‘‘ I thInk we’re allterrIfIed to be what                            ‘‘we’re meant to be.05    steve      pressfIeld22    “...
CONTENTS                      TIPS        THE war of arT                       5        Best if viewed in                 ...
fear.less                                             Ishita Gupta          Publisher                                     ...
“ Many men go fishing all of their  lives without knowing that it is  not fish they are after.” Henry David Thoreau
5“   My experience as a writer was    far more about overcoming my    fear than it was about the craft of    writing. ”   ...
6                                                                 it was fear. My resistance,     to deal with it, I thoug...
7                                 could be five feet from                                 the summit of Mount             ...
8    manifest that quality    and be that person for    ourselves?    S: I have a theory, which    could be wrong, that do...
9    effort to be able to do it. I    can tell you that I’m work-                                             S: I do and ...
10     not facing the dragon ev-       I: It’s like having your         and he tells you exactly       day.” You have to d...
11     freeze. You’ll be afraid of     failure.” If you just con-                                    Where did that come  ...
12     Mike nichols and give     ourselves a safe space to                                  “ WE JuST                     ...
13     weekends can be a good         guy, and I think anyone         real problem. That’s why     I can forgive and under...
14     I: What’s the first thing        after he comes back from        like entering a cold swim-   traction at some poin...
15     S: That’s a tough one. To       what you’re trying to do;        under me. For a few years,     no doubt about that...
sHare         Share this with my friends.          sign upGot this from a friend? Sign up for free here.
17 “   The only time we ever know what’s     really going on is when the rug’s     been pulled out and we can’t find     a...
18     some lasting pleasure                                  kind of testing and also a     and avoid pain is a hope-    ...
19             help. But we don’t know.             We never know if we’re         “ I REMEM-             going to fall fl...
20                                                                                              The truth is that he saved...
21     sive, open-ended state of   of chaos, learning not to      into a sense of relief, a    this and ask ourselves,    ...
22“    Art is an incredibly valuable thing,     not as an investment but as     something that enriches life in ways     y...
23     nothing to lose. I had                              could redirect myself and     been working in the in-          ...
24             gave up on the gallery I’d     much more fearless. I re-             never hear the end of it       alized ...
25                                                                                               mitting that I’m scared  ...
26                                                                  there were a lot of people      that once they tried i...
27     “ OnE OF MY     fast, beyond money, in                     order to make it through                                ...
28     But unless you make a          right now. So despite the      think about, and you can’t    I look back on the time...
29“    Tomorrow morning when you     wake up, unless you’re living under     some horrible circumstances,     choose bliss...
30     L: I started embracing     my natural skills at a very     young age, because I was     trained in art and accept- ...
31                                                                         at the agency, with no        I: Since you just...
32     single mother to a child       we are and as close our     with challenges, with thir-    relationship is, that his...
33     I found time to do it be-                      us. It sounds funny to     cause you’re a resource                  ...
34      not only a business, but    going out to lunch with         portant to success. Fail-      a marriage as well.    ...
35     it was all over, and the          with. But even though it         L: You know, this very is-   doors at the beginn...
36     people who can’t find a        work after that, that fear       “I used it. That’s what        I: Do you think that...
37     things without faith. not     who’ll read this magazine       choice. And really, the im-     religion necessarily,...
“ I have learned over the years that  when one’s mind is made up, this  diminishes fear; knowing what must  be done does a...
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Fear.Less Jan2011

  1. 1. ‘‘ I thInk we’re allterrIfIed to be what ‘‘we’re meant to be.05 steve pressfIeld22 “I went through a lot of struggle that helped me fIgure out what mattered to me.”29 JAN “no lIfe Is Immune from the ups and downs...” 2 011
  2. 2. CONTENTS TIPS THE war of arT 5 Best if viewed in Acrobat Reader. Steve Pressfield click here to download. 17rEaliTy gavE ouT on mE Best viewed full screen. Pema Chodron Click above icon to go full screen. 22 THE arT of succEss Jen Bekman 29THE DETErminED sTrEak Lynda Resnick
  3. 3. fear.less Ishita Gupta Publisher Matt Atkinson Executive Editor advertising [at] fearlessstories [dot] com Advertising fearlessstories.com Emil Lamprecht Deputy Editor Katie Byrne Copy Editor Jason Ramirez Senior Designer scribd.com/fearlessstories aCkNOwlEdgmENTS twitter.com/fearlessstoriesFear.less would not exist without our contributors. We thank them for theirtime, generosity, and wisdom. facebook.com/fearlessstoriesYou’re given the unlimited right to print and distribute this magazine andwe encourage you to share it. You may not alter this in any way though, andyou may not charge for it or for any of the content. The copyright in thiswork belongs to the publishers, who are solely responsible for the content.All images used with permission of contributors. Please send feedback orquestions to info@fearlessstories.com. To subscribe to the magazine forfree, go to http://www.fearlessstories.com.
