Shonda Taught Me | Lessons from The Year of Yes Ted Talk

“I am at a pivotal place in my life. Over the years I have mastered working my ass off so that not only I take me seriously, but the world does too. I stopped defining success by what I had or a certain status. I now define success by doing what I love.” – AJ 


Prior to watching Shonda’s Rhimes Ted Talk, The Year of Yes I was in a slump. I have lost all sources of inspiration. As Shonda called it “I had lost my hum.” My creativity has been dead or just on vacation. I am in the final editing stages of my book “The Truth Behind My Awakening” and every day I fear my editor may quit. She sends me pieces of the book to perfect, or change all together and I am too uninspired to do so. Ain’t nothing around me humming. I look at the book for all of 10 minutes. I may make a few changes but then I later close my laptop in search of something that makes me feel less anxious. Am I feeling overwhelmed with it all? When did writing make me feel anxious? Is it fear? I thought I loved this? Then I find myself wrapped in my all white linen in my comfy bed, sipping boxed water, while my vanilla scented candles are burning. I am reading one of the many books on my reading list in pure bliss. While the thought “you have shxt to do, really, really important shxt” plagues my mind I still stick to what I feel happiest doing.

I thought that I was simply being lazy. I thought that I had lost my fire. I thought that I just plain didn’t give a rat’s ass anymore about the completion of this book, but after watching Shonda speak in her Ted Talk I immediately felt different. I thought about the times I was staying up at all hours of the night to create blog content. I thought about the endless meetings and brief stints of debt trying to grow my brand. I thought about the times I gave up real life for this thing I love. I thought about the times where I should have been relaxing on the plane headed on a vacation, but instead I was writing this book or writing a blog post. I cannot tell you the amount of times I have shamelessly chugged along my laptop on vacations. I was working. Outside of my blog I have been reveling in my promotion at my day job as a marketing specialist. I am busy. 8 hours of non-stop work, so obviously all I want is rest after a long day in the office. I had no creative juice by days end. I was beat. I was at a dead end. That fire I felt was slowly beginning to fizzle out. I thought it was God’s way of telling me that this wasn’t my passion, is this not what He called for me to do? Because I could have sworn it was.

What I later realized was, I had been spending time with self. I had been enjoying REAL LIFE experiences. I had been bonding, connecting and loving on my friends. I was dancing in love puddles, sharing kisses under the stars with a bearded, long haired handsome man. I was traveling for love. I was shopping when I wanted. I was sleeping in on the weekends. Eating pizza every other day. For once I was not on a time constraint or feeling like I owed anything to my books or my blog. While my editor may be ready to quit or just plain ol’ kill me, I am at a pivotal place in my life. Over the years I have mastered working my ass off so that not only I take me seriously, but the world does too. I stopped defining success by what I had or a certain status. I now define success by doing what I love.

“A dream job is not about dreaming, it’s all work.” – Shonda Rhimes

This isn’t some rare success story. I am far from where I desire to be, but I have worked to get to a place of balance and understanding. I am discovering what I need. I am learning to make every year my Year of Yes. Saying yes to my fears. Saying yes to stepping out of my comfort zone. Saying yes to love in all forms. Shonda helped me realize that my work is all but a piece of me, it is not all of me. I have to learn to workless. I have to accept that it is okay to play, enjoy life and be at peace. To be all work and no play is dull and boring. I don’t want to forget to live too young. I don’t want to fall out of love with life too soon. I now trust that when my body calls for play, its feeling overworked and under-stimulated. We owe it to ourselves to seek stimulation. Seek what brings us joy. Stop and smell the roses. Work less, play more.  Shonda taught me that the real hum in my life is not work related at all. The real hum is joy, love, confidence and peace.

Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed. 



2 thoughts on “Shonda Taught Me | Lessons from The Year of Yes Ted Talk

  1. I read Year of Yes and I have to say it’s one of the best books I’ve read, and I read a lot. Shonda’s Ted Talk was everything I thought it would be. In the beginning of the month I realized that I was working way too much and not giving enough time to myself. I decided to start doing yoga to practice self care and I feel really good. Outside of our work, we also have to do things specifically for ourselves so we don’t get burned out. Great post, thanks for sharing!


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