When it comes to conversations I have logged some serious hours with my friend Cameron. He knows everything about Soul Carrier, the hiccups I am trying to untangle, the intentions I have for this brand, and my big-bold visions for the future. He was there through two trips to Leon, Mexico, my Kickstarter campaign and he continues to be one of my closest master minds and sounding boards.
Cameron is constantly telling me “to run the test…” when it comes to whatever I am trying to accomplish. We talk about showing up with pure intentions, a plan to succeed, the zest and energy to give it your all, and then leting go and seeing if the test results turn out in our favor. And if not, then I get back up and I run another test until I get to where I want to be.
During Kickstarter we experimented with all sorts of ways to reach out to the media, we “ran the test” and watched to see what would stick. The same has been happening with production and raw materials procurement.
As we continue to talk about Soul Carrier, relationships, and life, he once again mentioned “You have to run your own test on life, Jenn. You have to trust that if things do go wrong, you have the capacity and grace to clean it up. But it is your choice to make and your life to lead Jenn!”
I often blog about the concept that we all have our own path, journey and way to find. No one way is right or better than the other – each path and human journey is as unique as the soul trying to find its way along that path.
Parents, mentors and those that have gone before us often nostalgically dole out advice in hopes of preventing heartache, headaches and failure. I truly respect their experiences, their history, and the weathered journey they have had to take, to get to where they are today.
I am all for sitting at their feet and soaking up their war stories, the lessons they have learned and the ideas they have for avoiding future pit falls. If nothing else, their stories could spark ideas, creativity and visions for new ways of doing things in your own business or life.
However, there is nothing like first hand experience, first hand heartache, and first hand headaches. There is no way to prevent pain, failure, or loss in this life. And safeguarding against the downside is not really living at all.
Advice gained outside of your own experiences is like book knowledge, it is definitely valueable and has its merits. AND then again, there is absolutely nothing like being in action, going out there and really scraping up your knee and then knowing deep within your soul, why that route, or way, is not a fit for you.
One of my favorite books (Creativity Inc) by Ed Catmull, the president of Pixar, sings the praises of failing, making mistakes and not living in fear of falling flat on your face. Another one of my favorite authors Brene Brown also speaks to the same issues.
“Failure isn’t a necessary evil. In fact, it isn’t evil at all. It is a necessary consequence of doing something new.”
“If you aren’t experiencing failure, then you are making a far worse mistake: You are being driven by the desire to avoid it.”
Lately, I have witnessed former interns, friends, and even myself, a bit, be subject to outside sources trying to give advice and opinions in hopes of making us happy and helping us obtain our goals, while also trying to prevent us from facing failure.
When I catch up with my interns, it makes me so sad hearing how much pressure they are experiencing to conform, to fall in line, and “to do the right thing”, to be responsible, and put their dreams on hold, in order to find a job that makes a lot of money and will pay off their student loans.
Like I said, I am all for listening to those that have gone ahead of us, but what bothers me, is when these outside sources force their advice or rather opinions on us as if it is the ONE and ONLY “RIGHT” way.
Yes, there are certain societal norms that make absolute sense to follow because they are black and white – don’t put your hand on a hot stove, you will get burned, don’t walk into oncoming traffic, you will get hit, etc, etc.
And yet, when it comes to our lives, the choices we must make, and the journeys we must travel, advice should not be so black and white! I am little burnt out on the opinions that get sprinkled our way in the form of “friendly advice”, which actually lands as if the advice giver thinks their way is the one and only right way.
The choices one person is going to make is going to be completely different from the next person, and no one path is better than the next, or more right, than the next. But when people offer advice as if it is the golden rule to a successful life, well, that, is a little off putting to me. I know these people mean well, and I hope their intentions are pure, but how their advice lands can be a little suffocating. It makes me feel as if my ideas on how I will proceed don’t matter. It makes me feel like my intution, in this matter, does not matter. And when it comes to my life choices, ultimately my intution and soul’s pulling should be what matter most!
Only YOU know what is BEST for your life. Only YOUR soul can tell you what is best and right for your life. Sure, outside sources can definitely give you their take on the matter, and their OPINION on how you should proceed. But ultimately you have to run the test and take responsiblity for your own life.
And I truly believe that when we get quiet and still enough our soul speaks to us and our intuition nudges us in the direction we are meant to go. But this only happens when are willing to own our own lives and be the architects of our own destiny. I want to be fully accountable for every choice I make, and when I make the wrong ones, I will clean up the mess I made, instead of saying “But so-and-so gave me the advice to do it this way!”
Don’t dilute your intuition. Don’t discount what your soul is telling you to do. People mean well, but only you know what is BEST for your life. So go out and “Run The Test!”, the results are often out of our hands, but at least you have control of putting into motion the life YOU do want — the one your soul and intuition is pushing you to lead.
I leave you with this encouraging quote from Paolo Coehlo from his book “The Warrior Of The Light” — I highly reccommend this book! Super insightful in regards to following your own personal legend and not getting swayed by what the outside world wants for you.
“It is NOT the warrior’s responsibility to JUDGE other people’s dreams. He does not WASTE time critiquing other people’s decisions in order to have FAITH in his own path. He does not need to PROVE someone else’s path is wrong!” — Paolo Coehlo
To blazing our OWN paths. To letting go of having a cookie-cutter society and ALLOWING people to do their own thing! To running your own test and being your own unique soul!