December 16, 2013

How Big Is Your Brave...

Last week when I picked my daughter up at her friend's house after another epic stay awake-over, the conversation in the house surrounded the impending college tour for the older sis of my daughter's BFF.  For those of you with teenagers, you probably would agree that the discussion of post-high decisions come much sooner and with more frequency than they did 20 years ago.  With an eye roll, my daughter's friend offered up her annoyance with the choices that face her in the coming years.  I smiled while simultaneously asking her what she wanted to do.  "I like to stay inside and sit", she replied.  It was at that moment that I realized I was asking the wrong question.  So I said,"okay, tell me what you love."  Her whole demeanor changed as she told me how much she loves to cook. I took the opportunity to point out to her that coupled with her uber sassy, highly cerebral, wickedly hilarious personality, she might just have something special to "cook up" as a life goal.  I didn't want to harp on it, but I did leave her with this thought. "The world is your oyster, sweetie.  Don't forget to tap into the things you love, and then it won't seem as daunting."

I couldn't help but think, are we asking our kiddos the wrong questions?  After all, why should a teenager be expected to have any clue what they want to do?  Their brains haven't fully formed so why do we expect them to make decisions in the same way an adult would?  Maybe we, as a society, should be more concerned with cultivating what our children intrinsically love rather than what they should do.

Last month MORE Magazine featured an article about the art of failure. Something that we have been taught to avoid at all cost.  I say that we should fail occasionally, and encourage our kids not to fear failure.  Why?  Because if you're not failing, you're not learning and growing.  I took the liberty of tearing out a list of what they call "The Failure Hall of Fame."  A list of distinctive individuals, who have publicly failed.  Going on later to achieve great accomplishments.  After scanning the list, it made me consider how sad it would be if the failures of those on the list would have caused them to abandon their dreams.  So, without further ado, here's the list with #mycomments...

1919 Walt Disney is fired from his newspaper job for "lacking imagination." (#magical  #beyondhistime)

1926 Lucille Ball is told by her acting coach that "she's wasting her time and ours." (#myhero #funniestwomanofalltime #beyondhertime)

1936 John F. Kennedy runs for president of the freshman class at Harvard~and loses. (#heshowedfancypantsHarvard #beyondhistime)

1960 Steven Spielberg is rejected by the film school at the University of Southern California. (#USCmadeabigmistake #beyondhistime)

1962 The Beatles are turned down by Decca Records. (#deccarecordsmissedout #beyondtheirtime)

1968 Vera Wang doesn't make the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team. (#hadbiggerfishtofry #beyondhertime)

1973 Hillary Clinton fails the D.C. bar exam. (#FLOTUS #Senator #SecretaryofState #President 2016? #beyondhertime)

1975 Anna Wintour is fired from Harper's Bazaar because her shoots are too edgy. (#Voguerulesfashion #beyondhertime)

1977 Oprah Winfrey is fired from her news-hosting job for getting too emotionally invested in her stories. (#sheshowedthem #beyondhertime)

1980 Bill Clinton loses re-election as governor of Arkansas. (#comebackkid #beyondhistime)

1981 Michael Bloomberg is fired by investment bank Salomon Brothers. (#philanthropist #MayorofNYC #beyondhistime)

1985 Steve Jobs is fired from the Macintosh division of Apple. (#brilliant #changedourviewofmusicandtechnology #beyondhistime)

1996 J.K. Rowling is turned down 12 times for her Harry Potter manuscript. (#bestseriesofalltime #inspiredkidstoread #beyondhertime)

1990's Sara Blakely (future founder of Spanks) bombs her LSAT's~twice. (#makesthedimplesonmyassdisappearunderapencilskirt #beyondhertime)

After my unexpected encounter today, I will never again ask someone what they want to do.  Instead, I will always ask," What do you love to do?"  In the wise words of the amazing Sara Bareilles, "Show me how big your brave is..."


  1. Love this. Great perspective.

    1. Thank you! As always, I appreciate your comments.