  4. 4. “ Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Henry David Thoreau
  5. 5. 5“ My experience as a writer was far more about overcoming my fear than it was about the craft of writing. ” THE waR OF aRT An InTERvIEW WITh STEvEn PRESSFIELD I: In The War of Art, you talk about the force of Resistance based on your own experience as a writer, writing screenplays and novels. You noticed that while you struggled with Resistance, many of email sign up
  6. 6. 6 it was fear. My resistance, to deal with it, I thought, or whatever you’d like to “I’ve got to get this down call it, gave me so many for other people,” because bullshit reasons in my I hadn’t read it anywhere head why I shouldn’t else or heard anybody finish the novel, and it talking about this force. actually convinced me. Books about writing that Perhaps on a deeper level I’d seen were about the I felt it, but on the surface craft of writing, not about I was so full of excuses, ra- how freaking scary it is tionalizations and blam- just to sit down and face ing other people or influ- the typewriter. That’s why ences that I didn’t see my I started it. Because my own fear. Finally, over the experience as a writer years of trying to redeem was far more about over- your friends did as well. full-time into this writing myself from that failure, coming fear than it was, Was that the inspira- thing and totally cracked which was not only a or is, about any of the tion for the book? out about 99.9% of the failure for me, but for my craft or anything else. The way through it, but then wife and family because craft of writing is pretty S: I’ve been thinking I just choked. Fear seized I blew everything up and easy. It’s the overcoming about this because I’ve me and I quit. My mar- hurt everybody around of the fear that’s the hard actually started to plot riage broke up, my writ- me, I realized what that part. out The War of Art 2. I ing stopped, and on and force was. It became clear thought about the first on, and lots of terrible to me that fear, or Resis- I: Why do you think that novel I tried to write stuff happened. tance, was the dominant is? Why does it scare us when I was a 24-year-old thing in my life. so much? I spoke to an married guy in new York At the time, the insidi- advertising executive City. I quit my advertis- ous part of the fear was So now, 20 or 25 years sometime last year for ing job and just plunged that I didn’t even realize later, as I evolved a way the magazine and he email sign up
  7. 7. 7 could be five feet from the summit of Mount “ I ThInK WE’RE Everest, but if there’s a ledge under you, you’re TERRIFIED, TO BE WhAT not exposed. But if you’re 20 feet off the ground WE’RE MEAnT TO BE. and there’s a straight BECAuSE ThEn ALL ThE drop underneath you, then you’re exposed - and RESPOnSIBILITY LAYS On being exposed is when you really need to be a uS AnD WE CAn’T hIDE great mountain climber. BEhInD AnYThInG. ” So, I think one of the fears said, “The biggest fear is just falling off the side I have is the blank can- of the mountain, which says “heaven” and the people that I admire are vas.” is a pretty valid fear be- other says “Books about those who’ve picked the cause it’s no fun to crash heaven.” It’s so much door that says heaven S: You know, I think there and burn. But I don’t think easier to read the books and are not afraid, or if are two things, and we’ll that’s the big fear. The about heaven because they are afraid, they’ve do the easy one first. big fear is more of suc- you know, if I open that overcome that fear and There’s a term in moun- ceeding than of failing. door and go to heaven, aren’t afraid to be every- tain climbing called I’m not sure why that’s so holy cow. I think we’re thing they can be and not “Exposure.” A climber is terrifying, but it is. It’s like all terrified of that, to hold back anything. exposed when there’s that famous cartoon from be what we’re meant to a big drop underneath the new Yorker where a be. Because then all the I: What do you think him, and he’s not exposed perplexed-looking person responsibility lays on us it is about the people when there’s a ledge is standing in front of two and we can’t hide behind who choose that door? underneath him. So you closed doors. One door anything. Certainly the Do you think we can all email sign up
  8. 8. 8 manifest that quality and be that person for ourselves? S: I have a theory, which could be wrong, that do- ing the fearless thing is what creates charisma and that you can tell a successful person by someone who does what scares them. Bob Dylan comes to mind. here’s a guy who’s really been himself, totally, and there’s that indescribable charisma. I have another friend, who’s maybe ten years older than me who’s a mentor. he’s gay and when I first knew him and in those days was a big think that somehow fear- make sure we’re being worked for him in the late deal. he just said, “This lessness creates charisma. who we are? We don’t sixties, he was the most is who I am. I don’t give do that enough. unapologetically himself a shit what any of you I: You’re right. We spend of anybody that I’ve ever think.” And he did ex- so much time worrying S: no, we certainly don’t. known and it was tremen- actly what he wanted to if people will approve of Most people are para- dously inspirational to be do and he was fantastic what we’re doing, but lyzed by that and even around him because to about it, in business and how often do we check those of us that are aware be an open homosexual in every other way. So I in with ourselves and of it, it’s still an incredible email sign up
  9. 9. 9 effort to be able to do it. I can tell you that I’m work- S: I do and I can’t really explain it. It’s interest- “ PART OF ing on it all the time. ing from a writer’s point ThE Ex- I: It’s a discipline and of view, because a lot of times we don’t even know ERCISE OF a learning that being comfortable in your what we really think. Part of the exercise of writing WRITInG own skin just might re- for me is that I discover in FOR ME IS duce fear. the act of it who I am and what I think. It’s like what ThAT I S: I think it is, and I’m not sure why the terror is as comes out on the page, that must be me. In other DISCOvER great as it is. You’d think it words, fear arises when In ThE ACT would be easy to be your- self or do what you love we’re on the brink of tak- ing some action because OF IT WhO or say what you believe, in some way we know I AM AnD but it’s not. We get wor- ried about rejection and it will reveal ourselves to the world, and that’s WhAT I then our censor doesn’t let us go beyond it. That’s frightening. ThInK. ” why it’s necessary to have We’re totally exposed and a model, because it in- the crazy part of it is that “Wow, that’s better than spires you to that same that’s when we’re at our I thought I could be!” It level and helps you when best, when we’re most in seems like the antidote you’re around it. touch with our own pow- for me is a relentless, pro- er. And you look back at fessional discipline - con- I: Do you think fear of that page, at something tinuing to push myself success is greater than you did that you didn’t and demystify the fear as the fear of failure? know was in you and say, much as possible so I’m email sign up
