[Note: This is Day 10 in the Be Your Own Guru blog series. And this is about the time when people start to feel overwhelmed, "behind" or they just feel like quitting in general. Is that you? If so, read on!]
There comes a point on every journey where you need to decide if you're going to stand up for what you say you believe, or quit.
"It's when things seem hardest that you must not quit." is the closing line of Whittier's famed poem "Don't Quit."
That's easier said than done sometimes.
Most of the time, actually.
See, there's a relief that comes in quitting... in letting something unravel so that you can walk away.
Maybe, like me, it's more than one of those things - or all of them at the same time. I've let things unravel a few times in my life. I moved across country when things were too lonely at college. I moved back home, cross country again, when things got too hard and lonely out West. Each time, I left stuff behind for other people to clean up. And don't get me started on the number of houses I've moved out of since I've been back in Michigan. I've left plenty of things behind I wasn't willing to deal with anymore. It was just to much/overwhelming/hard for me to sift through all those old things/memories, and decide what to keep. So I just let it all go.
I've even done it with a business or two. It got too hard. My heart wasn't in it. I was looking for relief.
But now, I'm standing in a space where hard is pressing in on all sides, and it's the kind of hard that tests my mettle. It's a situation (several, actually), where I've been called on the carpet and my beliefs are being put to the test. If I really believe in what I say I believe in, I must behave in a certain way, otherwise, I'm just paying lip service to what I say is my truth.
Ever been there?
Shoot! It's even hard to just quit - I mean you've already invested a ton of time, (more…)
[Editor's note: when we migrated to the new site, a lot of great posts got lost. Slowly, I'll be digging them out, updating them, and reviving them for your inspiration. So if this post feels strangely familiar, that's why.]
This past year, I've been not-so-covertly working with Karl Staib on his twitter parties. He's been helping best-selling authors like Danielle LaPorte and Jennifer Louden sell more books and reach new audiences through a blend of teleclass and tweet chat that he calls twitter parties. My role is to manage the conversation on twitter and award prizes to the participants at intervals throughout the party, while he handles the interview and conversation on the phone.
Basically, I get to play fairy Godmother, talk to people and give away free stuff. Tough job, huh?
A while back, he did a twitter party for Barbara Sher, author of "Wishcraft". On the call, she was talking about a client who wanted to sing. Barbara told her to sing. When the client expressed her concern about her weight being an impediment to her singing success, Barbara simply told her to "sing fat". She followed that revelation with this comment:
Seth Godin shared this video in a recent post about his TEDx talk. While it's geared to the transformation of the education system (and specifically, his "what is school for?" manifesto he wrote earlier this year), it has a LOT of juicy tidbits for creative entrepreneurs to get us thinking about art vs. work.
What I love about Seth is his willingness to say what so many of us already fear, but won't say aloud: as a culture, we've been programmed for decades to comply to a system that was broken before, but now is decaying, dying, and actually harming artists. Our children are paying the price now, but those of us working in creative professions (or trying to) are also feeling the crushing blow that's hit us hard.
The artificial "system" we created to manage people and industrialize society left us without useful spaces to create, innovate, and inspire - unless we forcibly (more…)