Recently a good friend of mine told me she was listening to Oprah’s podcast SuperSoul Sunday. I’ve listened to a few episodes since our conversation and find that half of the episodes I love, and half of them I can’t get through.
I love Oprah just as much as the next person, but being someone who isn’t religious or very spiritual, episodes heavy on the spiritual I just can’t handle. However, two episodes struck a chord with me.
The episode with Mitch Albom made me immediately buy the book Tuesdays with Morrie, and read it right away (I will have a full post about that book soon). I can’t believe I’ve never read that book. When I’ve asked other people about it, a lot of them said they had to read it in high school. Must have missed that English class.
The other episode that I really enjoyed (that I’m going to talk about today) was the episode with Arianna Huffington. This was also the episode my friend was telling me about.
YOUR FULL ATTENTION
The part of it that really stuck out to my friend was when when Arianna was talking about how her mother said she abhors multitasking. Her mother said to her, “Anything that matters requires your full attention.” Even things like opening the mail, etc. Basically, if it’s worth you spending your precious time doing, then it’s worth your full attention.
Opening the mail is maybe taking a little too far considering 99% of my mail is junk mail at this point, but I get what she is saying.
Historically I wonder if certain environmental things have caused our attention spans to be lower and also cause a lot of the attention disorders people have nowadays. Did people 30 years ago have them too but we all just didn’t know about them as much? Or they weren’t considered disorders yet?
That seems to be a question about everything. Information is so readily available with a quick Google search, I often wonder if things that seem like “trends” actually were happening in the same amounts 30, 50, 70 years ago, and we just didn’t know about it because it wasn’t as easy to get/compare the information. The chicken or the egg.
I think the basic lesson here is, be present. Do one thing at a time. Focus on whatever it is you are doing.
I know that personally I’ll find myself task-hopping and two hours later, nothing on my to-do list is done. With cell phone alerts, email, app alerts, texts — there are just a lot of distractions to shut off. And we have to make it a point to FOCUS on one thing at a time and actually do it.
I am, however, good a being present when I’m with people that I want to be with. I’m not the girl checking her phone every five seconds at dinner out with friends. That drives me nuts.
FAILURE IS A STEPPING STONE TO SUCCESS
Huffington was talking about what she wants to give (pass down) to her kids, “That they can go for their dreams, and they shouldn’t worry if they fail. Failure is part of the journey to success.”
Then she said her mom would always say, “Failure is not the opposite of success, failure is a stepping stone to success.”
Failure sucks, but I think it’s a helpful part of life in many ways. Failure can help build character and persistence and even create a harder work ethic in people. Help control what could have been a big ego, and possibly help people be more empathetic.
Failure is also subjective. What one person might consider a failure, another might not. I often look at my own career and see failure in some ways, and my friends are always calling BS on me because they don’t see it that way. To be honest, I think I’m one of those people that will never be satisfied, but I digress.
Basically I like how Arianna and her mother look at failure. It’s a good reminder. One excerpt that I left out of this post on Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic, but is complimentary to this lesson is when Gilbert said, “You don’t need to conduct autopsies on your disasters.”
I think what she meant by this was just move on. Sometimes in certain businesses, yes, you have to understand what went wrong, but then don’t dwell on it. And if it’s not necessary to dissect your failures, don’t. Just keep moving forward.
IN YOUR FAVOR
The last lesson from this episode was actually my favorite, and I’m shocked I’ve never heard this quote before (or maybe I have seen it and it just didn’t resonate with me at the time?). It’s really a great way to look at life.
Live life as though everything is rigged in your favor. — Rumi
Thinking this way can really change your outlook and change how you feel every day. I’m going to try it.
Do you listen to Oprah’s podcast? Do you like it? Do any episodes stand out to you? Do you have any other podcasts you really like? Tell me in the comments!