When we saw more than one person tethered to the New York Times’ bestseller You are a Badass: How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness And Start Living An Awesome Life, we were curious; what did the book with the bright yellow cover and snarky title have to offer that other self help books didn’t? “ Imagine if Tina Fey wrote a self help book,” said one reader, “it would probably be a lot like this one.”
After reading a few chapters of author Jen Sincero’s salty language, heavy sarcasm and sometimes outrageously funny stories, we got it. Sincero is unapologetic in her no-nonsense, tough love (even abrasive) approach used to convince her readers that any change is possible if you just stop procrastinating. While some might argue that Sincero trivializes just how hard it is to move forward when you’re struggling through some of life’s big challenges (career change, divorce, relocation etc.,) her bite-sized chapters, easy exercises and hilarious real-life examples do offer enough substance to make it likely you’ll pick up a worthwhile nugget or two. Some of our favorite quotes and insights from the book include:
The Myth of Finding Your One True Calling
“So, what do you want to be when you grow up?”
For some, the answer is easy; software engineer, marketing analyst, social media maven. These people seem to know from an early age exactly what they want and where they’re headed. For others, the answer is tougher. They feel the pressure to “pick a career lane” but it’s harder to choose one job, one interest, or one direction because they have so many passions and interests. According to author and TedX speaker Emilie Wapnick, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. In her view, having lots of interests doesn’t make you flaky or a “master of none,” it makes you a “multipotentiate!”
A multipotentiate is a term referring to someone who has many interests and creative pursuits.
Emilie puts herself in this category describing herself as,” the founder, creative director, and resident multipotentiate” of her business called Puttylike. She writes, speaks, teaches, designs, makes art, does research, explores, and tinkers…depending on the day. Emilie believes it’s possible to make a living and be productive in the work world without denying multiple interests and passions and she offers resources to help people do it. In her view our career decisions don’t have to be permanent or irreversible. She’s a good example. Emilie has worked as a web designer, a punk band musician, and a film production crew member. She has a law degree from McGill University and took a career spin in the law field as well. Today she offers resources to help multipotentiates find sustainable ways of making a living. Check out Emilie’s popular Ted Talk.
To learn more check out her new book called How to be Everything: Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling published last month (May 2017) or visit puttylike.com.
A Little Inspiration from NPR’s List of the Best Commencement Speeches Ever
Graduations are around the corner and it’s always a good time to glean a little wisdom from successful folks who stand at the podium and share their stories.
Fortunately NPR has compiled a list of what they’ve chosen as the “best commencement” speeches ever. The list includes speeches from a diverse group of TV personalities, ex-president’s, design icons and business leaders. Stephen Colbert, Bill Clinton, Tory Burch and Steven Jobs are just a few of the over 300 names you can find on the list.
Type in the name of your favorite speaker in NPR’s search bar for instant inspiration from your favorite speaker.
How gritty are you?
You can actually take a test to find out how gritty you are!
While talent, intelligence and charisma are all qualities traditionally associated with high achievers and success, some researchers are honing in on other traits like backbone, fortitude, and stick-to-itiveness as being more important to long term success. Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, a professor and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance chalks it up to a quality she calls: grit. “Grit,” she says, “entails working strenuously toward challenges and maintaining effort and interest, despite failure, adversity, and plateaus. Gritty people, are not easily tempted away from their ultimate goal by distractions, easy answers, or boredom.”
A Lesson in the “V” Word from Magic Johnson and Netflix’s Reed Hastings
Truth is (despite my pure Celtics upbringing) I’m a Magic Johnson fan. There’s a reason ESPN once named him the greatest NBA point guard of all time. Passion, talent, and drive made him a thrill to watch as he propelled his team to five NBA championships.
Although his leadership skills on the court were unquestionable, and his post basketball contributions to both the war on AIDS, and to inner city economic development extraordinary, the “v” word I’m thinking about isn’t vision although no one could argue Johnson doesn’t have it. The “v” word I’m referring to is vulnerability.
When it seems impossible to change your story…
Strength in What Remains is the not-to-miss true account of Deo (short for Deogratias) Niyizonkizain’s prolific American journey written by Pulitzer-prize winner Tracy Kidder. It is at the top of Off the Curb reading list for its lessons in personal leadership: the power of vision to propel us forward and the tenacity and sheer grit sometimes needed to overcome tough, and seemingly insurmountable burdens to change our story.
Deo is a Tutsi who managed to escape the vicious civil war between his people and the Hutus in Burundi and neighboring Rwanda. When the Hutus were on the offense; indiscriminately killing Tutsis they found in their path, Deo was a 24 year old Burundi medical student. He survived genocide by clinging to
The Big Love Ball: A Lesson in Rebooting your Purpose
Sometimes, if we’re open to it, one simple idea or an inkling to do something more meaningful can shift everything. Such was the case for interior designer and art director Wendy Williams Watt who founded the Big Love Ball three years ago and found a renewed sense of love and purpose.
Watt was already experiencing a successful career as one of Canada’s top 25 interior designers and owned an inspiring retail space (called Liberty) in downtown Vancouver but something was missing. She wanted to create something that impacted others in a playful way and spread a feeling of connection and inclusion. One day she had a pop of inspiration; creating art from a big silicone ball and adding the word LOVE across it. Soon the balls were seen in shops, restaurants, national monuments and weddings. First in Vancouver. Then,
around the world.