How One Book Changed The Way I Work Forever

photo: Mija

 

You can’t convince me that books aren’t amazing. As a literature graduate, I’m probably the most bookish person you could meet. I believe you can read a book for the first or the fiftieth time and always learn something new, whether it’s about the author or about yourself. With that in mind, I recently picked up Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, if it promises to change the way I think then I usually believe it. Ultimately, this book did just that. Here’s how it changed the way I work.

Fear is necessary
Last year my New Year’s Resolution was to be more fearless. To push boundaries and put myself out there. That New Year’s Resolution led me to where I am now, and for that I’m thankful. But I don’t think it was wise to try to be completely fearless, as I eventually had a burnout from pushing myself too hard. In Big Magic Elizabeth says that aiming to be completely fearless is not the way forward. ‘Bravery means doing something scary. Fearlessness means not even understanding what the word scary means.’ After reading this I realized it’s okay for me to still feel a bit of fear towards certain things because fear is a driving force that keeps us on our toes and helps us grow.

Forget about failures and successes
I always talk about failures being the first step to success, but I’ve never really thought about how you know you’re doing well. Do you count up your successes and failures and congratulate yourself on everything you’ve overcome and accomplished? Elizabeth Gilbert says you should measure your worth by ‘your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.’ If you’ve stuck with one thing for a long time, you should congratulate yourself! Dedication is definitely a win!

Everybody has a talent
I’m a writer, that’s my talent. But I’m not always confident in that ability, I often think it’s a fluke that I’ve got to where I am. That I do what I love for a living, that I’m congratulated on my fiction writing – it just came from my brain, how can it be good? But then, in this book the line: ‘The Universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them,’ caught me off-guard. It’s true. We all have a talent we are ‘hiding’. If you’re reading this now I’m sure you’ve got something in mind that you know you love, but you’re unsure if you’re really good enough at it. Good enough for what I ask? For who? If you enjoy it – go for it.

In conclusion, this book has taught me to be open, to live creatively and to embrace the talents I know I have. I’ll be reading it again a few times to get more inspiration!

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