(Well… sort of… and if you have the patience to read till the end, you will also know why this website is named Green Light)
Let’s say last month. How many times was it the case that you wanted to do something “creative”, but did not do it? By creative I don’t just mean painting or singing. It could be wearing socks that don't match. Or combining foods that no one else ever combines on the same plate. (A colleague once told me my lunch was “wrong” because the colors didn’t go well together. To be honest with you, I wasn’t even trying to be original, it was just all I could find in the fridge that morning).
You had the time, and everything you needed to do it, but you didn’t do it because you were concerned that someone will disapprove. Or judge. Or, worst of all, be indifferent.
Maybe you like to sing heavy metal in the shower. And while you do it, picture yourself on stage, with a base guitar and a microphone, thousand eyes glued to your sweaty wife beater. But you will never sing in public even though your voice sounds kind of cool from inside your head.
Or maybe you secretly write stories of provocative content and think you are actually quite good at it...the storyline and all... but you will never send them to a website specializing in provocative content. Because… OMG what if your grandmother finds it there?! (To which I would think to myself, but not say: if your grandmother visits websites of provocative content, at least you know which of your ancestors to thank for your talents).
All I used to ever publish was academic papers. When you write a scientific text, you hide behind very dry factual language. Only a few people, mostly very talented scientists who have tenure and don’t really give a… I meant don’t care what the reviewers think, can allow a little bit of their own personality to show between the lines. Such papers are a treat to read, but 99% of science is quite tedious unless you are a nerd and actually what to know what the authors did and what they found out.
It took a lot of self-coaching to publish my website and start this blog. Because this type of writing is much more personal. This is a kind of writing I used to do for my own satisfaction and share with a very limited circle of people. Making it public was stepping out of my comfort zone. Even though some friends told me they liked what I wrote, now I know that there will also be people who don’t think anything of it or might even get nauseated by what I post.
The challenged is not to give a… I mean not to care.
Stepping into the unknown is a scary and exhilarating process and it is very stressful. But this is the kind of stress that health authorities never talk about. That is the kind of stress that got forgotten with all the hype about the health dangers. It’s the type of stress that makes you feel alive instead of a robot on autopilot.
The book I am pretending to review here is about that. And if you are anything like me, it will become a good friend of yours. It’s about fear. It’s about meaning. It’s about inspiration. It’s about doing what you always wanted to do, even though there are people who can and will do it much better than you. It’s about not caring.
The best business advice I’ve ever heard, and I think also the most difficult to implement, is: be yourself. “Green Light” means permission. To be myself and do what I always wanted to. If you also want a permission to finally go about your ideas, read this book.