I have often avoided uncomfortable conversations, but this week, I began to look at them from a different perspective. It all started with a quote that I found in my journal.
I keep a gratitude journal, where I write down five things that I’m grateful for each day. Often, I’ll include a happy moment that involved: an activity, a new experience, beautiful scenery, energizing music, a great meal, a new favorite movie, spiritual reflection, a completed goal, time with Tony, or a conversation with a friend. (You can read more about it in my blog post, Documenting Life’s Important Moments.)
The gratitude journal that I use contains quotes, and this week’s quote was by Tim Ferriss. It read, “A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”
When I first read that quote, I didn’t know if I agreed with it. But as I mulled it over, I began to see wisdom in that statement. While I don’t think that “uncomfortable conversations” are the only requirement for success, I recognize how important they have been in my own life. I never would have moved to a country like Guatemala if I hadn’t been willing to speak a different language. I couldn’t have worked as a therapist if I hadn’t been willing to discuss awkward topics with strangers. I’ve had to learn to ask for things–and accept that I might feel rejected if my requests are denied. I never would have married Tony if we hadn’t both been willing to have uncomfortable conversations. (I don’t think we would have made it past a month of dating.) And communication–even the difficult kind–has been essential for maintaining happiness in our marriage.
Sometimes, I wonder if the author of a particular quote can back up what he or she says. So, I looked up “Tim Ferriss” online, and I found out that he’s the author of three best-selling books. When I saw the titles, I realized that I’d looked through one of them before. It’s called The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich. It describes, “How Tim went from $40,000 per year and 80 hours per week to $40,000 per month and 4 hours per week.” So, Tim Ferriss can probably back up his quote about success.
Do you think there’s truth in his quote?