No matter where you are in the process of A.W.E Book Club, let it be currently reading the book, already read the book, or what the heck is this, thank you for ending up here. I want to discuss certain sections of Unmistakable: Why Only is Better Than Best by Srinivas Rao and hopefully spark conversation with you. The quotes I’m discussing are quoted below to help you keep up no matter where on that scale I mentioned earlier you may be. So, without further ado, let’s dig in!
I’m definitely jumping around here and these are not all of my favorite quotes from the book, but these are a few that stood out to me and I felt would be good to mention. Let’s start with this one:
Exposing yourself to a diversity of inputs is like combining spices to make dishes that nobody else could make but you.
On page 152 of my copy, this line just hits home for me. When he talks about “a diversity of inputs,” Rao is talking about forms of entertainment such as books and movies, but it can apply to so many aspects of life. It can be very tempting to stick to what we know and love. I don’t know about you, but when I go to restaurants I tend to order the same thing every time. I do this to avoid the chance of getting something I don’t like. We often let fear get in our way even if it is about something as silly as what we order for takeout. We do what is comfortable. However, being comfortable in our choices doesn’t always make us a confident person. So, what does actually makes us who we are?
A large part of our personalities comes from what we choose to consume both literally and figuratively. Literally, if I choose to be a vegan, that becomes part of who I am known to be. Figuratively, if I choose to only watch romance comedies, I will then only be able to reference and get along with people who accept the same genre. I may be able to be friends with someone who doesn’t like romantic comedies but the conversation may be sparse. (Of course, I am only speaking on the topic of movies here.) If I open my mind to new things, like an action movie or reading every now and then, I widen my range of thought and also add more to my bank of conversation making it easier to get along with me.
It would be really nice if we could shield ourselves from adversity, trauma, heartbreak, and all the other negative parts of life. No amount of visualizing, chanting mantras, or repeating affirmations will prepare you for these inevitable experiences.
Now, I really want to discuss the two comments this section of text is sandwiched between which come from page 156. Above, I really want to argue what he is saying. As somebody who struggles with anxiety, I see the need in mental preparation. Affirmations and so on for many people are that little boost that can provide them with motivation and keep them going throughout the day. Saying that these actions are unable to prepare a person for harsh experiences may be a bit of an overstatement. It’s what came next in the book that reinvigorated my belief in Rao’s suggestions.
As my mentor Greg Hartle told me, “The problems don’t go away, what changes is your capacity to handle them.”
This advice from Hartle invalidates Rao’s previous statement while also supporting it. Affirmations are a way to mold mental state. Some days repeating to myself that “I can do this” and “I am worth this” prepare me mentally for what is to come. I change my mental capacity without ridding of the actual problems that sometimes don’t even exist as anxiety can blow small problems out of proportion. Experiencing the death of someone you were close to or breaking up with someone for the first time are experiences we have to live through to truly understand them. However, in both situations beforehand and after, it is that mental control and fluidity that allow us to cope and grow stronger.
If we are going to acheive unmistakable mastery of any craft, our view must be long term.
This is from page 53 of the book. I’m choosing to end off with this quote with the hopes that you look back on everything you have done in your life and look how far you have come. Look back on that and then look forward to what is yet to be. If so much can change from five or ten years ago, where will you be in five to ten years from now? Also, I hope that you will choose to grow with me and everyone else who chooses to be part of the A.W.E community. Writer or not, I hope you feel at home reading what A.W.E is here to say. I’m constantly trying to improve my craft. As I announced on Facebook, A.W.E turned two on the 29th. This little birthday may be for a small number but it is a huge accomplishment looking back on how much progress has been made. “Our view must be long term.”
Thank you for looking at these few quotes with me and I hope you will voice your opinion in the comments below. Check back very soon for the February book reveal!