Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained. ~ Marie Curie
Genius is 2 percent inspiration, 98 percent perspiration. ~ Thomas Alva Edison
Marie Curie spent four grueling years in her laboratory without any guarantees that her work would not be in vain. As Albert Einstein commented, “The greatest scientific deed of her life — proving the existence of radioactive elements and isolating them — owes its accomplishment not merely to bold intuition but to a devotion and tenacity in execution under the most extreme hardships imaginable such as the history of experimental science has not often witnessed.”
As a result of her conviction, patience and fortitude, along with the support of her husband and partner, Pierre Curie, Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and was the first of only four people to have been bestowed the honor more than once!
It’s important to note that the word laboratory contains the word labor, which means “to work.” The word experiment derives from the same root as the word experience, which is defined as “practical contact with and observation of facts or events.” In this great laboratory called Life, we are most alive and creative when stretching ourselves to make discoveries and determinations, or testing hypotheses of our own or others’ making.
The only way for evolution and growth to take place is to step out of our comfort zones; to find what works and what doesn’t, whether it be with health, career or relationships; and to find out what sticks and what is more suitable for the literal or metaphoric trash can. We must have a myriad of experiences — good, bad, and everything in between — because they are our best teachers. As I often tell my clients, “You need to get your hands dirty,” to get out there, out of your bubble, out of the theory/fantasy in your head, and interact with life to see what it has in store for you, how it can mold and shape you, what you’re made of, what your likes/dislikes are, and what new vistas it contains, all of which serve to make you ever stronger and wiser.
This is especially true when at a crossroads, a point of no return; when it seems you’re at the edge of a cliff and the only option is to jump off to get to your next destination. As scary as that feels, the fear of moving forward is far better than the dread of staying where you are or turning back, knowing that failures, both big and small, will always beset you on this new journey in order to learn — like an infant who has to take those first steps, and fall many, many times, before it’s able to walk confidently on its own. Remember that Edison never failed; he just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work!
Just as the Founding Fathers called the formation of our nation the “greatest social experiment in history,” which continues to have its share of successes and failures, this year why not commit to seeing your life, or at least one aspect of it, as your own experiment, with new actions based on sound information or solid intuition as knowledge is gained. And keep in mind that some of us are more introverted so we need to explore more outwardly, and those of us who are more extroverted need to experiment with being quiet and exploring our internal worlds…
Need a little help with your own personal or professional life research? Give me a buzz and I’ll be the scientist who collects, analyzes and assesses the data you’ve accumulated so far, as well as take inventory of your inherent traits in order to discover (or rediscover) that which will bring you the most fulfillment and success this year and beyond!
Originally published on www.kristinaleonardi.com on January 10, 2012.
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Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)” In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.
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