Book Review: Big Magic
This was a book that I did not want to read.
Have you ever looked at a book, read its description, and thought, “I bet this would be a waste of time”? I try to be aware of my judgments and give things a chance. I’m thankful I did because this book gave me a different perspective on how I approach my hobbies.
If you are looking for a guide on how you can do things outside of work that give you energy, these are the lessons I took away from Big Magic.
Vocation is a strong feeling towards a particular career or occupation.
This Being Bee blog is my vocation: it’s something that I feel strongly towards and want to sink my time into. The author states that what you do as a full-time job vs. your vocation should be separate. This allows you to put less pressure on yourself to “make it” with your vocation. Sure, it would be great if Being Bee grew to a point where this is what I could do and live well, but it’s not my purpose. My purpose for this blog is to spend time reflecting and sharing.
But if I help people along the way with it, what a treat!
2. How learning and experiencing changes perspective
I have this fear that resets every year. At my full-time job, I usually come up with solutions for problems and make things more efficient.
Every year I think, “how can I achieve what I did last year again? Maybe that was a one-time thing.”
Though as I was reading the Big Magic, I realized why every year new ideas come to me. It all stems from my own curiosity of wanting to learn. This learning gets me to try new activities, read new books and try new ideas. These activities give me a different perspective and knowledge to pull ideas from.
3. Doing things because you love it and not because you are trying to help anyone
This one struck home for me as I thought I built my blog to help people.
Though, I’ve shifted my perspective to this. This blog is about me learning and growing, and if the result of that is I help people do the same, then that’s fantastic. But I’m not going to put the pressure on myself to help someone when I don’t know what people need help with.
I’m going to do what I do best, explain learnings and concepts in a way that I can better grasp the ideas.
If that helps you grow with me, amazing. How cool would that be!
4. Doing something you love so much you don't care if you fail
Failure… that used to scared me. I was afraid of making mistakes because I thought something bad would happen. School, parents, and society raised me to think it wasn’t okay to fail.
Now, I try not to worry about failing anymore. If you have something you love doing, accept that you may fail at it and then do it. Because, when you are doing something you love, it’s about the process and the journey… not the success.
5. Making space for fear and other emotions
This is one of the best skills that I learned from this book. When it comes to uncomfortable emotions, we nullify them or try to ignore them. This results in that emotion being misunderstood and never felt. Instead, how to deal with emotions like fear is to speak to it. Yes, that sounds crazy, I know. A year ago, I would have thought this was crazy too, but hear me out.
Tell fear that you are going on a trip (e.g. a new hobby or passion) and that it can come along. Curiosity and growth will be coming along as well. Let fear know that it can speak out and make suggestions, but never be the one making decisions. What you acknowledge is that you are going to feel fear, but not let it take hold of you or be in charge.
6. Making space for fear and other emotions
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come up with ideas I want to do and people throw roadblocks in front of it. Or when I share something super important, they shut me down. Not because they mean to, but because they have their own limiting beliefs.
Ask yourself, “Is this person someone who understands this space as well as I do? Is this person yelling from the stands while I am the one in the court?” If so, thank them for their feedback and change the topic.
7. What is your favorite flavor of shit sandwich?
When it comes to life, every single thing will have good and bad sides to it. The question we need to ask is, “what would I do if I failed? If the project continues to not work year after year, what would I do?”
The answer to that is what you should be spending your time doing. It will also be easier for you to accept the good and ugly that go with it. For example, this blog is going to be great to flesh out my ideas and share them with people. Though, it’s going to take a lot of work, comes with judgments from different people, and more. I’ve mentally prepared myself for this and know I’m doing this for me and not anyone else. As always, if I end up not enjoying it anymore, I’ll move onto something else. But for now, I don’t see that happening.
8. Don't quit your day job
I see people mentioning that they are quitting their jobs to follow their dreams. Then a day later, they are asking basic questions on how to get started. That is a lot of stress and pressure to put on your dream. I’m a big advocate of doing multiple things at once. People often ask me, “when are you quitting your job to do your marketing business full-time?” FYI, I run a marketing company called CJAM Marketing.
I reply with, “Why would I quit? My day job gives me the freedom to do my side business without any financial stress.”
This works well for me and it gives me the ability to now build this blog for fun too. The basic takeaway – don’t quit your day job until you have something built and know you can manage financially. Otherwise, stress is going to take away from the enjoyment of it.
9. A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed a lot later
I am someone who will do something 80-90% of the way there and send it out into the world. Why? Because I know that the last 10% is going to take so long and in the end, it doesn’t make much difference. People sometimes point out the missing10% for me and I fix it – no harm done.
What does it take to do that? Being comfortable with feedback and knowing you can’t always be right or perfect. You can try, but sooner or later it will catch up to you. What are you giving up by being perfect at everything? Unless people’s lives rely on you, sit and be honest with yourself about that.
I hope you got some value out of this review. I did enjoy this Big Magic and recommend it. It’s light, easy, and may give you tons of great ideas. Below I have an affiliate link, typically I don’t care if you buy this book from my link or not. Though amazon wants me to get 3 sales in the first 180 days to make me legit.
So if you want to read this book and help me be legit, use my link. 🙂
Until next time!
Disclaimer: The links in this blog post are affiliate links. Though I will never recommend anything I don’t believe in. If you do choose to get this book, I receive an affiliate commission from Amazon.