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Posts Tagged ‘success’

What Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein Have to do with Success

Marilyn Monroe reading, by Elliott Erwitt, 1956

When I was twelve, I wrote down this quote from Marilyn Monroe:

I was never told that I was beautiful when I was younger. I think that all young girls should be told that they are beautiful even if they really aren’t.

And ever since then, I’ve heard her words in my head. I, too, believe that every little girl should be told that she’s beautiful. But I disagree with Ms. Monroe that little girls are not beautiful. When you’re little, the world is yours to take and create. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to, and you can do whatever you want to do.

Last week I read this correspondence between Albert Einstein and a little girl who wanted to be a scientist. In it, he gave her the best advice that every woman can apply to her career and anything that she sets her mind to.

As a woman, I encounter so many articles about women in work and the role gender plays in success. I have been part of conversations about how to we need more women in the tech field, how brogrammers have created a world that is challenging to play in, and that women still can’t have it all.

As a member of Gen Y, we know that the world that we’re working in now is way different than every other generation that came before us. The majority of us are working jobs that did not exist 10 years ago or even before we had them. We see work as an activity, not a place we spend our days. And most of us have a side-hustle, hobby, or passion project that we created ourselves and devote time beyond the 9-to-5 building.

And even though we’ve been accused for being the cheapest generation, we’re working hard, despite the horrible economy, to build a life that we want. And we’re filling it with the people, experiences, and the things that we desire.

We were raised to believe that if we want something bad enough, all we have to do is work hard and we can do it. And we’re very aware that we can’t do it alone, because if we could, we wouldn’t want to.

Marilyn Monroe wants every girl to know that she’s beautiful, whether she is or is not. Gen Y has was raised to believe that we could do anything that we set our minds to.

But as we get further and further into our version of adulthood, we realize that we can’t have everything that we want, when we want it. We get confused after reading articles that tell us that women keep other women from getting ahead at the same time that others tell us that women can be our closest allies. We aren’t sure what to think. We forget the hopes and dreams that we secretly scribbled into notebooks when we were teenagers. We get consumed in the struggle.

A friend says the right words, at the right time. They pass us a book that brings us back to where we need to be. Someone throws us a life vest and we read something that was written for what we’re experiencing in that very moment.

We realize what Einstein was right—who we are and what we want to be is possible, and not to let something that we can’t control, like being young, a woman, inexperienced, or something else, get in our way.

In our world, non-beautiful girls can be beautiful and little girls can grow up to be scientists. Rules and expectations were set by the generations who came before us. And they created their definition of success.

This is our world, and success is what we make of if.

Photograph by Elliott Erwitt via Mycroft Books

Sunday Serial: Storytelling, a Photo a Day, Besties, and Success

success baby

Sunday Serial is curated list of the best blogs and articles that I’ve encountered over the past week. Sometimes there’s a theme, but most times there’s not. My goal with these posts is that I introduce you to at least one new idea that you may not have otherwise been exposed to. Enjoy!

 

The 22 rules of storytelling, according to Pixar by Cyriaque Lamar on iO9

Read this because: Where else are you going to find 22 tips about storytelling from the brilliant minds at Pixar?

Here are a few of my favorites from the list:

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.
#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.
#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.
#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.
#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

What I’ve learned taking photos every day at 8:36 p.m. by Buster Benson on GeekWire

Read this because: Could you commit to doing one thing every day for a month or even a year? Five years ago, Buster Benson (founder of 750 Words) decided to take one photo every day at 8:36pm. As he says, most of the photos are boring, but it also captures things like the day he and his wife got married, got pregnant, and the day their son was born.

I love this idea. I’ve committed to blogging every day for thirty days (twice), and learned so much about myself during the process, and mostly because I committed to it. But a year? Not sure if writing (and posting) a blog for 365-days straight is sustainable, but taking a photo. Yeah, I could do that. Could you?

5 Different Kinds Of Besties by Sydney Nikols on Thought Catalog

Read this because: I’d bet money that you have friends like this, and you might be one of my five.

