Letter From My 48th Year (Jan 22)*
I rarely look back at my old journals—too painful—though I can’t bear the idea of burning them or otherwise getting rid of them either. But for reasons, I’ve been rereading the journal that stretches from November 2003-August 2004. It’s interesting to see both that I was asking some of the same questions I’m asking myself now, but also to measure how much my thinking about those questions has deepened in the intervening 14 years or so.
It’s also interesting to see things I’ve pasted in the journal—quotes, pictures, etc. There were a few years in the early 2000s that I had a subscription to O magazine (before Oprah got way too into the secret and other stuff that I think is unhelpful). In the front cover I taped her editor’s letter presumably from one of the fall 03 issues. Oprah and I disagree on a lot, but I have to say she got the following absolutely right:
Do you speak the language of excellence? I believe the choice to be excellent—to push from adequate to extraordinary—begins with aligning your thoughts and words with the intention to require more from yourself. I often hear women say, “I’ll be okay if I can just make it till the end of the month.” Is that what you want for yourself—“to make it?” When you make such a declaration, you may in fact get by, but that may be all you’ll get. Why not do more than survive—why not excel? Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself. — Oprah Winfrey
Preach Miss Oprah, preach!
*I’d write about the government shut-down but I suspect I’ll have plenty of time to write about the one that starts at midnight February 8. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.