I am so excited to start my new series, What I'm Reading Wednesday, on the last Wednesday of every month! I have always adored reading, and feel as though this is a great way to ensure that I read at least one new book per month. I'm also looking forward to sharing my insights I've gained from each book with y'all, and potentially having conversations with you in the comments section below! I am not going to give much away about the books I speak about during this series, because I truly want y'all to pick up the books yourselves and read them page for page. However, I am going to highlight some of the key ideas in the books and their impact on me, as well as some of my favorite quotes.
The book that I read this month was The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret by Richie Norton. And boy was it a great one to kickstart this series. I 1000% recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Whether you are befuddled by your current life situation and need guidance, you know that you have an idea or a passion but need a nudge to get yourself to finally act on your dreams, or are content with your current life- there is an amazing number of lessons within the pages of this book that will inspire you to live a better life- the one you've actually been wanting to live this entire time.
One of the overarching themes in this book is that everyone has ideas within them that they really want to make happen, but many don't for fear that they are "stupid" ideas. Either because of lack of time, lack of money, circumstance, other work that is getting in the way, or a laundry list of other reasons. However, Norton claims that it is these ideas that are typically the most brilliant. The most rewarding. The most life changing. And you, and the rest of the world, will not know that until you act upon your ideas. Until you START. My favorite quote in the entire book, and the one that truly made me sit back and take a look at my life and creative potential, is:
I highlighted about 50 other quotations and sayings throughout the book, but a couple more of my favorites include the following two, as well as the other graphic I created:
"Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days...as you make use of." - Charles Richards
"For many, the concept that you're actually allowed to do the things you're inherently passionate about is a new kind of thinking altogether." -Richie Norton
For as long as I can remember, I always thought of myself as a "safe" type of person. One who was a bit afraid of doing things outside of the box for fear that it might not please others. I used to be a HUGE people pleaser. That's great to a certain extent- it is always nice to want to make others happy- but not when it comes at the expense of your own happiness and dreams. Attending Making Things Happen this year taught me how utterly silly it is to live a life like that, and reading The Power of Starting Something Stupid only reinforced that opinion. I cannot repeat enough how much more amazing it feels to be living a life where I am open to express my true self through my blog posts, where I try different design ideas that I have created all on my own instead of mimicking something I saw on Pinterest, where I take risks for what I love instead of what I think others think I should do, because I know that looking back on my life when I am 80, I will be so much more proud of myself for doing that even if I did not "succeed" by society's standards.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. Y'all have probably heard me talking a lot about my Etsy shop (which will be launching soon- and I will announce the launch date very shortly!). I originally just thought it would be a good way to make extra money. I'm crafty, it's a crafty-people's platform. Win-win, right? Well, I was originally going to sell things that I just thought would sell because they were trendy. Cake toppers, drink stirrers, glittered silverware, escort and place cards. Essentially anything party-related. While I do enjoy party goods immensely, when I sat down to think about creating those products to sell, I just did not seem fulfilled. It didn't seem right. They weren't my original ideas, and I felt like I was copying the work that many others have done so well before me. So, I scratched those thoughts, sat down with my notebook, and started making a list of what fires me up. That's when the magic began.
I am going to wait to share the rest of how I turned my "stupid" ideas into the Esty shop I am now proud to call my own, because I don't want to ruin any surprises for the big launch! But, I will say that the products I am offering, after much trial and error, are ones that I am excited about. I did, and sometimes still do, catch myself wondering if people will like the products I'm selling. If I'm poring my heart and soul into this shop for nothing. But, I know that cannot be true. Reading this book taught me so. It will not all be for nothing. There will be people who don't like my products, and so be it. But, there will be a certain group of people who get me, get what I am doing, and are inspired by what I have created. Inspiring those people with my work is what matters, what fires me up each and every day, and is what makes me proud to have followed my heart and squashed the idea that my ideas were "stupid".
If you have any ideas that you might think are stupid for any number of reasons, sit down and think about how you would feel if you implemented them. It'll probably be pretty awesome.
There are still a plethora of quotes and topics from this book that I would love to discuss with anyone else who has read it, or who plans to read it in the future. Please do yourself a favor and pick this book up or purchase it for your Kindle/Nook/etc. It'll be well worth your while, I promise!