This morning, I did something I have never done before. I got up at 4 am (that’s not it), and instead of immediately getting on email and checking my social media, I read. I read for almost three hours on a workday morning to finish Tiny Hot Dogs by Mary Giuliani in time for Book Club tonight.
This morning was one of the most peaceful, positive, productive mornings I have had this year. And not because I worked, but because I spent quiet time with a wonderful memoir that made me think.
I loved this memoir for many reasons, including the recipes mentioned, the story about Lady Lobsters and women’s friendships, and the author’s love of New Orleans. But the part I learned from, the idea that made me stop and think, is on page 72. Giuliani speaks of meeting Bob (aka Robert de Niro) a number of times, as she was dreaming of becoming an actress. Each time, he remembers her and greets her by name: “Mary, nice to see you!” And that’s it. That’s the story.
This is the paragraph that I underlined and reread four times, the “lesson” she learned from that story (quoted from page 72):
“We expect that all big stories have a big finale and that the result of meeting someone of this magnitude no doubt will be a life changer. … And this is the biggest lesson my career has taught me. Not everything has to be big. Not everything has to be skywriting. Finding the big in the small works for me and allows me to be happy with what I’ve got. If we all want more from something, aren’t we always going to be disappointed? ‘Making it,’ I’ve come to realize, is all relative.”
As an ambitious, hardworking, entrepreneur, I always want more, I always want big, I always want bigger. More clients. Big results. Bigger growth. What a calming effect reading these words had on me, as I ponder the wisdom that indeed, not everything has to be big, and that one can find the big in the small if one looks for it.
As we entered Q4 last week, my mind has of course started to look forward to 2021. What are my big goals for the New Year? What are the big milestones I want to achieve? Tomorrow morning, I will get up equally early, and I will ponder these questions with this newfound idea in mind. And I may just redefine what “making it” looks like to me.