I’ve just finished reading Shonda Rhimes’s book. You know her: she’s the first woman to both create and executive-produce an entire night of television (Thursdays on ABC: Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder).
She has 3 children at home and 3 hit television shows. And, back in 2013, she was doing a lot of what busy women often tell me they struggle to do: she was saying NO. A lot.
The book is about her decision to do exactly the opposite – rather than working on saying NO, this TV mogul and amazingly accomplished and successful woman made a decision to say YES to everything that scared her. For a year.
The most interesting aspect of this story, for me, is that Ms. Rhimes identifies herself as an introvert. I know so many people who tell me that they’re introverted – and that’s why they don’t want to move forward with their businesses, their careers, their lives. They’re stuck, they admit, but they can’t be otherwise because their introverted nature will stop them from trying something new.
Not this lady. She’s a living example of … just DOING what her fear told her not to do.
One of her scary activities was delivering the Commencement Address at her alma mater, Dartmouth. She titles her speech “Dreams are for Losers,” and, after talking about how very frightened she is to deliver this address, she proceeds to tell the graduating students, “…When people give these kinds of speeches … they tell you: Follow your dreams. Listen to your spirit. Find your inner voice and make it sing. Dream and don’t stop dreaming until your dream comes true.”
Here’s the stinger: “I think that’s crap. I think a lot of people dream. And while they are busy dreaming, the really happy people, the really successful people…are busy doing. Lesson one: ditch the dream. Be a doer, not a dreamer.”
And a second major take away from that talk: there’s no real work/life balance. “Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means that I am failing in another area of my life… You never feel 100 percent okay, you never get your sea legs, you are always a little nauseous. Something is always missing… That is the trade-off. Anyone who tells you they are doing it all perfectly is a liar.”
Food for thought. Worth a read.