  10. 10. 10 not facing the dragon ev- I: It’s like having your and he tells you exactly day.” You have to detach eryday but just getting up heart pulled out of your how you should measure yourself from expectation to work. chest. it. You don’t measure it and results. on whether they say yes, I: Does that tangibly S: I can’t imagine how you simply measure it on I: Expectations intro- mean you write every people do it; it would be “Did I do it” and you keep duces fear into the day toward a goal? really hard for me. But it’s your score in a great pro- equation. S: I do. It’s real writing, whatever I’m working on “ ThE AnTIDOTE FOR ME IS A RELEnTLESS, at the time. I just finished a wonderful book by a PROFESSIOnAL DISCIPLInE - COnTInuInG man named nick Murray, called The Game of num- TO MAKE IT hAPPEn,TO PuSh MYSELF In bers. Murray’s profession ThE FACE OF ADvERSITY AnD DEMYSTIFY is coaching financial advi- sors. he sent me the book ThE FEAR AS MuCh AS POSSIBLE. ” because he said The War of Art inspired him to write it. In that business a classic case of resistance fessional way. From the S: It’s like what a coach apparently, if you’re a fi- to exposure and nick point of view of a writer would say to you if you nancial advisor and you’re has a wonderful way of it’s “I’m going to sit down were trying to win the trying to get clients, you getting people to have a here today and I’m go- hundred-yard dash, “You have to cold call people positive attitude toward ing to work for four hours just gotta get out there for sales, which is com- it. What he says is, you and I don’t care what and run each day. Go to pletely terrifying and the have to say to yourself happens. I don’t care how the gym, run, do what Resistance comes up a twenty times a day, “I’m good it is or bad it is. I’m you have to do, don’t lot. I could never cold call going to cold call or cold going do that today and worry about the outcome. anyone. approach somebody” tomorrow and the next If you do, then you’ll email sign up
  11. 11. 11 freeze. You’ll be afraid of failure.” If you just con- Where did that come from?” stronger than the pain of “ YOu CAn simply doing it. It’s defi- centrate on the act itself, nitely true in my experi- WRITE A on the process, that is a great professional way to I: I wish I could say that right now! I’ve been ence. I was just watching a tribute to director Mike ChARACTER demystify fear. struggling with a piece and putting it off, and nichols last night, and I realized that when you’re ThAT’S MORE I: I’ve tried that and realizing that not do- an actor doing a difficult InTELLIGEnT I find it teaches me about what I can and ing it is more annoying than just getting on scene when you have to cry or get emotional, ThAn YOu can’t do and where my with it. that’s absolutely terrify- ing. Actors like Dustin ARE. SO WhAT WE ThInK ARE limits are. S: I know exactly what hoffman and Meryl S: I remember one of the first things I learned writ- you mean - when the pain of not doing it is Streep kept saying “We love you” to Mike because OuR LIMITS ing my first book, The as a director he gave ARE REALLY Legend of Bagger vance, was that you can write them a safe space where they could let it all hang An ILLuSIOn a character that’s more intelligent than you are. out even with the cam- era rolling and everyone BECAuSE So what we think are our looking at them. Some- ThE PLACE limits are really an illu- sion because the place how, he made them feel that nobody was going to WE’RE COM- we’re coming from is judge them and that they InG FROM much deeper than that. Once we let it out, it can could really go for it. IS MuCh really surprise us. You write something and I think that we need to do that for ourselves. We DEEPER ThAn think, “Wow, did I do that? need to become our own ThAT. ” email sign up
  12. 12. 12 Mike nichols and give ourselves a safe space to “ WE JuST it. It’s easy to say but hard to do. I: Do you do that with yourself, have discipline just try and let it rip. hAvE TO I: It’s like the story of everyday? I: Usually our censor PLuG OuR Odysseus, who, when S: I do, I try to make it a habit. I make it a job and he heard the sirens on EARS TO IT is the one calling the shots. the ship, told his crew to just make sure I always S: Exactly. That son of a hOWEvER strap him down to make it through that part of the get in there and do it. Each day that accrues bitch. WE CAn DO voyage without succumb- ing to the sirens or their helps. It never gets any easier, but it does help! If I: We need to find a way to vanquish it before AnD KEEP song. We have to be that ruthless with ourselves. I miss a day, I give myself a break, and I’ll take even we get pulled into his GOInG weeks off at a time some- energy. FORWARD, S: he also told his sailors who were rowing past times. But if I can get a rhythm where I’m going S: We’re talking about it right now. If I was there KEEP the sirens to stopper their ears with wax so they five or six days a week, that’s really good. Today with you right now, I’d do what Colette’s original MOvInG couldn’t hear their song. Otherwise, they would is Sunday and I’ll be work- ing a bit today too, just to manager/agent/boy- ThOSE have crashed into the keep the rhythm going. friend did to her - lock her in her room and not OARS. ” rocks. We have to do that too. That’s the Resistance I: I feel much better if let her come out until she song, the fear that’s out I’m consistent, even if produced three pages of there, we just have to that means doing some writing. he wouldn’t even S: But that’s what it takes plug our ears to it how- things over the week- feed her until she wrote. sometimes. We have to ever we can do and keep end. do it to ourselves. Let’s going forward, keep mov- I: That is hardcore. just get in a room and do ing those oars. S: I’m with you. I think email sign up
