A while back, a friend helped me stumble upon this cool little manifesto from design company (and man behind it all) Jonathan Adler.
Please read it. It’s cool.
The manifesto is honest, brave, fun, and so very Jonathan Adler. How do I know this? The proof is in the pudding. The company starts from the ground up, building on their own foundation and no one else’s. What is important to them guides their decisions, their process, and their final product. Everything circles back to their manifesto.
Do you have a manifesto for yourself? What guides you, inspires you, helps you make tough calls?
I’m working on my own manifesto, and let me tell you, it’s going to be honest, brave, and so very Katie Scully. State your motives, your guiding light, your point of view. Make it your own.
I feel fortunate to have grown up in a beautiful place. When I was younger, my family and I would take the train from the suburbs and head north to the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. I was surrounded by beauty. Even in the dead of winter, the snow gently fell on hundred-year-old buildings, historic landmarks, and bridges over icy water.
The city was, and still is, beautiful.
At first it seemed trivial, just another silly way to boast why you, or your city, is better than another. In some cases that might be true. Florence, Italy came from a place of arrogant opulence. So much money spent on all this stuff. This stuff, I learned, does not need to be cocky. It needs to be beautiful.
Now look around you. Where are you sitting, or standing, or scurrying? Do you reside in a beautiful space? Do you create a place for yourself, your team, your family to enjoy? Or are you dreading the clutter, dust, and endless post-it notes scattered about your space? That flickering overhead light sure doesn’t help.
Be good to yourself. Beautification is important, not pompous. It’s exciting, inviting, and worthwhile.
Today, I live in a truly beautiful city (and it’s not Chicago). Half the time I talk about where I live, I’m describing the scenery, the vibrance, the energy… the beauty. I paint the picture. Wherever you spend your time… whether it’s in front of your computer, in the bathroom, or in your comfy bed, make it beautiful. There is enough grey in our world, don’t let it seep into your space.
I used the Google Person Finder yesterday. It put things in perspective. I’m lucky. My friend, and those who cheered her on as she completed yesterday’s Boston Marathon, are safe.
So many are hurting, and so many have helped.
Thank you for sharing brilliant technology to point others in the right direction.
Thank you for continuing to run to the closest hospital to donate your own blood.
Thank you for reminding us of the power of the human spirit in times of tragedy.
Thank you for risking your life by running into the chaos, saving the lives of others.
Thank you for showing compassion.
No matter where you are, how you’ve been affected, thank you for strengthening the community. Thank you for bring brave.
Today’s post is from our intern extraordinaire, Allie Blalock.
Black coffee with a dash of skim milk and Splenda. This coffee order was ingrained in my brain two years ago when I interned at Conan O’Brien’s TBS late night comedy show on the Warner Brothers Lot in Los Angeles. Everyday around 4 p.m. I would travel into the “Central Perk” of the WB lot and get the “Boss” his coffee. But I took away so much more than Conan O’Brien’s coffee order.
As a general production intern, my duties ranged from these coffee runs, organizing fan mail, and even helping with rehearsals and remote shoots. Basically, anything and everything. While the work can come across as typical Hollywood “grunt” work, it never really felt like it. The environment, the people, and the show itself acted as a motivation and compensated for the sometimes trivial tasks. I was part of Team Coco.
Last week, I had the opportunity to once again work on the show as Conan remotely filmed in Atlanta, Georgia for four days. With the filming just two hours from Greenville, I couldn’t resist signing on to help. Throughout the week the tasks were similar to before: errands running me throughout Atlanta, food orders, and rehearsal assistance. Ah rehearsal—for us who work at Conan, it’s our favorite part of the day. As Conan rehearses his monologue and comedy sketches with the writers, the interns sit, stare, and absorb—so many personalities, so many quirks, and so much knowledge. It’s then I’m reminded of my why. Why I love being on the show, love being with those people, and love being able to take part in a unique culture. The work environment at Conan isn’t your Devil Wears Prada experience. It’s filled with people who are genuinely great. They work hard, love what they do, and take chances to pursue their dream careers.
