Ladies, We Need To Talk About… Mental LoadCulture, Books
Inside the invisible, intangible work we do to keep your household...
I have always wanted to be a One Book Person. One Book People seem to have their lives together in a way Two Book People don’t. They can read a single book on their nightstand from beginning to end with a sense of order and clarity. They live their lives like they read: with consistency and tenacity and (that word I vow to adopt each January) organisation. As you can probably guess, I have thought about One Book People for some time now. Mainly, because I have always aspired to be a One Book Person. I have tried for the better part of 28 years, and for the last five I have possibly tried the hardest. But the other week arrived and I found myself in a bookstore, going against the person I wanted to be. I bought a book while another sat half-read on my nightstand and I started reading my new, shiny book on the train home. And in that moment, I let the guilt drift past and I finally accepted who I was. A Two Book Person.
I do not tell you this story because it is ridiculous (although, yes) but because at a point in one’s life one accepts who one is and stops trying to be someone else. They recognise their weaknesses and stop trying to fix them. They channel their energy, instead, into owning their strengths. Founders and leaders often talk about this. Over the past year, I have written about or spoken to many female founders and leaders and the storyline to good leadership always goes a little like this: ‘I tried to fix my flaws for a long time. Then I gave up and decided to hire around my weaknesses so I could focus instead on what I could do well. Now I’ve got a multi-million dollar company, or something.’ And when you begin to hear something again and again from successful people, you begin to see the pattern in the fabric of success. This, my friend, is the pattern. And once you see the pattern it is hard to unsee it. You begin to see Lizzo would not be Lizzo without it and Celeste Barber would not be Celeste Barber without it. ‘It’ is a pattern I will call today, Star Theory.
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