Marketing Podcast with John Jantsch on The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur – October 2
It’s time for another episode of The Self-Reliant Entrepreneur. Once a week, I’m coming to you with a reading from my new book, due out in October 2019. The book is structured around 366 daily readings from some of the great works of the mid-19th Century, and then I share my thoughts on how that quote relates to the modern entrepreneurial journey.
Today’s Reading: Done Growing
“Lord, when shall we be done growing? As long as we have anything more to do, we have done nothing…Lord, when shall we be done changing? Ah! it’s a long stage, and no inn in sight, and night coming, and the body cold.”
Herman Melville Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne – published in Memories of Hawthorne by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (1897)
Here’s another question to ponder, when shall we start growing? Melville admitted in an earlier letter to Hawthorne, “Until I was twenty-five I had no growth at all. From my twenty-fifth year I date my life.”
Growth requires change, change is hard, so growth is hard.
Stop growing and life stagnates, but as Melville seems to express, it’s exhausting at times. Mainly because growth doesn’t happen by hoping or even setting audacious goals. It happens when you admit where you are now and accept all the chapters in your past without regret.
From this lucid place you can chart your growth.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we got a cake and celebrated each step in our personal growth, you know instead of simply acknowledging we lived another year.
Admit we don’t know it all—cake, realize we don’t have to react—cake, decide to leave a toxic job—cake, hug more, forgive sooner—cake, learn how to listen to and support team members—cake, admit, without blame, that our parent’s shortcomings don’t define us—cake.
Maybe those are our real “birth” days?
There’s a lot to unpack there! One of the things that became clear to me as I was doing research for this is how much the writers of that time knew each other and spent time with each other. A lot of the writings that I came across were letters back and forth amongst these famous authors, and it’s interesting to get that private perspective on these very public people.
But now to focus on the content of the reading itself. Wouldn’t it be amazing if, instead of getting a birthday cake just because we’d aged another year, we instead celebrated moments of growth? Maybe some years we’d get seven or eight cakes on our birthday, if we had a particularly growth-filled year. It’s worth paying attention to the fact that we are never going to be done growing. While change and growth can be scary, they become less scary when you consider the alternative.
And now for today’s challenge question: Do you tend to focus on the positive or negative traits of others? Why?
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