  13. 13. 13 weekends can be a good guy, and I think anyone real problem. That’s why I can forgive and under- time to get stuff done. who’s driven to create, marriages break up. That’s stand someone who I’m that’s just the name of the why people have a hard with who’s also doing I: What if your disci- game. If you’re married time. Maybe the best type that, like “Go for it, I’m pline or the way you to Kobe Bryant, you have of marriage is two people glad to see it.” But that’s work doesn’t jive with your surrounding envi- ronment, or the people in it? You have a section “ IF YOu’RE MARRIED TO KOBE BRYAnT, in The War of Art about this - that just because YOu hAvE TO KnOW ThAT hE’S GOInG you seem crazy in your environment, doesn’t TO BE ShOOTInG BASKETS, hE’S mean you are. GOInG TO BE TRAInInG, hE’S GOInG S: It’s really true, Ishita, TO BE PRACTICInG. IF YOu MARRY hIM, particularly in relation- ships. That’s where it YOu’vE GOT TO ACCEPT IT OR IT CAn BE shows up because people do think you’re crazy A REAL PROBLEM. ” when you’re working hard. I tried recently in fact, to change the way to know that he’s going who are equally crazy not too common, I think. I work to accommodate to be shooting baskets, and can understand each I guess some people can another person and it he’s going to be training, other. produce and still lead doesn’t work for me at and he’s going to be prac- semi-normal lives, but all. I can adjust slightly ticing. If you marry him, From my point of view, just from a personal view, but I just have to accept that’s him and you’ve got since I’m so steeped in my I don’t think I’m one of that I’m kind of a crazy to accept it or it can be a particular way of living, them. email sign up
  14. 14. 14 I: What’s the first thing after he comes back from like entering a cold swim- traction at some point. you do if you sit down the gym (the gym is a ming pool, and it gets At some point, maybe an to write and the Resis- great example because words on a page - what hour or 45 minutes into it, tance rears its head? almost everyone feels you’re looking for is just I’ll say, “OK, now it’s really resistance to it), he’s got to get into the flow a bit time to start,” and I’ll just S: Firstly, just sitting down some momentum. for the blank pages to plunge into it. For me, is a big help. You’ve al- it’s a very workmanlike, ready got something go- lunch-pail process. Just ing. “ AnYWAY YOu CAn ChEAT keep going forward, and hopefully at some point a Secondly, I’ve been writ- IS GOOD. YOu’RE JuST little magic will kick in. If ing a screenplay with a friend, Randy Wallace, TRYInG TO FAKE YOuRSELF you can get a flow going, ride that for all it’s worth. who wrote Braveheart. he has this method called OuT, GET OuT OF YOuR For me, it’s like I’m look- “little successes” where as hEAD AnD InTO WhAT ing for my real voice. soon as he gets up in the morning, even before he YOu’RE DOInG, AnD hOPE And in order to get to that voice I have to go starts to write, he tries to do a few little things in- YOu’LL GET TRACTIOn AT through a few layers of bullshit and censorship cluding going to the gym SOME POInT. ” and a lot of chatter chat- or even taking a shower. ter chatter, but at some These small things count point everything quiets as a little success and he Another thing I do when come. Anyway you can down. That’s the place I’m tries to get some momen- I start writing is to start cheat is good. You’re just trying to get to. tum going in terms of with an easy task, like trying to fake yourself doing things he doesn’t research or noting things out, get out of your head I: What do you do when necessarily want to do. So down from pages I’ve and into what you’re do- you’re stuck, either by the time he sits down dog-eared in books. It’s ing, and hope you’ll get with writing or in life? email sign up
  15. 15. 15 S: That’s a tough one. To what you’re trying to do; under me. For a few years, no doubt about that, and be perfectly candid I just otherwise, you’re going it was so bad that when if it were easy everybody had that experience re- to die. That’s it. For me, in I think about it now, I’m would do it. I’m not sure cently, when I fell badly my twenties, when I ran not sure I could face it that’s a real answer, Ishita. ill. The only thing I can say away from the first book again. So, the pain of that is that you have no choice I wrote, I had such a hard is a lot worse than the I: That’s exactly what I but to just keep going time in real life when the pain of keeping going. hoped for. forward. Just keep doing bottom dropped out from But it is very hard, there’s STEVE steven Pressfield is an American novelist and author of screenplays, primarily of military historical fiction such as Gates of Fire and The Tides of War. he authored The Legend of Bagger vance which became a popular feature film and most recently wrote what’s been called the ultimate creator’s handbook, The war of art. The War of Art introduces Resistance, a powerful roadblock to creativity, and helps us identify a plan to conquer it in our lives. email sign up
  16. 16. sHare Share this with my friends. sign upGot this from a friend? Sign up for free here.
  17. 17. 17 “ The only time we ever know what’s really going on is when the rug’s been pulled out and we can’t find anywhere to land... ” REalITY gaVE OUT ON mE PEMA ChODROn When things fall apart and we’re on the verge of we know not what, the test for each of us is to stay on that brink and not concretize. The spiritual journey is not about heaven and finally getting to a place that’s really swell. In fact, that way of looking at things is what keeps us miserable. Thinking that we can find email sign up
  18. 18. 18 some lasting pleasure kind of testing and also a and avoid pain is a hope- kind of healing. We think less cycle that goes round that the point is to pass and round endlessly, and the test or to overcome causes us to suffer great- the problem, but the ly. The very first noble truth is that things don’t truth the Buddha points really get solved. They out is that suffering is come together and they inevitable for human be- fall apart. Then they come ings as long as we believe together again and fall that things last—that apart again. It’s just like they can be counted on that. The healing comes to satisfy our hunger for from letting there be security. From this point room for all of this to hap- of view, the only time pen: room for grief, for we ever know what’s re- relief, for misery, for joy. ally going on is when the rug’s been pulled out and When we think that we can’t find anywhere something’s going to to land. We use these situations either to wake “ WE TRY TO DO WhAT bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really ourselves up or to put WE ThInK IS GOInG going to happen. When ourselves to sleep. Right now—in the very instant TO hELP. WE nEvER we think something is go- ing to give us misery, we of groundlessness—is the seed of discovering our KnOW IF WE’RE don’t know. Letting there be room for not know- goodness. GOInG TO FALL FLAT ing is the most important thing of all. We try to do Things falling apart is a OR SIT uP TALL. ” what we think is going to email sign up
  19. 19. 19 help. But we don’t know. We never know if we’re “ I REMEM- going to fall flat or sit up tall. When there’s a big BER SO vIv- disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of IDLY A DAY the story. It may just be In EARLY the beginning of a great adventure. SPRInG I read somewhere about a WhEn MY family who had only one son. They were very poor. WhOLE This son was extremely REALITY precious to them, and the only thing that mat- GAvE OuT tered to his family was that he bring them some On ME. ” financial support and prestige. Then he was hind and take care of his thrown from a horse and family. crippled. It seemed like the end of their lives. Two Life is like that. We don’t weeks after that, the army know anything. We call came into the village and something bad; we call it took away all the healthy, good. But really we just strong men to fight in the don’t know. war, and this young man was allowed to stay be- I remember so vividly a email sign up
