"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.