As my undergrad days dwindle and the real world begins to filter in, I am overcome with respect for these people. People who are willing to pursue goals and dreams once thought impossible. Barriers overcome, comfort zones eliminated, and pride swallowed. I continue to see these people all around me today- our Fitness Rebellion Community, The DriVen Class, and even my friends here at BOF who work incredibly hard and with passion.
Although I’m still working on the ever changing “life plan”, I follow the cliché but true words of Thoreau’s Walden, “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” So join me in the bold pursuit of little victories and great risks!
Allie Blalock is graduating from Furman University this May. She rocks the Firesphere as an account team intern. She’s got COCO clout.
When was the last time you were scared about something? I mean really scared. For me, there is always something that I am scared of, and yesterday I conquered one of those fears.
Monday is my favorite day of the week at Brains on Fire for several reasons, but my most favorite reason happens at 9am without fail. We have our weekly family meeting. This is the time each week we share our triumphs and our tragedies, get on track for the week, and even have some inspirational thoughts from our Courageous Leader, Robbin. This week, Robbin challenged us to think about one thing that scares us, and just do it this week. Little did she know this is the current theme of my life—overcoming the many fears, big and small, that plague me.
Learning to conquer fears is a process, and I decided to start with overcoming a fear that could be easily reversed. Riding roller coasters. I am TERRIFIED of roller coasters! I have not ridden one since I was in the early grades of elementary school simply because they made me so uncomfortable. I found no joy in it. I am also afraid of heights, which does not lend itself to having an enjoyable experience at theme parks either. Why do they scare me you ask? I hate the anticipation of climbing to the top of the hill, only to feel nauseous in the descent. I don’t trust the construction of the rides at all, and ultimately I am afraid that the coaster will stop mid-way through the ride, we will be stuck upside down for hours, I will be in pain from all the blood rushing to my head, or that something tragic will happen and we will all perish due to a malfunction of the ride. Yeah, this is how far I let my mind take me out of control, and therefore I have not ridden roller coasters in a long time.
Yesterday I rode a whole theme park of roller coasters! As I was driving up to the park, and I saw rides from the road, all I could think was, ‘What have I done? Why did I think this was the best way for me to step into a fearless life?’ Getting up the courage to ride a roller coaster definitely had its challenges, like overcoming the paralyzing thoughts of potentially dying on a ride. Yet, there was this sound resolve that I knew I was going to accomplish this. On the first ride, once I was locked in, everything in me wanted to run for it. The slow climb up the first hill was almost torturous, just waiting for this thing I had no clue what it would be like. As we went over the hill I was still thinking, ‘Why have I done this to myself?’, but by the end, I was beginning to see the fun in this. The transition from paralyzing fear and thoughts of ‘I can’t’ to ‘When are we going to ride the tallest one?’ was empowering.
Riding the tallest, longest ride, the Intimidator was the most encouraging experience of the day. What happened in the course of the two minute ride was learning to accept the unknown. I began to open my eyes as we were going along the ride, loosen my grip, and yell because it was FUN, not because I was terrified. I walked away feeling extremely accomplished. I also got right back in line to do it again.
There’s that saying about life, ‘just sit back and enjoy the ride.’ I have never been able to do that before and going on this roller coaster journey has allowed me to do just that. I felt so incredibly free at the end of yesterday, just by overcoming a small fear of mine. We never know where we are headed in this life, but we should all know that we will come out on the other side and a better person for it. I am learning to see that feeling scared is a good thing—not something I should feel inferior for or ashamed of. Overcoming our fears fortify our character, whether it be us as individuals or as a team. Fear allows for growth, and overcoming your fear invites you to step into freedom.
Which fear is overtaking you? How can you step into freedom?