  20. 20. 20 The truth is that he saved my life. When that mar- riage fell apart, I tried hard—very, very hard— to go back to some kind of comfort, some kind of security, some kind of familiar resting place. Fortunately for me, I could never pull it off. Instinctively I know that annihilation of my old de- pendent, clinging self was the only way to go. Life is a good teacher and day in early spring when drinking a cup of tea. I was no time, no thought, a good friend. Things are my whole reality gave out head the car drive up and there was nothing—just always in transition, if on me. Although it was the door bang shut. Then the light and a profound, we could only realize it. before I had heard any he walked around the limitless stillness. Then I nothing ever sums itself Buddhist teaching, it was corner, and without warn- regrouped and picked up up in the way that we what some would call a ing he told me that he a stone and threw it at like to dream about. The genuine spiritual experi- was having an affair and him. off-center, in-between ence. It happened when he wanted a divorce. state is an ideal situation, my husband told me he I remember the sky and When anyone asks me a situation in which we was having an affair. We how huge it was. I re- how I got involved in don’t get caught and we lived in northern new member the sound of the Buddhism, I always say can open our hearts and Mexico. I was standing in river and the steam rising it was because I was so minds beyond limit. It’s a front of our adobe house up from my tea. There angry with my husband. very tender, nonaggres- email sign up
  21. 21. 21 sive, open-ended state of of chaos, learning not to into a sense of relief, a this and ask ourselves, affairs. panic—this is the spiritual sense of inspiration. “Am I going to add to the path. Getting the knack aggression in the world?” To stay with that shaki- of catching ourselves, of Everyday we could think Every day, at the mo- ness—to stay with a gently and compassion- about the aggression in ment when things get to broken heart, with a ately catching ourselves the world, in new York, the edge, we can just ask rumbling stomach, with is that path of the war- Los Angeles, halifax, Tai- ourselves, “Am I going to the feeling of hopeless- rior. We catch ourselves wan, Beirut, Kuwait, So- practice peace, or am I ness and wanting to get one zillion times as once malia, Iraq, everywhere. going to war?”   revenge—that is the again, whether we like All over the world, every- path of true awakening. it or not, we harden into body always strikes out at Excerpt from “When Things Sticking with that uncer- resentment, bitterness, the enemy, and the pain Fall Apart” by Pema Chodron, tainty, getting the knack righteous indignation— escalates forever. Every published in 2000 by Shamb- of relaxing in the midst harden in any way, even day we could reflect on hala. PEma Pema chödrön is an American Buddhist nun and leading teacher on meditation and its application to everyday life. She is widely known for her charming and down-to-earth interpretation of Tibetan Buddhism and is the author of no Time to Lose, Getting unstuck, when Things fall apart, Start Where You Are, The Places That Scare You, and The Wisdom of no Escape. email sign up
  22. 22. 22“ Art is an incredibly valuable thing, not as an investment but as something that enriches life in ways you can understand right away. ” THE aRT OF SUCCESS JEn BEKMAn THE NEw mE Opening the gallery was a pretty spontaneous action for me. It was amazing to discover that I was good at something new in my early thirties, and I really had email sign up
  23. 23. 23 nothing to lose. I had could redirect myself and been working in the in- do something new. I went teractive business for a through a period of feel- long time and when the ing totally washed up in bubble burst in 2002, I the corporate world, and felt a little like I’d gone to have an opportunity through the zenith of my to reinvent myself really career; that because I was changed my life. It gave so focused on the future me a detachment that I wasn’t enjoying where I I’d never had before and was, which was actually I felt like I could be who very abstract -working at I really was. My identity netscape and Disney put- wasn’t so tied up with ting together presenta- what I was doing, but in tions for things that never my ability to do things ended up happening. - to be more capable of changing. So, opening the gallery was more of an obligation Initially, it was just sheer for me to just go for it be- stubbornness - I felt cause there weren’t dire like this was how things consequences if I didn’t should be and there succeed. I didn’t have a was a direct impact to lot of dependencies, kids be made on people by or a partner who would revealing art in this way. be impacted, and that But it was a new life that opened me up to taking a even my parents disap- lot more risks. And even if proved of initially in some I didn’t succeed, I felt like I ways, and I knew that if I email sign up
  24. 24. 24 gave up on the gallery I’d much more fearless. I re- never hear the end of it alized that I still had a lot from them! even though I was living off of my credit cards, and a CHaNgE IN I was incredibly grateful TRaJECTORY during that time and even now. I had incredible Since then, I’ve had a friends helping me, and whole different trajec- I’m not very spiritual, but tory, a difficult path, but it feels like a privilege to a privileged one. Initially, be able to give my energy I didn’t have any fund- to what I think of as a ing or resources, and I greater good. For me that learned a lot running good centers around the the gallery very leanly. experience of support- Financially it has always ing artists. So, I began to been a bit difficult and at look, not at how much one point I was behind a money I was spending, few months on the rent but what was I spending at the gallery. When I it on- something valuable had almost nothing at all or something fruitless? In and was living off credit my life, art is an incredibly cards, I had to pare down valuable thing, not as an my needs to, “Do I have investment but as some- a roof over my head? Am thing that enriches life in I going to eat tonight?” I ways you can understand began looking at it like a right away, perhaps also privilege in the context of in ways you can’t under- my frugality and became stand at all until you ac- email sign up
