One day last week, my husband asked me how my day was to which I replied, “it was nothing special”.
As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I realized what a bad (yet truthful) answer that was. How hard is it to do something to make each day special? Or good? Or interesting?
This is not a Pinterest-y post in which I’ll make you feel badly because you don’t cook a 3 course meal from a different country each week, or build a recycled hammock out of your old jeans. In fact, other than this small section, it isn’t even about me.
I’m in the middle of the book Originals by Adam Grant. It’s a book about how unusual ideas and creative people can actually make change happen.
One of the key findings is that people who have been successful in creating something that works make a lot of stuff.
Some facts you may have read before:
Dr. Seuss’ first book was rejected by 27 publishers. He went on to become the most successful children’s author in history.
Abraham Lincoln lost 8 elections.
Michael Jordan missed over 9,000 shots, missed the game winning shot 26 times and lost close to 300 games.
Thomas Edison tried about 1,000 ways to invent the lightbulb before he was successful.
Henry Ford went broke 5 times before becoming successful.
Harry Potter was rejected by 12 publishers before being picked up.
There are more stories like these. Perseverance matters. Making a lot of things and trying a lot of things matters.
So, why don’t we do more, try more?
It’s easy to be a creature of habit. We do the things we’ve always done and unless something happens that forces us out of our comfort zone, we never leave. Not to mention that our lives are busy. There are groceries to buy and laundry to fold and homework to do. Who has time to stop and think about making the most of the day?
Eventually, maybe soon or maybe sometime in the distant future, each of us will be out of days. They’re limited. You can’t avoid it.
Do a lot of things. Try something new. Go hear someone speak or attend a conference. Take a class. Write a blog (even if no one reads it). Let the dishes wait and play cards with your children. Something.
The act of doing new things changes our wiring. And doing a lot of things is how we become successful. We find the thing we love, or we make something that the world loves.
If nothing else, you’ll have a better answer than, “nothing special” the next time someone asks you about your day.