If you want to accomplish anything — from learning how to building a mind-bendingly fabulous life and career — you’ll need to take small steps everyday in the general direction of your goal. Some of those steps may be so small that the over-achieving perfectionist in you may think you’ve done nothing at all. But, trust me, small steps are enough, small steps are “the way”.
We may dream of the big bombastic moments when our lives are writ large and everyone is craning their necks to catch a glimpse of this glorious creature who has pulled it off, “it” being the seemingly magical feet of attaining mighty goals that seem beyond the reach of mortal man. We worship these “gods” who ascend to the stratosphere — these movie stars or the movie-star-like, whether rapper, actor, or presidents — and just as rapaciously we watch them fall. How else to explain the popular penchant for reading Us Weekly and People, which my friend M explained to me recently is popular for a reason — namely, because no one wants to read stories about people who’ve had easy button lives. Ironically, these are the stories I most like to read and write, if for no other reason than what I can learn:
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Tags: Accomplishment, Revel Wisdom, Small Steps, Success
When I dreamed up the idea for Revel In It Mag, I was reeling from years of having consigned my quest for meaning to the periphery of my life. I did yoga. I took up meditation. I dove deep into the kinds of deep and layered philosophical explorations that have played such an influential role in my life. I dabbled in neurobiology, psychology, history, political philosophy, spirituality and (sheepish grin) self-help, in an attempt to answer deep questions, about the nature of existence and the meaning of my own life. But always, these explorations took place under cover of darkness. They ran on parallel tracks with my actual, material life, the one I lived out in the world, where careers are built and moneys are made and families raised.
The time spent exploring my inner life, and the life of the mind, wasn’t wasted — my quest was fruitful, but eventually, I faced the polymath’s dilemma: I knew a lot, but what was it for?
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Tags: Ambition, Descartes, Ego, Healing The Descartian Split, Success, TFRL, THE FULLY REALIZED LIFE
I come from good, strong, achievement-oriented stock. My father was a Fulbright Scholar with a PhD from the University of Chicago in Political Science (and second in Religion), who led the integration of Virginia Beach, fought for Voting Rights in Tuskeegee, Alabama, and built an academic and administrative career that culminated in his position as Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia (UVA), the position he held at his death. My mother, also a professor (in her case, of Education), earned straight As in her PhD program and, at one time or another, has headed up about every organization she’s ever belonged to. She is still one of the busiest people I know. My grandparents no doubt set the stage. My paternal grandfather was an entrepreneur and ordained minister who owned apartment buildings, founded a church in New Jersey that remains a fixture in the community a half century after his death, and has a dormitory named after him at Virginia State University, where he was once Dean of Men and coach of men’s football and baseball. My paternal grandmother, a graduate of Howard University, was the 4th National President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the oldest African-American sorority in the United States. My maternal grandparents were also great achievers. My grandfather, who was an educator and community leader, has a school named after him in Florence, South Carolina, where he lived, and my maternal grandmother was a secretary and union organizer who died when I was just a year old, a loss that I felt all the deeper when, shortly before his death, my father, who by then had been divorced from my mother for 34 years, reminisced with me about the truly extraordinary human being she was.
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Tags: Achievement, Alicia Keys, Confidence, False Confidence, Joy, Steve Jobs, Success, Super-Achieverdom, The Conversation
TED, the nonprofit committed to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” is one of the most exciting developments of the last twenty years. Founded in 1984 to bring people together from the fields of technology, entertainment and design, TED has become so much more. It is the preeminent public square of our socially-connected, socially-conscious times, and it’s making a real difference in our world. TED’s mission is simple: to spread ideas. But the scope of their work and span of their reach are grand. In their own words:
“We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”
TED has never been more necessary than it is today. It provides a place for robust conversation about the way we live, now and into the future, at the very moment when we must, out of necessity and desire, begin to dream up and make a better world.
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Tags: Coach John Wooden, Revel World Revel Life, Society, Success, TED, TED Talks, The Vision