A Year of Yes

Back in March, PathNorth Member Carol Melton shared Shonda Rhimes' Ted Talk on her Year of Yes; her year of saying yes to everything. A month later, member Nancy Pedersen recommended Rhimes' new book, Year of Yes. We encourage you to  read Nancy's book recommendation and watch the Talk. Enjoy!

Year of Yes: A Book Recommendation

Nancy Pedersen, Ventura, California

What I loved most about Shonda Rhimes' Year of Yes, and what ties so much to the PathNorth experience is her growing maturity toward vulnerability.  While she is a self-proclaimed (and world renowned) storyteller and amazingly successful at it, she still has to learn and grow to own her own story - the good, the bad and the ugly.  As she does this, her Year of Yes experience becomes as much about yes as it does about no - saying yes to no, learning to reject societal personas that are not true to who she is at the core and being ok with that rejection.  

This is similar to Brene Brown's concept of "walking into your story" and rumbling with it honestly.  Storytelling is definitely an underlying theme in Year of Yes - both from the standpoint of her occupation but also her life. She discusses a concept of "laying track" for the train that is coming and then when relating it to herself, realizes that when she is not honest with herself and others she has laid track for a train that is not coming. Additionally, early in the book she often says "remember, I make things up for a living" and this later becomes "I make things up for living" when discussing how her storytelling in her profession allows her to work through and into things she struggles with in her life.

One of Shonda's realization's as she starts to open up and share her true self is that she is not alone - at first she is amazed how many people relate to her vulnerabilities but later comes to accept it and realizes we help others when the real us shows up at the table. When we at PathNorth talk about "success to significance", this concept of showing up and being vulnerable is a way in which those who have had a lot of career success can really impact a wide audience in a significant way by sharing their true stories and vulnerabilities. 

Shonda Rhimes, the titan behind Grey's Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, is responsible for some 70 hours of television per season, and she loves to work. "When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling," she says.