Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More words of wisdom from others

Here are various thoughts and tidbits of advice that people have shared with me recently:

"I'd say to give it time, lots of time. Slow down. Relax. There's time... What I discovered was that it took a solid month before I stopped busily filling each day, making plans and to-do lists and schedules, and simply woke up in the morning, and was present, centered, and relaxed."

"Do you know that Hayward State has a masters in non-profit management? Might be good to have some of those classes on your resume - I think it would demonstrate how serious you are."

"From all I can see, have read, heard etc. it seems one needs, whenever possible, to be self-employed, for at least some of their work."


Anonymous said...

I'm certain that you've heard all the cliches; that "happiness is not a destination, but a journey;" "Don't sweat the small stuff"(Robert Fulghum). Most of us seem to acquire what I'll call "prophylactic wisdom," which is often borne out by observing the travails of others. Oh well, me giving advice would be like Falstaff lecturing on the virtue of modesty, perhaps. I can, however, posit these observations:
1. Be absolutely certain that you have defined your concept of "success." As you have doubtlessly observed, "success" is many things to many people. It doesn't matter what it is to all the gurus, or your influencers. What matters is, what it is to you.

2. Guard against scripting your life to someone else's ideal. Your life is your own, but it affects others in ways you can't often imagine. Avoid advancement at the expense of relatives and loved ones; if you find you are traipsing down that path, take a U-turn immediately. Bad karma will be the least of your problems if you don't.

Blue Yonder said...

anonymous, those are excellent pieces of advice. Re: #1, I can say for sure what my personal definition of success is not: it's not the "Time Magazine's Woman of the Year" brand of success, nor is it the "Fortune Magazine's 100 Wealthiest People" brand of success. I have my own ideas on what success means to me, and I'm not too worried about what anyone else thinks about it. Likewise, re: #2, I feel like I have mostly escaped the trap of trying to live up to someone else's expectations.

I'll offer this observation, though: it can be a lonely road when one creates a personal definition of success and a set of life ideals that don't necessarily match up with the messages we get from mainstream culture. I often feel like I'm marching to the beat of that different drummer, but IMHO it's worth the price.

About your comment to "avoid advancement at the expense of relatives and loved ones": this seems to be an easy trap to fall into in Silicon Valley. Sometimes we invest so much time and energy into our work that our perspective gets warped, and we neglect our relationships with friends and family. Yet we accept this because it's the cultural status quo here in the valley. It can be extremely difficult to reconcile our stated life priorities with the way we spend our time.