Do you need to suffer to grow? My Great Work Interview with Michael Bungay Stanier

Loving your fear.
The truth behind “true self.”
The revelation of the suckage factor.

Michael Bungay Stanier, author of “Do More Great Work,” and creator of Box of Crayons covers a lot of ground in a short time.

A highlight:

MBS: Do you think that everyone runs into walls? You talk about the think tank and then the cool media company and basically finding yourself not at a pathway but at a dead end. Is that just part of the journey? Does everyone go through that or is there another way?

DL: This is such interesting territory because I think that the thought, “You have to suffer to grow,” is a bit ridiculous actually. I think you can grow without trauma. I think the more self-aware you become and the more aware you become of the small things in your everyday existence that aren’t working for you, the less drama and trauma and severity you are going to bring into your life in terms of life lessons. It just requires nudges to stay awake and on track instead of 2x4s.

It’s the subtleties of does this work for me? Do I like how this feels? Is this what I want to bring want this in my home? Is this what I want to buy today? Is this what I want to eat? Did I like how I said that?

It’s very subtle but those are the micro-experiences of contrast where you are constantly saying “this worked” and “this didn’t.” Creativity is all about “this worked” and “this didn’t.” You are constantly choosing. And really, if I am on a pulpit for anything, it is this: make more choices. Choose everything every day. Choose how you are going to wake up. What you will say “no” to. Choose your thoughts. Choose your food. Choose your friends.

MBS: Is there a process for avoiding fear, this “I have to suffer to progress,” or is there something valuable about stepping into fear + managing it in a different way?

DL: I think trying to avoid fear is intensely detrimental. Trying to avoid fear is like trying to avoid curiosity. You cannot avoid being curious, you are or you aren’t. I think you shouldn’t avoid, you should actually look for it. Every new situation you should think, what am I scared of? You are scared of something. Fear is a huge teacher.

I love my fears but I am really clear that I lead my fears. They do not manage me. They have a very particular seat on the bus. I listen to them, I thank them + then they stay in their place. They do not run the show.

Look for some kind of clue in your fear and once you can figure it out, you can figure out to integrate it. But you can’t avoid it.

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW to head over to Michael’s for the full conversation.

Follow Michael on Twitter + the web for even more of his Great Work.

 

related posts
Featured @2x 456x456 (16)

The difference between happiness & joy. And why it helps to know.

There’s a difference between the definition of happiness and the definition of joy. It’s valuable to be aware of this because when things get tough, logic might want you to default to despair, or utter sadness or worse, you might think you have to choose between hardship and joy, or support and separation, or light and dark…

Original-Self-Help-July-28-When-You’re-Done-Fighting-For-It

When you’re done fighting for it. The upside of finally giving up.

Do you know the story of the man who was hitting himself over the head with a hammer? “Why do you keep hitting yourself with that hammer?” a shocked passerby asked him. “Because,” the man replied, “it’s going to feel so good when I stop.”

Featured @2x 456x456 (14)

You will be called on to expand. And this is why we practice.

I travelled to Dharamshala, India with six friends to meet with The Dalai Lama. It was cell-altering and heart-expanding. The week before our arrival, there had been a horrible event in which some monks were murdered — most shockingly, by other monks. The story was on everyone’s mind and in our small, private meeting with His Holiness, the first thing we did was offer our condolences. His response captivated me…

Featured @2x 456x456 (12)

You’re going to feel guilty

The guilty feeling associated with desire, with going after what you want, with transforming….you know that feeling? It’s like tar on your mojo. Maybe you were raised in an environment where desire was considered a negative thing. Or your social circle constantly reinforces the message that you shouldn’t dare to bust out. And maybe you frequently feel guilty for wanting what you want — and you know that it’s causing blocks in your life…

Featured @2x 456x456 (11)

Love your sadness. It won’t last.

I was feeling it. Pure sadness — the inescapability of it plowing through the softest part of me. When you’re in that kind of painful place you’ll try to climb the walls to get away from it. You want it over with. “Love your sadness. It won’t last long.” A friend texted me late at night. I caught it just as I was turning off my bedroom light….

Featured @2x 456x456 (10)

refuse to worry (and how to be more useful for your friends)

Every fearful expectation has a big “story” behind it. The trauma, the drama, the pain, the plot. Worry feeds on the gruesome details. It replays the potential saga in your head. It validates all the reasons things could go wrong by drudging up the past again and again. Worry is cleverly building a case as to why you should worry…

Featured @2x 456x456 (9)

What to do when things suck. (hint: don’t gloss over it.)

When you’re feeling out of your soul zone and something crap is happening…accept that it’s happening. I know. Believe me, I know. This may sound super flaky and totally impossible. And yet…this counsel is at the heart of most Eastern mysticism. Don’t deny what’s occurring. The power to change what’s happening comes from accepting it first.

Featured @2x 456x456 (8)

what’s the ‘big real’ of what you’re doing?

There is a Big Real behind everything we do. Sometimes it’s a negative Big Real. Sometimes it’s a positive Big Real.

Featured @2x 456x456 (7)

the euphoria of admitting when it sucks

I hear this time and again, “If I just hang in longer… Maybe she’ll come up to speed. It might sell in the summer. If I dig deeper, I’ll learn to love Excel.” Fess up – it ain’t workin’. You’re smart to see it. You’re brilliant if you move on…

Featured @2x 456x456

Infidelity, sisterhood, and self-respect either way. #Lemonade and Love.

My feelings about infidelity, monogamy and commitment — and how they’ve evolved over time. How I define Divine Fidelity a la David Deida’s 3 stages of relationships. And my deep respect for Beyonce’s art and every woman’s choice of devotion.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This