It is wonderful to take the lessons in a book and put them into practice in your life. Often people read books that have wonderful, life altering words and life changing lessons that they share with others. This is a good thing. What is an even better thing is when you read the lessons and learn to apply them in your own life.
Recently I was talking with a woman I respect and admire. She is smart, charming, resilient, kind and generous. We were talking about her plans for moving onward an upward in her professional life. I asked her a few questions which she was able to answer with ease. She knew what she wanted to do and the path to get there. I asked her ok, so start applying for some work, get it done. She did not reply as I expected with “You are right, I will go do some proposals now.” Instead she told me that she was not ready yet, she was not established enough in her career yet. I was a little surprised by her response because she is really good at what she does. In addition, she is always encouraging others to reach for the stars. She had previously suggested I read Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.”
There has been a lot of talk and controversy surrounding this book in the media and throughout the blogosphere. When my friend suggested I read the book I was game. I had heard things about it on television news reports and my interest was piqued. I downloaded the book onto my e-reader and started reading. I finished the book and decided I didn’t care what the critics had to say. I thought it was a good book and am recommending it to my friends and acquaintances. The book was interesting because Sandberg recognized that not all women want careers just as not all women want children and not all women want both. The main point I took from the book is that whatever it is you want to do and who ever it is you want to be, put your best efforts forward and be the best at it.
When my friend expressed reluctance at the thought of going for the big opportunities she knew she wanted, I asked her if she remembered in the book how Sandberg talked about women refusing to go for promotions because they weren’t perfectly ready for them or still had things to learn at their current positions while men would never do such thing. She did remember and after joking that she should not have told me about the book, she admitted I was right. It will be interesting over the next few weeks and months to see if she leans in and goes for the opportunities she wants to have. At the same time, after opening my big mouth, I am now obligated to go for a few of the opportunities I want in life.
Often it is fear of the unknown and comfort with the status quo that keeps us from reaching forward and leaning in at the table to grab opportunities that are right in front of us. The church girl in me is reminded that God has not given us a spirit of fear. Instead, He has given us a strong heart and a strong mind. Therefore, do not be afraid to go for the big opportunities, the dream jobs and the great family. Decide what it is in life that you want to accomplish and then get to work making it happen. As women who live, whether we are stay at home moms, work at home moms, work as cashiers at the local clothing chain, or run major corporations, we must all go for the bigger things we want and not be afraid or reluctant to stretch our wings.
In conclusion, it is wonderful to read a book, see an important lesson and put it into place in your life. So, the question for you this wonderful day is what lesson from a book are you going to read and then apply to your life?