  25. 25. 25 mitting that I’m scared and uncertain, people realize that their own ap- prehensions are normal. It helps people feel more confident making deci- sions about liking and rejecting art, which is important because taste is informed more strongly by rejecting things than it is by accepting them. I feel like I’m constantly scared or hesitant and tually have it in your life. I’d have more opportuni- addressed people’s fears just push myself forward. It’s something that can ties to focus on things on a daily basis. They I’m not afraid to admit ground you with yourself that I was good at and would perceive me as that I’m not always sure, and with the world. which excited me, not on being totally confident, and to have an audience bookkeeping. So I saw but I’m really not. I un- who I can be cordial and Another element was that there was room to grow, derstand why someone direct about it with is re- as an entrepreneur you which kept me moving doesn’t want to make ally great for me. When I need cashflow, which I forward. a $4,000 mistake with first opened, I naturally didn’t have. So in the be- a piece of art and more gravitated toward pho- ginning I was forced to do than that, people bring tography because paint- things for years and years SOlIdaRITY IN a lot of baggage when ing really intimidated me. that I wasn’t good at, and UNCERTaINTY they go to a gallery or a I was more scared of mak- I think I realized that as museum, in terms of what ing mistakes in that realm the business grew and With the gallery, I had to they should or shouldn’t because I’m intimidated became more successful create a dialogue where I know. In me directly ad- when I look at a painting email sign up
  26. 26. 26 there were a lot of people that once they tried it at who understood the gal- a lower price, they’d want lery system as the only the good stuff. way it could be done. It wasn’t questioned. People need something When I told people that good in their lives right I wanted to sell really now, so it’s nice to be able great quality prints at a to offer that to them for reasonable price, people $20. I really do want to said, “You can’t sell a print transform people’s rela- for $20, there’s just no tionships with art. A lot of way.” The artists thought artists that we’ve worked I was crazy. The printers with had never earned thought I was crazy. no- money from their art be- body believed it would fore 20x200. The first time work. But it was impor- we had a party for it I had tant enough to me to both artists and collectors make it work, and now it’s tell me that it changed growing and really reso- their lives, and there’s and realize that I don’t THE 20x200 nating with people. I real- nothing more gratifying know art history. That STORY ized that people didn’t than that. I think I have a fear was much more pres- buy things in galleries be- different playbook than ent with painting than it I don’t accept things the cause they didn’t under- some other people, be- was with photography way they are and I’m al- stand the value of it. So I cause at one point when because to me, photog- ways trying to root out thought that giving peo- I was struggling finan- raphy is such a quintes- assumptions I’m making. ple even once experience cially a good friend of sentially contemporary One of my biggest frus- of art and pricing low mine said, “You’re going medium that we all have trations in dealing with would be the gateway to have to come up with fluency with it. art is that when I started, drug into the art world - some different criteria email sign up
  27. 27. 27 “ OnE OF MY fast, beyond money, in order to make it through artist” is about struggling. I’ve seen the way that be- tive feedback I get about the gallery, it’s the criti- BIGGEST this,” and he told me that I successfully opened ing successful can chal- lenge an artist who’s been cism that lands the most sorely, that sticks with FRuSTRA- the gallery and had struggling. I’ve always me. I went through a lot TIOnS In done things that no one else had done, with a believed in marketing be- cause I feel it’s a way that of struggle that helped me figure out my values DEALInG level of risk pretty incon- ceivable to most people, you reach people with your art. You want to mar- and what mattered to me, and what success meant WITh ART IS and that meant a lot to me. ket yourself, but you don’t want to come across as so to me, and that’s ulti- mately what kept me go- ThAT WhEn slick that people question ing. I spoke to someone I START- lIVE wITH aRT, IT’S your authenticity. That’s why I’m always talking new in our office just the other day, and anyone ED, ThERE gOOd FOR about how something makes me feel. I’m inter- new who starts working with us becomes quickly WERE A LOT YOU ested in how living with a overwhelmed with every- OF PEOPLE Since I’ve opened the piece of art can transform your relationship with thing there is to do, which in a large part is my fault WhO un- gallery my motto is “Live with art, it’s good for other artists, and how it makes going to the muse- because I have so many ideas which seem smart DERSTOOD you.” It’s a deep part of um or gallery a different at the time but which are ThE GALLERY me. I’m concerned about that perception of my experience. In this way, the management of the hard to execute. So I said to her, “You know, the SYSTEM AS sincerity because be- ing successful in the art gallery itself becomes an art form instead of a slick one thing you have to re- member is that it’s going ThE OnLY business has a stigma of impropriety about it. business. to be really easy to end every day worrying about WAY. ” Part of being a “starving Even with all the posi- what you didn’t get done. email sign up
  28. 28. 28 But unless you make a right now. So despite the think about, and you can’t I look back on the times concerted effort to reflect struggles it’s been a much always be right. But this that I’ve done that and I upon what you did get happier road and I’m a goes back to the central can’t believe I’ve had the done, there’s absolutely happier person doing question of fear, I ask my- nerve to do it! But I also no need to feel like a fail- what I believe in. There self what’s the worst that think about all the times ure.” That’s a perspective are so many mistakes I’ve could happen? Because I’ve been rejected, and that was a direct result of made, some I’ll probably why shouldn’t you ask I just don’t really even my friends challenging make today, and you re- someone for something think about it anymore me, that the only concept ally can’t avoid that. In or why shouldn’t you do because it’s all about of success is if you have life there are a million something? What’s the whatever keeps you mov- money in your pocket decisions and things to worst that could happen? ing. JEN Jen Bekman is the owner of Jen Bekman Gallery, exhibiting the work of emerging artists in photography and mixed media. Jen Bekman Projects, Inc. evolved from the gallery and is a unique organization encompassing an array of projects including 20 x 200, which sells quality prints and photos at affordable prices. She is the founder of Hey, Hot shot!, an international photo competition, and has been featured in The new York Times, harper’s, Art in America, Foam, Businessweek, Dwell, and Le Monde. email sign up
