I pulled out a fortune from a cookie a few months ago and it read, “Your courage will reap rewards for you.” It’s a perfect statement to describe this week’s focus of The Joy Diet. In week #4, Ms. Martha had us visualizing our desires, now we have to put our money where our mouth is.
I’ve already been inspired by the Oprah show recently, when Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire, was on. This adventurous dude who is one of the most wealthiest people in the world and has his own private island, believes in going for your dreams and he does so in a way that would make most people blush, then faint. Somehow I think he follows this week’s goal to a tee.
Although I’m not Sir Branson-ready, I do feel in the mood to walk through a few first to get to my dreams. It may be the reason why I turned into Jim Carrey’s character in The Yes Man recently. Saying ‘yes’ to something I normally wouldn’t do.
I agreed to walk around my community selling ads for a local newspaper. While I’m not necessarily (I’ll use Sir Branson’s word) virgin in this area, I don’t get excited about doing it. I don’t think any introvert would. But I said, “Yes!” I took the challenge, walking through 15 shops in 1 afternoon.
I’m not going to lie and tell you my life was forever changed, cause it wasn’t. But I did get something out of it. As I willingly took the role as a salesman for the day, I saw people change how they reacted to me. While most of the people I met were kind, a lot of them (who I’ve interacted before as a consumer) went in hiding-literally not wanting to talk to me or were quick to brush me aside. I learned two things: 1) how to become a better salesman 2) that it really didn’t matter how people perceived me. I was just playing a role. They weren’t rejecting me. They were rejecting what I was selling.
It may sound like common sense, but for someone who makes a living as a freelance writer, getting rejected is a daily, soul-crunching experience. Taking a risk and getting rejected for something less personal, empowered me. I realized that like being a salesman, a writer was just another one of my roles. It wasn’t who I was. It was something I did. And in this business we call life, taking a risk, and risking rejection is the only way we can find success and ultimately happiness.
What’s the next item on my risk list?
- Writing a book
I know this one seems kind of wild and crazy. But the good thing is that Martha lets us break up the risk into small steps so it feels less intimidating. For now, I’m going to just research classes on writing books and read other books created by the publisher I’m interested in. Then see what happens next. Hey if I fall and crash and burn, at least you’ll know I gave it my all and tried.
If you really want to find joy and achieve your dreams, you’re going to have to work for it. And this week’s work is all about how much you’re willing to risk.