Tag Archives: passion

Dream Believe Do.


I once took part in a ‘life coaching’ exercise that at first sounded rather macabre. It was this: write your own eulogy. Shocked? Don’t be. The point is to articulate how you would like to be remembered. And once you’ve done it, ask yourself if you are that person today. If not, then no better time to start than immediately. After all, it’s too easy to look across the tracks and see successful people (whatever form that ‘success’ might take to be relevant to you) and muse that they’ve only done it because they were born in the right month, to the right family or with an excess of luck on their side. It’s much harder to perceive your destiny as your own responsibility.

And yet, what is it that permits some to rise to fame, fortune or respect? I’ve been hugely privileged to interview many people I find inspiring over the years, from Mary Portas for this issue to film director Peter Greenaway, hotelier Ian Schrager and photographer Elliott Erwitt to name a handful. And it strikes me that there are common threads that have very little to do with background, providence or prosperity. And so I proffer my observations and my own life learnings thus far… To do anything well, you must first care. Passionately. And be enthusiastic. Be hungry. Stay hungry. Be proactive. Do more than your job description. In fact, create your own job. Understand that receiving criticism is the quickest way to improve. And that sometimes being fired, or not getting what you want, is absolutely the best thing that could happen. Be a team player. Give credit where credit is due; ‘we’ is always stronger than ‘I’. But if something goes wrong, take responsibility, stand up and be counted. Love your life outside work – it’s the only way to stay sane, and that’s more important the higher up you go. Know your physical limits, but never stop dreaming. Never mock another person’s dreams. Don’t be a quitter. If you believe you can do something, you’ve already done the hard part. Be curious. Stay curious. Rules are overrated but respect is everything. Play for win/win scenarios. Don’t ask permission to succeed, just get on with it. If something hasn’t been done before, it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. In short, dream, believe, do! But be prepared to work bloody hard, over and above expectations. Never cheat. Don’t gossip. Have a moral code. Enjoy the ride. The aim is to screech to a halt when you finally get to those pearly gates and say wow, what a blast! Not oops, I forgot something.

-Michelle Ogundehin, Editor of Elle Decoration UK

12 Things in 2012.

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YOU GUYS. It’s May 2nd, which means that 1/3 of 2012 is already gone. What the what?! Crazy. 2012 thus far has been a year unlike any other for me, so when I saw Liz‘s list of twelve things she’s learned in 2012 so far, I thought hey! that might be a good way to preserve some of the magic that this year has shown me and to share some of the knowledge I’ve gleaned from January to present. Some of these things were hard-learned, some of them I learned by accident, and some I’ve always known but haven’t been able to accept their truth until now. But I’m still learning all the time, and that’s not nothing.


01 /// That most of the American stereotypes held by Europeans are not entirely untrue.

02 /// That curiosity is one of the best qualities to have, and that there are generally great rewards when you exercise it.

03 /// That I can get by on a lot less than I thought I could.

04 /// That I will probably always be having an internal dialogue with myself about whether to cut or grow out my bangs, and that I will probably always be unhappy with whichever I choose.

05 /// That when it comes to searching for employment, it’s not what you know but who you know.

06 /// That Seattle springtime is a beautiful thing, and reminds me why I choose to call this city home.

07 /// That South Park is one of the funniest shows ever.

08 /// That sometimes it’s more important to honor your own happiness above the commitments you make.

09 /// That people and their stories are my truest passion.

10 /// That trying to overcome old habits without making a clean break from the environments that fostered them means setting yourself up for failure.

11 /// That language is a miracle, and “YES” is a way more fun word than “NO.”

12 /// That I want to be Malcolm Gladwell when I grow up.

my favorite teenage morons: romeo & juliet.

reading romeo and juliet apparently makes some people very defensive. in a class discussion the other day, i piped up for the first time this quarter and said that i didn’t think romeo and juliet were actually in love, because they didn’t exercise any degree of reason in their 3-day love affair and because they were adolescents who had no conception of love beyond what their libidos were telling them. and out came the claws!

it was the general consensus of the class that romeo and juliet’s brand of immediate, uncontrollable, dangerous passionate love was an elevated form of love, that their love was somehow more pure than the long-lasting, mundane love that most people experience. someone even went as far as to quote neil young and say “it’s better to burn out than to fade away.” how poetic.

call me square, but i just fail to see the appeal of this kind of love, if you can even call it that. i feel forced to bear my post-romantic teeth at the thought of such awesome recklessness/immaturity/selfishness falling under the category of love. i just try to imagine what their lives would be like if everything didn’t go tragically awry for them: they would have lots of passionate sex for a while, but then romeo would develop a roving eye, juliet would cuckold him, and there would always be that underlying tension of their families hating each other. there is no way they could maintain that intense level of passion for any longer than they did, so i guess there was no choice but for their story to end tragically; maybe that’s why people like it. in my mind, passion is kind of like caffeine: you can only run on it for so long before you get burned out, and either start looking for something else to get you going or allow what was once a high to become a routine. and everyone knows that teenagers are incapable of knowing what love is because a) they’re self-centered (and self-centered is the opposite of love) and b) because they don’t know themselves. you would think that if romeo really loved juliet, he could have restrained himself from killing her kinsman and getting himself banished and generally mucking up all their plans, but no. hrmph. fortune’s fool, indeed.

conclusion: i just can’t bring myself to romanticize their relationship (or any relationship that resembles theirs, for that matter). they were not great lovers, they were idiot kids who lived in the moment and died as a result of their inability to exercise restraint and plan ahead. and as dr. amorose said, this is the last shakespeare play that should ever be taught in high school english classes… it’s too great of an encouragement for moronic teenage lovers to be more reckless and moronic than they already are.