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April 8, 2020 37 mins

We’re developing a mantra on the Road to Somewhere: If adventure chooses you, don’t reject it. Relish opportunities to explore new things, grow through new challenges, and lose yourself in new spaces... while not giving a damn about mastering any of it. In this episode, author Karen Rinaldi says we should embrace the freedom within an imperfect journey and the joys of #suckingmomentum we gain along the way. We learn how she figured out that It’s Great to Suck At Something.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Dancing is really is a huge one that people want
to do. People love to dance and they're afraid to dance.
People love to sing, they're afraid to sing, and that's
like being embodied, right. You feel like there's a there's
a shamefulness that we have and if we can let
go of glad, it doesn't matter if you're good or
not right, it's the letting go. Thanks for joining us

on the road to somewhere where we talk about exploration, adventure,
major life change, transformation. It's about not necessarily knowing where
we're going, but having faith that the journey will be worthwhile.
I'm Lisa Oz and I'm Jill Herzigg and I am
starting to contemplate doing something that I want you to

do with me. Really yeah, and you and our wonderful
producer only suggested it. I don't know months ago that
I think about going to a pole dancing class, and
it is very important for me to acknowledge that there.
I can't imagine trying to do something that I would
be worse at than pole dancing. And then so I

dismissed it when you guys suggested it because I just
thought I will be such a laughing stock trying to
wrap myself around a pole, trying to gyrate when I've
never gyrated, when my I just don't do that, really,
my body doesn't really do that. And then I was
at a thing recently and another friend said to me,

you should really try pole dancing. You should really try
pole dancing, and evangelized about it. So so let's go.
So I think we should go, even though we're gonna
make a girl date on a pole. And will you
you can laugh, You can laugh straight at me. I
will be laughing at myself. There's no need to laugh
at you while we're dancing, all right, all right, from

the road to some we're on, we all find ourselves
on the pole. I love it. And I think our
guest today would actually love that too. Um. She Karen
Rinaldi is with us today and she is the author
of the a great book for this new venture. UM.
It's called It's Great to Suck at Something. We can

suck at pole dancing, Um, the unexpected joy of wiping
out and what it can teach us about patience, resilience
and stuff that really matters. Karen, thank you so much
for joining us today. Thank you for having me I
can't wait to hear about episode. I'm already there because
there will be no video. We'll talk about that. We

need evidence. Why Why is sucking at something such a
good idea? Why is why is this new venture of
ours going to be like really productive for our life journey? Um? Yeah,
it's a little counterintuitive and uncomfortable. Um. When I first
started thinking about this idea and talking about it, when
I would you know, jump into it with people and
I'd say, hey, Hi, you know, what do you suck at?

And people would just kind of go, you know, people
would freeze and they get very kind of nervous and shifting.
I thought, no, there's got to be a better way
of going about talking about this. Um. But I think
I mean to go to go back to why and
then maybe the how, But the why is Um, we
kind of live in a time of what I call
aspirational psychosis, Like we are all striving to be better,

look better, be thinner, healthier, more successful, get more likes.
You know. We're so we're goal and results oriented to
the to the micro right to the to the tiny micro,
and I don't think it's doing anybody any good. We
we failed to kind of stop and just do things
for pleasure, for learning, for not having to succeed. So

the noise in our head is I have to do
this because it's going to be productive, it's going to
get me to the next thing, it's going to improve X, Y,
and Z. And I feel like that's not living in
the present. I feel like there's a there's not a
lot of time for kind of deep, deep growth in
that space when there's always a reward when you're chasing something. Um,

when you're attached to an outcome. To put it in
a kind of more Buddhist sense, you know, the term
is champa, which is the attachment of an outcome. And
so I started to think about because I practiced this
a lot in my own life. Um, you know, I
had to ask myself this question, why I continue to
surf when I'm a really bad surfer and I've been
surfing for eighteen years and I really suck at it.

I mean, anybody watching me, and it's not a humble brag.
Anybody watching me like, yeah, yeah, you really do. But
I do it, and I do with great intention. I realized,
I am happiest, I enjoy I am, I am happiest
and most whole. When I'm surfing, I thought, how can
it be that I feel that way doing a thing
I'm least good at. Let me, let me poke it.
This a little bit you have seen in eighteen years

no improvement. So it's not about not improvement. It's it's
so I can serve I do, sir, if I couldn't
in the beginning, so I can catch a wave. I
can paddle into and catch a wave. They are few
and far between. Uh, it's really hard. It's still hard
for me. It's hard every time I paddle out. It's hard. Um,
and you do get better, but it took me a
really long time to improve. And if I hadn't been

had to get myself comfortable in that space of thinking.
Improvement is not the point. The point is trying. The
point is being in the ocean. The point is getting
in the you know, it's a it's a metaphor, but
you know, in literal in this sense, getting off of
terra firma right, getting off of the solid ground that
I live in, getting off of the being a mother,

running you know, running a company, you know, being a publisher,
being an editor, results, results, results, and it just like
paddle out I don't have to perform for anybody. I
don't have to be good. And I realized the freedom
in that it was revelatory and it's brought me to
amazing places. Now that's anecdote total and it's personal. Um
so why would it apply to anybody else? So I

just started reading about it and thinking about it and
realizing that that that driven state that we put ourselves in,
that stressful, driven state, doesn't allow for kind of you know, contemplation.
I know, we say, oh I've got to you know,
I'll meditate, you know, but even meditation, meditation becomes competitive,

