! I agree in that failure is going to undoubtedly happen in our lives. It's a tremendous advantage to be in a state where we can manage the emotions that come with it, and be able to bounce back. <3

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  6. I research this stuff a lot for articles I write for entrepreneurs and I have found that repeatedly. Success means dealing with failure well. Pretty much every mega-successful business owner today has at least one failure in his background. That's especially true of creative people--I can't even tell you how many times I was rejected by publishing houses and agents. I lost count after 20!

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Stephanie! It's reassuring to hear since I'm in the midst of rejections and trying to manage the emotions that come with it. :)

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  7. HAPPY <3 this made me realize it's been a while since I've shared a photo of my Penny on my blog. Must remedy that soon! And yes, this is a GREAT quote. I'm bad at branching out and expanding my horizons but a huge part of that is money. I'm broker than broke at the moment lol. But there's plenty to do for free. When it comes to writing, exercise, everything-- I find if I don't try new things I fail. Recently I've switched up my workouts and seen major improvement. And I think I tend to get in the worst writing ruts.

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    1. Yes!! :) Would love to see more of Penny. LOL I've thought of posting videos too, but I keep coo'ing in the background, and NO ONE wants to hear that. :) I know what you mean about changing things up when things hit a plateau or just don't feel like they're working anymore. Switching it up is a worthy experiment and definitely the smart thing to do!!

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  8. Happy looks so happy :) Hope your dream of getting published arrives at the time when your writing soul is most ready to be shown to the world :)

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  9. I have passed the decade mark (and then some) on the journey to traditional publishing...and still traversing the same trail:)
    Hope your weekend was wondrous.

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    1. Glad to have a buddy along with me on the trail! :) Hope you had a fantastic weekend as well!

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  10. I started becoming successful in my mid-thirties, and I realized it came after a time in my late twenties and early thirties that had been brutal. I learned and suffered a lot, both from making mistakes as well as being hurt by others. I was able to learn from my mistakes, use these emotions in my writing, and become motivated by negative experiences by striving to overcome them.

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  11. We definitely need to be learning if we want to make progress. Way to go! Life is crazy, right? Do you ever look back and wish you'd learned some of these lessons earlier on?

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  12. Ugh. I know mistakes are what help us learn, and that failure is important. I know this. I just wish it didn't suck so much in the process. I've been working hard on changing my reaction to failure, because that at least is in my control, and will make me a happier and more peaceful person.

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  13. Hugs to Happy from Faux Paw, Captain Stubby and Belle:)

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  14. I agree with you. Another thing I'd add is that to be successful, one needs to stop fearing failure and see failures as lessons.

    Best of luck with your writing. :-)

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  15. It's tough getting outside your comfort zone, but that is the best way to learn and grow.

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