Jenna Kutcher is a force to be reckoned with. According to her website, she’s a “small-town Minnesota author, podcaster, educator, and photographer with big dreams and the #1 Marketing Podcast in the country.”
She’s a great writer, fantastic storyteller… and… Oh! … She’s also a blogger. Jus’ sayin’!
As I read her book, “how are you, Really” (yes, one of those lowercase titles with the uppercase R in “Really” to denote importance because we all know that “How are you?” is the generic way of saying “Howdy” and the “Really?” adds a certain “oomph” – Don’t you agree?)
Now, where was I? Oh, yes, as I read her book, I thought (not for the first time) that I could have written it myself. In fact, this book garnered a stronger-than-usual nudge, actually, because it reminded me that I have more talents than just my blogging/ writing ability (your opinion may vary).
You see, she is also a marketer and I am an award-winning sales rep. Or, I was, not so long ago. I’ve often said that the ability to sell is everything in life because if NOTHING ELSE, you need to sell YOURSELF. I could have facilitated conferences or taught classes on how to sell. I had many wonderful mentors along the way, including my dad. I digress, but not much as well shall see.
There was more to this book than originally met the eye. Yes, it’s a self-help book and a darned good one! I especially liked the brief “Life Inventory” at the beginning and the ‘HOW ARE YOU, REALLY?” breaks through the book. (However, one small critique: The font was difficult to see as it is white on a golden background. It was pretty and soothing on pages of black-and-white words, for sure. But it strained my eyes.)
But there was something deeper…
And as it turned out… it was a VERY big deal.
I got about halfway through the book and then set it down. The strangest thing happened…
… and it changed the trajectory of this blog.
Several weeks ago, I wrote this post. What you didn’t know was that THIS BOOK is what led to the changes.
Of course, you’ll ask… “Okay, what happened?”
And I will respond that the answer isn’t tangible. I was just reading along and something snapped in me.
This year, my word has been “Mindfulness“. I’ve thought of it so often over the last nine months.
Kutcher thinks of mindfulness, too, and she weaves it throughout this book. I SOOOO appreciated all she had to say about setting your course, following your path, and turning on the light to see what it is that you desire.
But there was something deeper that grabbed me by the collar… and it’s what made me put the book down. For weeks.
When I figured it out, I knew my life was about to change… beginning with this blog space.
“Change happens when the woo meets the work.” That’s a quote on the bottom of page 47. I highlighted it.
Kutcher says it’s where “you allow who you are and what you have to make a mark on the world you live in.”
I had certainly been trying to do that here.
Sadly, I’d lost my way by trying too many new things.
In my quest to create a legacy, I’d begun treating this space like a journal. There is *nothing wrong* with that if that’s the direction I wanted to go.
At the end of the book, Kutcher has a section called, “Jump Starts” and one of the statements also jumped out at me: When how you really feel is overconnected.
Good Lord! That was me!! An example: A few days ago, I was driving in an area I haven’t been to lately and stumbled across a field of roses. There are nurseries in this area and I guess it’s a plot of land for one of them.
I yanked my steering wheel while looking in the rearview mirror and also looking beside me to make sure the frame would be just right, while also fumbling in my purse pocket for my phone/ camera.
Someone behind me honked because there was no actual shoulder so I was basically blocking the road. I got a nasty look from the person behind him. In my new-to-me sparkly car (Selene) that could have been rammed from behind.
All so I could share a photo.
I suddenly remembered the word…
I took a deep breath and pulled onto the road with an open window and sunroof, warm sunlight on top of my head… cool breeze coming through the window… and admired the roses. No reason. Just because.
What a concept!
By the way, here is Kutcher’s response to the overconnected statement above: Log off social media more often, and without apology. I promise no one is refreshing your feed. It feels so good to experience moments without worrying about documenting or sharing them. Delete the apps if you have to.
I have been overconnected -but mostly oversharing- for too long… long before the internet came into being.
It’s a lesson long overdue.
There is a time and place for sharing your hopes and dreams, pains and failures, and innermost thoughts and desires, of course. Even the minutia of daily life or the moments that break your heart.
To that end, I have made some new connections with old friends and am making plans to be together in any way we can. Coffee next week with one friend. Another friend and I are penning old-fashioned letters back and forth! There’s Marco Polo for another friend, like a video note. She just sent me a moment at Pismo Beach by a campfire. A video call in two weeks with another. And, there’s always the phone… much as I hate it.
In short, this book forced me to take a look at what I want, what I’m getting, and most of all, what I’m giving.
I saw some areas where I could improve and hope that it helps this space to improve, too.
And yes, I still think I could write my own book one day. Not this one obviously, it’s already done. And VERY well!