This post is part of my Book Club Series where I share what I’m reading with you. I’m highlighting the “oh my god, you’ve got to read this!” books. These are the ones that I’ve been recommending to clients, friends, and anyone I’ve spoken to while reading the book. I have even been known to buy extra copies and given them to people. These books are great.
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person
This was my second venture into the world of audio books, and it won me over (Becoming was my first).
I’ve always been a fan of real books, the ones you actually hold in your hands: there’s something about the feel of the paper, and the sound of the turning pages that just feels nice. And reading from actual paper makes the words seem more real to me.
When I moved to The Netherlands, the lack of easy affordable access to English books helped me switch over to e-readers (although the books that end up in this series are still in the category of real, printed copies).
Autobiographies are also a category that I haven’t really been interested in. Yet listening to the author talk to me, as if we were actually having a chat and I’m getting all the great stories, that is something that I love.
And you get that in spades with A Year of Yes.
Stories of a perfect life, roles models who are just amazing at everything, people who just seem to have it magically all together… you won’t get that in this book.
You’ll get a deep insight into a woman who is courageous, determined, high-achieving, hiding away from the world, holding herself back, lying to herself, funny, daring, and did so much.
Imperfect. Inspiring. Relatable.
So so human.
But A Year of Yes?
My kids are trying to get me to do a day of yes – that whatever they ask, for a whole day, my answer needs to be yes.
I admit I’ve been so caught up in the knowledge that they’ll ask for an xbox, that I’ve been resisting the idea (the cunning teen will get that in straight away).
But a year of it?
In this book you’ll hear about how it came about, what it meant at the beginning, how it evolved and reached more and more areas of her life.
You’ll get a humorous and very real tale of what it actually means to make this kind of commitment.
Most importantly, you’ll find out how the world of Shonda Rhimes opened up and became fantastic and just what she wanted.
The Taster Menu
Here are some quotes that caught my attention, and I want to sprinkle them over this post as a shower of little gifts.
“If I don’t poke my head out of my shell and show people who I am, all anyone will ever think I am is my shell.”
This hit home personally. I have spent a lot of my life showing my shell. And guess what? My shell’s not that great (I’m not talking about what I look like). The real me, the quirky, sometimes witty, sometimes tells jokes that fall flat, is really interesting for a few people, disliked by a few people, and not yet discovered by many. But when I show people who I am, I create relationships that really matter.
This one really gets me saying “damn right”. I understand the value of speaking up, and it’s so important to know that others support you. But did you know that publicly declaring an intention (or support or action) can reduce your likelihood of actually doing it? Why? Because you already feel good and get a sense of achievement from the declaration. It’s why I don’t include public declarations of actions in my group training.
“Badassery, I’m discovering, is a new level of confidence—in both yourself and those around you.”
I love how she really gets to the heart of how making the commitment to be a badass also means that those around you also reveal their badassery.
“LESSON ONE: DITCH THE DREAM. BE A DOER, NOT A DREAMER.”
This once cuts to the heart of the problem with dreaming. Dreaming isn’t real. And Dreaming doesn’t make anything real. It’s only by doing that you actually make your dream come alive. So by all means dream, but don’t be a dreamer.
“The only obstacle to your success is your own imagination.”
I hop between both the Yes! and the yes but.. of this one. But mostly I fall on the yes side. Why? Because our success is determined by us. We get to define it. We use our imagination to define it, and we use our imagination to helps us be creative and innovative in bringing that success to life.
“Everything sounds like crap until you are in the right mind-set.”
Yes! One hundred times this! IT’s why 90% of my work is about mindset. Every person I have ever coached has come to me wanting a solution to a complex and tricky problem. Every one of them has come up with their own amazing solutions super fast, once I helped them get into the right mind-set.
I hope this taster whetted your appetite. and go for the audio book, Shonda Rhimes is a great story teller, and you’ll feel like you’ve been befriended.
And we all need more of that.