So I know that each of you (or your spouse at least) has a favorite ‘big shot’ in academia that you kind of get star struck over. A while back my husband and I got a babysitter (score!) and got to have dinner with one of those types. A fascinating dinner conversation ensued and a friend asked the ‘big shot’ how he was able to do so much writing on top of so many other things on his plate. “How do you publish two major books a year, how do you have time, how do you handle it all?”
And his answer still has me reeling.
The big shot simply said, “I’m just good at it.” He went on to say, “I might be rubbish at whatever else, you fill in the blank, but I am really quite good at writing.” He wasn’t trying to be arrogant, he was just stating a fact. He also seemed to imply that he makes his writing such a priority that there simply aren’t other things competing for his time. He then went on to say something along the lines of “Just do what you are good at” and stop worrying about the rest of us.
So often living (somewhat) in this world of academia with my husband, I find that I am easily caught up in ‘being in the know’ on so many things and trying to be well-versed in any and all things. It was so refreshing to hear this accomplished man say that he was rubbish at some things and that he has just learned to pursue and develop and cultivate what he is good at. It made me take a deep breath, sink a bit lower into my seat and realize I didn’t have to ‘have it all together’ in front of him.
So for todays food for thought, I just challenge you to stop, take a deep breath and think about what you are good at. I don’t want to send you another article that I think you should read today and I don’t want you to feel the pressure of having to read it just because we posted it. (Sometimes I have an inbox full of RSS feeds or articles and links from friends to check out and I just want to scream…I feel like I can’t keep up with it all).
Enjoy a moment to shut the computer, chill out and think about what you enjoy/are good at.