I just had the best conversation with a friend. She told me how she had successfully caught an early-morning flight home after a fulfilling work conference, had made two pans of Aunt Karna’s Stuffed Shells for a party, and had concocted not one but two homemade pies for her son’s Farmer Boy breakfast at school. She felt wonderfully competent.
She gave me some props for helping her feel so capable, which was kind of her, but that’s not why I’m bringing this up. I’m thrilled that she used ideas from this blog exactly the way I was hoping someone would. When I post a cute hat I’ve knitted or share organizing strategies, it’s not to say “Aren’t I great?” but rather “Hey! I’ve figured something out—here’s how you do it.” Or “here’s a cute idea from another blog—give it a try.” It’s about sharing ideas so we can all feel more confident about the many things we want and have to do. And, selfishly, I get to benefit from your experiences and wisdom, too.
In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin shares a conversation she had with her sister, Elizabeth, a TV writer in Los Angeles. A friend had cowritten the screenplay of a box-office hit and Gretchen asked if she felt envious of her friend’s success. Elizabeth replied, “Well, maybe a bit, but I remind myself that ‘People succeed in groups.’ It’s great for him to have a big success, and his success is also likely to help me to be successful.”
Do you share that attitude, or are you more likely to think that if something good happens to someone else it’s less likely to happen to you? I’ll admit that when I found out our new neighbor is a New York Times bestselling author, my heart sunk. What are the odds of having two successful authors in the same small community in western Wisconsin?
But the truth is that he and I write for vastly different audiences. He’s a Star Wars guy and I’m working on kids’ mysteries, a novel about women getting their mojo back, and essays on parenting and adoption. I think there’s room for both of us. And maybe if I bring him enough pans of brownies he’ll share some pointers.
What groups are you tapping into to help you succeed? Maybe you belong to a gym, where the energy of all those people focused on getting fit carries you along. Or maybe you’re in a moms’ group, where you celebrate the joys of new motherhood and get support and encouragement for dealing with the frustrations. Or maybe you have a favorite blog where you get ideas for making your days as enjoyable and fulfilling as possible.