The 5 traits of radically successful people by Alex Banayan on VentureBeat

Read this because: We all need a recipe for being successful, and this article is the latest one. Here’s an excerpt:

I have a crazy idea: success isn’t just about hard work. We hear about hard work all the time—it’s what Olympic champions talk about when they get to the top of the podium and it’s what the media credits as the sole force behind of multimillion-dollar Internet entrepreneurs. But there has to be something else in the equation of obtaining unimaginable success. What other traits tipped the odds in favor of the world’s most successful people?

What helped propel their careers before they had track records?

For the past year I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some of the world’s most successful people to find the answers to these very questions.

What did you read this week?

Sunday Serial: Books, Blogging, Innovation & Reading

Untitled, Hamed Saber

In the spirit of all things Sunday, here’s a list of some of the best I read this past week. Enjoy!

The Bookstore’s Last Stand: Barnes & Noble, Taking on Amazon in the Fight of Its Life by Julie Bosman in The New York Times

Read this because: If you’re an indie lover like me, you never thought that you’d vote for the “big box” bookstore, ever. Except for the very brutal fact that these big box stores determine things like the very existence of printed books, as we know it. Indies rock, have way better service than the larger guys, but all the indies combined don’t have the buying power of Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the distant memory that was once Borders.

This is not the time or place to go into an endless saga about the world that could be if we only had one channel to receive our books from, but let’s imagine that, for a split second. What if one company was in charge of telling publishers which authors needed publishing and which didn’t? What if there was one retailer who said – um, yeah, I don’t think we’ll be selling that one?

9 Ways that You Can Build a Blog that Matters by Benny Hsu on Get Busy Living

Read this because: You’re a blogger, a blogger-in-training, or just curious. Benny does a wonderful job of sharing what he learned building Get Busy Living in a way that anyone can adapt to their own blogging venture.

Bonus reading material: Matt Cheuvront over at Life Without Pants wrote a response to Benny’s post on his blog (with additional tips, too!): The Friday Response: How to Build a Badass Blog.

Innovating the Library Way by Grant McCracken on Harvard Business Review Blog Network

Read this because: Libraries have been around since the fourth century BC, and therefore, librarians can teach us businesses people a thing or two about acquiring new customers because, let’s face it, they’ve lasted the test of time.

This article is a great case study about how one library looked beyond the usual promise of adventure within its products (books), and found a way to renew the value proposition of what is and what could be found within a library.

Read it. And let me know this library’s marketing campaign would have worked on you.

Why Some Startups Succeed And Others Fail: 10 Fascinating Harvard Findings by Alyson Sontell on Business Insider

Read this because: It has a damn good title, and you’re as curious as I am about finding out the scientific, secret sauce between success and failure.

Best Business Books of 2011: For every entrepreneur and intra-praneur by Sarah Peck on It Starts With

Read this because: You’re an entrepreneur-in-training like me. Or you’re not, and you’re just looking for the next book to add to your nightstand. The best part is Sarah breaks up her recommendations in categories like: Marketing & Advertising, Design, Business & Entrepreneurship, organization, and psychology. It’s like your own bookshelf, curated by Sarah.

What did you read this week?

Photo Credit: Hamad Saber

Sunday Serial: 6 Blog Posts to Start your Week off Right

First off, I want to thank each and every one of you for stopping by and reading this blog. I’m lucky to be a writer who blogs because unlike writers of fiction and epic novels that are published in a static journal or book, you and I get to speak to each other if we want to. I get to share my thoughts and perspective with you, and you, if you choose, get to share yours. No writer has ever had this direct-line to his or her readers before.

For that, I want to thank you.

6 Blog Posts to Start Your Week off Right

Paper, boy

It has been an enormous week and I’ve spent most of the weekend with my head down, recovering. And while I’m really getting into the flow of writing and blogging once a day, I want to take some time to share. So allow me to introduce the Sunday Serial, a weekly installment of the top blogs, articles, and essays that I read over the past week. Enjoy! (more…)