Interesting women don’t take the easy way out
I have never met an interesting woman with an easy life. Think about the most intriguing, the most fascinating people you have ever met. What about them caught your attention? Did they overcome challenges? Maybe they seem to have extreme fun and excitement. What risks did they take to become who they are today?
Interesting women are everywhere
I can think of a very interesting woman, a friend of mine, who grew up in Poland, immigrated to the United States right after high school. She learned how to speak English, was brave enough to fly across the country to meet a Naval Officer, who she found to be her soulmate. She is a true artist, and after the age of 40, she decided to learn photography and started an amazing business that is taking Colorado by storm.
I know another interesting woman, my mom, who moved to a small town when she was 17. She was a single mom with two young girls by the age of 27, but she won shooting competitions, drove a motorcycle and a Corvette, and owned her own welding shop where she was sometimes paid with ice cream.
She went on to a new career and became a very senior finance executive. All the while, she was making her life a better place in so many ways, because she has drive, isn’t afraid of taking risks, and is excellent at everything she does. She came home at night, kicked off her high heels and got a sledgehammer out and spent nights and weekend remodeling multiple houses. She now has the life we all dream of and can do anything she wants – and trust me, she does.
I have another interesting woman and friend who is a bit of a daredevil. She and her husband sky-dive, travel, enjoy amazing food, speak multiple languages, and also tutor kids in engineering classes.
A serendipitous moment happened in a foreign country, over 15 years ago, I met a kindred spirit! We both arrived on the same US Navy Aircraft carrier, right before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
She was an interesting woman then! Her mom is a published author. She is a Nuclear Surface Warfare Officer, and probably one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. That was a long time ago. Since then she has received multiple Masters degrees, including one from when she studied for a couple of years, abroad, in Spain. She was the Commanding Officer of a US Navy Warship, and she is on a rising path, likely to become an Admiral. This technically astute lover of poetry and strong lattes makes very direct impacts for women in the Navy both by example and by direct action. She developed a “Lean-In” concept guide for women in the Navy, adopted at the force level, and she is still going strong.
I have met people from different countries, from all over the US, with all kinds of challenges, who overcame and then excelled.
Let me tell you about a friend I grew up with. She had big plans for her life, at seven years old, she was the most interesting young-woman I knew. Along the way, she had serious challenges, she discovered she was an alcoholic, and if you ask her – she would consider herself lucky to be alive today. She is not afraid to tell her story, including the darkest moments of struggle, because it made her who she is today. She wants to give others, with a similar story hope that they can take back control of their lives. Today? She has been in recovery, sober for years. She has built her own highly successful business and is thriving in the most amazing ways you can imagine. I was able to have coffee with her about a year ago, and to say she is inspiring is an understatement. She is a light in this world, but she has had to move with focused, fierce determination, every day, to stay who she has now become.
These people are endlessly fascinating. I could talk to them or about them all day and never grow tired of it.
All of these people are just normal, everyday people in my own life. None of them are particularly famous (not YET anyway). Although, one of them was on the cover of the New York Times and another is on the local news during lifestyle segments with regularity. They touch so many lives and are still willing to take further risks and continue to move forward. They are sure to make an even bigger impact in this world and will live on LONG after they are gone. People will continue to tell their stories to their own children because they have LIVED. They have risked something, and they have persevered through hardships and challenges. They are bold people, they are worthy of our interest.
No one wants to read this book:
Stop me if you have ever read this book: A young lady is driving in her dirty four-year-old tan-colored sedan (full of trash, and fast-food wrappers, in the back seat), you can hardly even see out of the windows. When she was two years away from paying this car off, she refinanced for another 5 years, because she needed an extra $100 per month right now. She heads to work, where she will spend half of her day on Facebook.
No energy is spent improving her position at work or her position in life. Her exit at the end of the day is carefully crafted so she can walk out of the door a few minutes before “quitting time” if she can get away with it. She head’s home, stopping at McDonald’s for hamburgers. Her family eats their quarterpounder’s, with cheese, while watching Netflix on the couch until they fall asleep, just so she can do it all again tomorrow.
Would you want to read a book about that person?
No, no one wants to read that book. No one really even wants to chit chat about it, casually. It just isn’t interesting.
Decide to forge a new path for your life
When you plug your brain into a screen (TV, Video Games, Facebook) while the ether sucks it away, it is your choice. You can decide to make a different decision. You can decide to forge a new path in your life.
IF YOU WANT A BETTER LIFE, if you wish things were different, if you want more experiences, if you want to have robust conversations and friendships this isn’t how you change the path you are on. IF you have children and you want them to be interesting adults, themselves, this is NOT how you show them. Are you single, do you want a powerful relationship where you each respect each other and challenge the other to grow? THIS is not how you find it. This isn’t how you improve your situation, period.
This is how you remain forgettable.
You are so much more intelligent than this, you have so much more potential than this, you have not even scraped the surface to know the full reality of which you are capable.
What are you afraid of? I ask this because that is exactly what is going on here. If it was easier to be engaged, to talk to new people, to try new things, we would all do that by default. In reality, it is easier to hide, to play it safe. What if you took a risk, what if you asked for more because YOU deserve more? What if you find out that when you apply for that position just out of your reach, that they offer it to you? Do not play small. YOU are here to make an impact, you can feel it. You know who you are.
Spending even one hour mindlessly staring at a screen, not creating, not stepping toward your path is time you will never get back. It is time to take a chance.
Think of one thing you want to do
Think of one thing you always wanted to do, then find a way to step toward it. By taking a few small to moderate risks, like joining an archery club or going to a cooking school one night a week, you will dramatically change many things across your life.
This will make you more fascinating to others. You will become someone you are proud to see in the mirror. Other’s will think you are brave and interesting. They are out learning and becoming, just like you. These people will become your friends. You will have opportunities to learn and become together. Eventually, your entire life will team with people who are interesting to talk to, who constantly do interesting things, who are lifelong learners, and who think you are just as interesting and adventurous as they.
Tell me about your adventures!
If you are reading this blog, though, I know you and YOU are an endlessly interesting woman to me. You know you are here to make a big, positive impact and you are learning more, trying more, and taking the risks necessary to position yourself for this change. I would love to hear what changes you have been trying in your own life. Are you learning new skills, new hobbies? Are you working on new habits? Record what changes you are making, using your voice recorder on your phone, and e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want to hear why you decide to try something new, and how you feel before and after. Your stories will inspire others, just like you!
This week I want you to think of ONE thing you will do that makes you uncomfortable. I have come to LOVE feeling uncomfortable. That uncomforting feeling is the feeling of growth. Ladies – THAT is the feeling of becoming an interesting woman. We all have the ability to be interesting women.
The more you embrace your discomfort, the more interesting you will seem to others.