Who Are You Lookin' At?
What do Gloria Steinem, Steve Martin, Marilyn Monroe, and Luna Lovegood have in common?
They’re on my Virtual Board of Advisors, and they “live” above my writing desk.
I think everyone needs a Virtual Board of Advisors.
We play so many roles in our lives—mother/father, daughter/son, teacher/student…. We move through our weeks paying bills, shuttling kids to team sports activities and birthday parties, commuting to work—white-knuckling it until Friday, when we can finally relax and binge-watch TV.
There’s nothing wrong with these activities, per se.
But if my life were the sum total of only these things, I might lose what few marbles I have.
That’s what the Virtual Board of Directors does for me—they remind me that there is a lot more to life (and a lot more to ME) than just going through the motions of driving, feeding, clothing and emotionally supporting the people around me.
I believe each of us was born to make something, be something, *do* something the world has never seen before. Each of us is a genetic miracle, having beaten the odds to simply arrive into a human body. Gary Vaynerchuck gives a KILLER rant on this very topic.
We didn’t beat those odds to simply show up and live for that evening glass of wine. We were born for something much more interesting. I’m not talking fame or fortune, I’m talking about whatever it is that gets us lost in something... when time melts away and the activity is worthwhile in and of itself, regardless of the output.
It doesn’t have to be grand, it just has to be ours.
When I look into Gloria Steinhem’s wise eyes, I see what courage and determination look like. I see what happens when a woman decides that her words can change the world. Seeing her face wakes me from my semi-conscious social media surfing, and I find my fingers hovering over my keyboard, ready to rock.
When I catch a glimpse of Steve Martin in his signature white suit, five crumpled cigarettes dangling from his mouth, it reminds me to stop taking myself and my work so damned seriously. It reminds me that silliness is its own kind of genius.
When I see Marilyn Monroe arching in ecstasy, I remember how important it is to create pleasure and movement in my life. It motivates me to exercise and to get better as a singer and performer (shout outs to my band mates… Bent).
When I see Evanna Lynch as Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter, she reminds me of the Roald Dahl quote, “… watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you …” She reminds me to pay close attention to the magic that is always afoot—if only I have the eyes to see it.
When I look at these photos my heart swells. My imagination spikes. My butt stays rooted in my chair long enough to write something true and hopefully useful (if not entirely original).
The newest addition to my Virtual Board of Advisors is a collaboration between illustrator Wendy MacNaughton and writer Courtney E. Martin called Focus 2017:
Who is on your Board of Advisors?
And I suppose, more importantly, what is your assignment?