  29. 29. 29“ Tomorrow morning when you wake up, unless you’re living under some horrible circumstances, choose bliss. ” THE dETERmINEd STREak An InTERvIEW WITh LYnDA RESnICK I: You’ve had the entrepreneur streak since you were a teenager. Do you think your personality made you a good fit for business and is that what you always wanted to do? email sign up
  30. 30. 30 L: I started embracing my natural skills at a very young age, because I was trained in art and accept- ed into art school, but couldn’t go because my father didn’t want to send me - he thought I never committed to anything! I went to community col- lege for a year but was bored out of my mind so decided to quit and go to work developing ads for little stores, which is how I started in the advertis- ing world. I took some classes at the newspaper to learn how to type, to size a photograph and how to do all of these old-fashioned things that you don’t have to do any- Philadelphia that taught really, I don’t think I had to further that fine arts more, but I already had creative writing and I the burning desire to career. Instead I funneled the ability to illustrate had my studio there. I do so in the first place. my creative thought and and to write. had talents, but I knew I If I did, I know I would spirit and my talent into wasn’t going to become have found a way to do commercial art. I taught Then I went to a very pro- a fine artist through art it - waitressed, worked myself and don’t feel that gressive public school in school training because, nights, whatever I could I suffered from the lack of email sign up
  31. 31. 31 at the agency, with no I: Since you just men- employees. I had two tioned it, did you de- children in rapid succes- velop boundaries as sion and by the time I was a entrepreneur while 22, I was done having my raising your family? I’ve kids. I was working out of heard two viewpoints: my house and then hired One says that balance a full-time secretary and is something an en- some art directors that trepreneur shouldn’t would come and go on a even consider, while the freelance basis, but I was other says that main- doing it all from inside my taining clear “self-time” own home. My kids would boundaries are vital. be outside knocking on the door and finally my L: Well, it depends on an education because I learned what the pitfalls doctor told me to get out where you are in your life educated myself through- were - that’s when I start- of my house to continue cycle. When you make out my entire life - it’s all ed to fear things. my work. he said, “Get the choice to raise your about lifelong learning the hell out of there. It’s family and you have some and self-teaching. I: You raised your family worse for you to be home energy to do it, you really Where did I get the at the exact same time but not home than it is have no ability to balance nerve to do such a thing you launched your ca- for you to be away and your life. It’s ridiculous though, I have no idea. reer in advertising. Can then come home at a rea- to think you can. I didn’t, I’ve asked myself the you describe how you sonable hour and be with and I had to raise two same question so many started your agency the children.” So I moved children, one of whom times. I don’t think it ever and balanced raising to a small office and my had special needs. It was crossed my mind that I your children? business grew until I had exhausting, and to be might not be success- thirteen employees in my honest, my first marriage ful until I got older and I L: Initially, I was alone early twenties. sort of fell apart. Being a email sign up
  32. 32. 32 single mother to a child we are and as close our with challenges, with thir- relationship is, that his teen employees and a ton ego would have allowed of responsibility - it was me to have a business very tough. I often feel separate from him. It that I missed a lot with worked out well because my children and that’s I was very interested in why I bug my grandchil- doing the things that he dren now until they push wanted to do and so we me away. I feel sorry that built our little empire to- I didn’t get to do a lot of gether. But that’s not ac- mom stuff with my chil- tionable by most people, dren because I worked so so I understand how hard hard when I was young. it can really be. What I did forsake entirely was a social life, which is One thing I always took very different now, but time for was exercise and until I reached my fifties I eating properly. I realized just didn’t have time. We that if I perished, who were building businesses was going to hold up the and traveling, and any house of cards that was spare moment we had we my life? So healthy living spent with the children. and eating and exercise now, Stewart and I have and stress management been married 37 years, is imperative, and I found and I think the secret to the time for those things. that success is working Even if there was a child together because I don’t crawling all over me as think, even as in love as I was doing yoga poses, email sign up
  33. 33. 33 I found time to do it be- us. It sounds funny to cause you’re a resource even say that now, but for your family; if you back then it was such a start to fall apart, you hard and fearful time. In can’t help them. the ‘80s and ‘90s there was a recession, which I: Was there a particular we saw coming, and even time in your life where though I changed busi- you felt more pressure ness models, we still had than any other time? to fight for everything we had. It was very hard. L: I don’t live with fear, Even though Stewart and but I have fearful mo- I were working together, ments, just like anybody it wasn’t all singing and does. I try to embrace dancing. We fought con- it, but I think my forties stantly about work and were more stressful than business issues, and it any other time in my life was particularly hard for because I was separated me to handle. I think for- from my family. I was liv- ties are typically hard for ing with Stewart in Phila- men and women, quite delphia, my children had frankly. By the time I just gone away to college reached my fifties I was a and my mother and fa- lot happier. ther were back in Los An- geles. We were isolated, I: It’s pretty brave to running a big business work with the man that in the beginning you’re married to, given seemed like a stretch for the ups and downs of email sign up
