“Do what you love and love what you do.” ~Ray Bradbury
I cherish my memories of Ray Bradbury’s opening night talk at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. His message never varied from year-to-year and I never tired of it: “It’s about LOVE,” he would shout. He was on the stage in his wheelchair, but his zeal transported you to a mountaintop with him.
1. “Do what you love. Love what you do.”
When someone as successful as Ray Bradbury says that the key to his success is his ardor for his work, I pay attention. Lots of people talk about the importance of “knowing your purpose” and “living your passion” but Ray Bradbury really did. Selling more than 8 million copies of his books in 36 languages, as documented in the New York Times, is enough to convince me.
2. “Surround yourself with people who love you and love what you do.”
While this tidbit of wisdom was for writers who find themselves on the receiving end of more than their share of rejection, it is good advice for everyone. When you look at successful people, they have a cheering squad to support them through the tough times. Everyone needs a support team.
3. “What if?”
Ray told writers to ask “what if?” to get their creative juices running. One of his favorite questions was to ask “What would your conversation be on an all-night train ride with one of your favorite authors?” Imagine what we all could dream up if we asked ourselves “what if?” on a regular basis.
4. “Write 1,000 words a day.”
Ray started writing 1,000 a day as a youth and claimed he did so every day of his life from then on. He died last week at the age of 91, but he was still writing stories, producing plays, and writing screen plays and poems, 1,000 words a day on his Royal Typewriter.
Ray’s suggestion to writers to write 1,000 words a day reminds me of one of the insights in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. He observes that people who achieve a level of expertise in their lives that we admire– musicians like the Beatles, computer programmers like Bill Gates– all logged in a lot of hours getting there, 10,000 to be exact. At 1,000 words a day, it probably won’t be long before you have got your 10,000 hours. If you want to achieve your aspirations, you need to commit to it and work at. (By the way, that is not a problem if it is something you love.)
5. “You have been put in this world to love the act of being alive.”
In the video below, Ray said that not a day went by that he didn’t have gratitude for being alive. He was 86 when he said it and he was astounded that he had lived so long. He credits his “zest, love and passion” for his long, successful and happy life. Look at this short video of Ray talking about how we are here to love our life.
Coaching Questions to Ask Yourself:
What can you do today to begin living a passion-driven life? Who can be part of your support team? What would you do differently if you asked “what if ?” How can you log your 10,000 hours? What can you do to cultivate gratitude every day?
If you would you like to be coached on how to integrate Ray’s life lessons into your life, contact Dr. Lynn K. Jones for a free coaching session.
P.S. Thanks in advance to anyone who chooses to share this blog link to friends!
Dr. Lynn K. Jones is a Board Certified Coach and an Advanced Certified Personal and Executive Coach based in Santa Barbara, California and a sought after coach and consultant for organizations and individuals across the US. Her doctoral work completed at the Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University concerned organizational culture; she coaches, consults and trains organizations on what they need to do to create organizational cultures that are aligned with their vision and values using a process of Appreciative Inquiry. She coaches individuals on achieving their reflected best selves. A MSW@USC faculty member, Dr. Lynn K. Jones, MSW, DSW, CSWM, teaches Human Behavior and Social Environment and Leadership to social work students at the University of Southern California.
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