Source: https://flic.kr/p/7kwEb2
Source: https://flic.kr/p/7kwEb2

Are you prepared to say no?

Inspiration for going after what you really want.


You’ve got to declare what you want to do as sacred. - Danielle La Porte

Can you imagine how much lesser our world would be if some of the artists we love and admire, had taken jobs as bank tellers or lawyers instead of producing their creative work?

I love reading about successful creatives . I especially can’t get enough of learning about how they got where they were going.

Pip Lincolne recently pointed me to The Great Discontent. Do you know it? It’s the first time I’ve visited their website and it’s so chock full of lovely interviews with creatives of all stripes and clever folk that I’ve spent a good few hours face down in their archives.

One theme that keeps popping up whichever way I look is the things to which people have said ‘mmm no thanks,’ so they could have space in their lives to go after what they wanted.

Leaving a conventional path can be scary. Especially in the beginning when your new thing is still nascent and untested, perhaps a little fragile or not very good yet. And once you’ve begun it requires courage, constantly renewed, to keep going.

So when I hear about someone who has turned away from a conventional idea of success to create work and life of their own design…well, cue applause!

In case you need a little inspiration to be brave and go your own way, here’s one of my favourite quotes from The Great Discontent so far. It’s from Maria Popova, founder and editor of the very excellent blog Brain Pickings:

When I graduated college out of the factory that is the Ivy League system, all the recruiters came to offer students big, corporate jobs. Of course, I had all these offers in marketing and management and banking. It was interesting because it was a risk in the sense that I grew up being really financially challenged and my family was still in Bulgaria, a country on a very different income scale, and they were not well off either. To them, getting a job offer with a big paycheck attached to it was a big deal. Those were numbers that would be a fortune in Bulgaria. But for me, the consideration was, “Do I want to bury myself in a corporate job that I’m going to spent 80% of my waking hours at, be miserable, and hope that the money it gives me will make the other 20% of my life better, even though I’m angry and tired and burned out? Or, do I want to do something that makes me happy to wake up to and happy to go to sleep having done and let the financial part figure itself out?” I turned down all the job offers to the shock of my family.

Reprinted with permission of The Great Discontent; the original content may be found here.

Is there something you need to say no to so you can create the space in your life to go after what you really want? Tell me about it in the comments below!  Join the conversation

13 March, 2015
Career, Change

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