  34. 34. 34 not only a business, but going out to lunch with portant to success. Fail- a marriage as well. girlfriends, like “Oh my ure is absolutely critical God, how can I waste that because you don’t really L: It was courageous, much time?” Even to this learn through your suc- but it was necessary for day, every meeting we cesses; When things go have is during lunch. I’ve brilliantly, you’re never “ I’vE nEvER never been able to break my stride in the middle really quite sure why. But when you fail, I assure BEEn ABLE of my day to go out to lunch because I never you, you know why and that’s where the lessons TO BREAK wanted to go back to work. I didn’t even have come from, and those lessons are important to MY STRIDE windows in my office so growth. I’ve been given In ThE that I wouldn’t become too distracted. It was that all these accolades for the ventures I’ve created, MIDDLE OF level of intensity and mo- mentum. but let me tell you some- thing: there were a lot of but a fad nonetheless. We made a lot of money, had MY DAY TO I: Talk about the value things that happened at the same time that made 2500 employees and 400 different artists around GO OuT TO of the risks you’ve tak- those successes happen. the world working with LunCh. ” en in your journey. The history of the world is full of stories of failures. us, and it was exciting, but it wasn’t sustainable L: If you are unwilling And some of the things because people stopped me. There was no way to take risks in life, you that I thought were suc- collecting. When the I couldn’t work, and I will not succeed and you cesses, like the Franklin Internet became power- didn’t even understand will not realize your full Mint, were not really ful in the late nineties, what it meant not to. I’d potential. You may be good business models at people had a variety of break out in a cold sweat happy or safe, but both all. The Franklin Mint was other activities to capture just thinking about even risk and failure are im- a fad, a twenty-year fad, their attention. By 1999 email sign up
  35. 35. 35 it was all over, and the with. But even though it L: You know, this very is- doors at the beginning of failure was not realizing looked like a huge suc- sue is the core of what’s the Long Depression of that it wasn’t a sustain- cess, the business slowly wrong with our society. the 1800’s. And IBM was able business. My own, faded away. It’s only now When growth became the started decades later. uPS personal failure was that that I realize you owe it to king on Wall Street and started during the panic we had 2500 employees, your employees to create you were only as good as of 1907. hewlett Pack- which ultimately went a sustainable business. your quarterly earnings, ard started in the Great down to about 15 people people stopped running Depression and Allstate or so. I left at age 50, a full I: Do you ever feel their businesses for the Insurance, in 1931, during ten years before we sold there’s an endless long term and eventu- the height of the Depres- the business, but I never quest for growth at the ally the human psyche sion. The Super 8 hotel looked back because I expense of other val- on Wall Street became a chains started during the had to come home fi- ues? As though inher- disaster. But remember, oil crisis of the seventies. nally; I had a grandchild ent in growth is also also, that the Coors Brew- So this is a time for great and family I wanted to be insatiability? ing Company opened its innovation, when young email sign up
  36. 36. 36 people who can’t find a work after that, that fear “I used it. That’s what I: Do you think that job will become entrepre- has always stayed with you have to do. Learn to the way you handle neurs because they’re not me. use the fear to give you fear, and perhaps the burdened with debt or a power.” So I would study fears themselves, have ton of employees. There Then, when I started my speeches six ways changed over time? is opportunity amidst the speaking publicly speak- till Sunday. I would write madness. ing thirty years ago as L: Yes. My goals have the face of our company, changed because I now I: What has been one Teleflora, I had to travel “ I hAD TO spend this part of my life of the most frightening things you’ve done in around the world with this tremendous fear of TRAvEL giving back, and I think we could all do a little business or in life? going on stage. It was so AROunD more of that. But I’m not ThE WORLD bad that for many years plagued by fear every L: What comes to mind is I couldn’t even go into a day. When you get to your when I was on television as a child and I forgot my theatre and watch a play because I would actually WITh ThIS sixties, it’s like “Bring it on” you know? Been there lines. As a kid I was on Tv get sick.To go into a simi- TREMEn- done that. What are you two days a week from the age of four to nine. When lar setting again gave me a type of posttraumatic DOuS FEAR going to do to me at this point? If you don’t get I was six, I forgot my lines and started crying on stress syndrome. Then one day a friend, Rod OF GOInG over it by my age, you’ll have a very sad old age. Tv. I worked in front of a Steiner, told me, “I threw On STAGE. ” I have a strong spiritual- live studio audience and up every night before I ity and a lot of faith and I didn’t realize how huge did ‘Picnic’ because I was them myself so I always pray every day of my life. the stage was because so terrified.” Can you be- knew every word. I was I pray to be more open, I was so small, but the lieve that? Famous actor, prepared. I still feel the to give back for the good environment was daunt- Academy awards, every- butterflies to this day, but things that have hap- ing to me as a child. Even thing. I asked, “What did they’re more welcome pened in my life. I don’t though I continued to you do with it?” he said, now. know how people handle email sign up
  37. 37. 37 things without faith. not who’ll read this magazine choice. And really, the im- religion necessarily, but are fortunate, and they portant thing is not what I think faith is important. may have hardships in happens to us, but how Tomorrow morning when their lives because no life we end up dealing with you wake up, unless is immune from the ups the things that come our you’re living under some and downs, but when way. horrible circumstances, you wake up tomorrow, choose bliss. The people choose bliss. We have the lYNda lynda resnick is an American entrepreneur and businesswoman who currently owns the POM Wonderful and fiJi water brands, the Teleflora floral wire service company, large industrial citrus and nut farms, and other businesses. Lynda began her career at the age of nineteen, when she founded a full-service advertising agency. Successfully running this business so early in her career enabled her to gain invaluable and practical marketing experience, which, coupled with her entrepreneurial instincts, has been the hallmark of her 40-year career. She is the author of rubies in the orchard: The Pom Queen’s secrets to Just about anything. email sign up
  38. 38. “ I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” Rosa Parks

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