I mean to some people, you know. So I think
that the sucking at something, the allowing yourself to not
do well, to not perform, to not win, um is,
it becomes a great relief. And also it brings about
this feeling of humility. Um. It kind of fosters resilience

and improvisation. You know, if you're not good at something,
you're constantly improvising, right, so you have to improvise when
you can't do something by route. Um. But a lot
of it was turning this idea, the central idea is
turning what would normally be like humiliation right. So you're
talking about pole dancing, which I love because it's like
you're gonna have to get out there and like, you know,

be be embodied. Right, But in a way that is
I mean, maybe you've got great talent, but but mostly
we don't have great talent for the things we try.
I can assure you I will not my family. You
can also sure well you know, but that's okay. That's
what's beautiful about it. Though, if you got out there

and you're great at it, what's the risk. Right, So
it's turning what would be humiliation into humility. You've got
humiliation on one side, which is one of the most
terrifying kind of feelings that we can have. It states
that we can be in to humility, which I think
invites a lot of good stuff. Well, it helps you

get beyond your ego, right, and and that ego attachment
prevents us from being truly creative and spontaneous and open.
And and so I think when you're when you're good
at something, you're super ego attached. And so when you're
terrible at something, if you're ego attached, you feel really lousy. Yeah, exactly.

And it's a practice, right, So what you're saying. It's like,
I think the ego. You know, I just said ego
as a monster. We can't get away from it. That's
part of being human. We understand that. We all study it,
we read about it, we you know, meditate about it.
We do a lot of things. But it's still there,
just nags and nags and nags. And I think a
short cut and is do something you suck at Your
ego has to move aside. It has to move aside

if you're honest about how badly you stuck at it,
and then you love yourself anyway, right, And what I
have found is that and you think people are gonna
judge you, when they're gonna not love you, You're not.
You know, you're you're you're gonna you're gonna expose that
vulnerability is going to make you less lovable. And in fact,
the opposite happens. When I paddle out and I'm sitting

in the the line up. Every once in a while there's
some jerk out there it doesn't think I should be
out there, and I hear it, and that's always I quicken.
People will people don't talk so much in the lineup,
but they'll guy and it's it sounds like it's a
shark pack, you know what I you know, it depends

on it all has to do with where you are.
Like I don't paddle out in the center of a
of a path like that. I wouldn't go to a
crowded point break on a really good day because I
wouldn't earn my way there. Okay, it doesn't matter what
that means, but it's just the Metaphorically, it means, you know,
don't go where you don't belong. Right. But I am often,

most often one of the worst surfers in the lineup.
And what I found is that people are in my
inability and my kind of willingness to be there, people
are incredibly generous and kind. And that generosity and kindness
I realize you invite in when you say, not an expert,
I need your help. Usually you know, a lot of

us were driven and you know you're on the side
of giving advice, giving help, you know, the assist you're
you know, and it's nice. It's nice to be needed.
It's nice to be the expert. You know. It's nice
to be you know, the you know, the huncho in
a way, and then you say no in the lineup.
I am at the bottom of the pecking order, and
I need I rely on the kindness of strangers, you know.

And it's a very humbling and beautiful place to be
because part of the best part is what is having
to believe humanity a little bit. You know what if
you allow humanity and they often show up, you know,
I think some of it it's that it's that tension
between letting them in and kind of pushing people away.

Not to make too much of that, but I have
found that, you know, I enjoy the most kindness when
I'm saying I'm scared, Um, I don't know, how can
you help me? And people do awesome things, and I
will often if I catch a wave and I ride it,
the assist that I get is as powerful and sometimes

the thing I remember the most. It's also I find
powerful for them to to be given the opportunity to
be kind and generous. I just had an experience where
I was I gave a talk and I was atrocious,
like the worst talk I've ever given in my life,
and I was actually in a kind of really happy
state when people are coming up after words and really

kind and it's like, oh, that you did a really
good job. And I was laughing, going, no, that sucked,
but I was thinking, it's it's actually they are giving
me a gift by being so compassionate and so generous.
But at the same time, it's good for them to
have that sense of compassion and love and reaching out
and tenderness. So you're actually giving all these hot young

twenty year old boys a chance to be loving and
compassionate when you suck at something. Yeah, And I think
it's that it's that um sort of feedback loop. It's
like you're open to it, they feed it. And yes,
I do. I think that um, that kindness loop, and
I think that's part of it. You know, kindness is

so important and we forget that being kind. You know,
being kind is something we do for ourselves in a way, right,
you know, And that's I think what you're saying, or
the other side of that is that when you're kind,
but you feel better better and you need to but
you you know, you need opportunities. You know, if you're
always saying no, I got this, I got this, I
don't need your help, what does that do to the

other person, right, just pushes them away, just saying yeah,
I can really use your help and they go, you know,
they get to help and they feel good when we
come back. I want to talk more specifically about surfing.
To suck. Okay, it's a good way to suck, just

be of a break. We were speaking with Karen Rinaldi
about sucking and the Enterr book. Hey, it's great to
suck at something, and surfing seems to be your pathway
into this revelation. Can we talk about surfing and how
as an almost middle aged woman in your late thirties
you took up a sport that is traditionally very young

and very male. Yes. Yeah, best left to the to
the young, I think. Um. William Finnegan and his wonderful
surfing book Barbarian Days says basically, if you don't start,
if you try to start after fourteen, don't even bother.
And I read that it was like a dagger to
my heart because I started. I think I was close
to forty. I think it was my forty year when
I I decided I had to. I decided earlier, but

then I got pregnant and you know, kind of push
kept pushing, I kept pushing it off. Um, yeah, it
was folly. It was complete folly, but I was I
was pulled. I've always been a jock, so I felt like, oh,
you know, surfing could be one of those things that
I can do. You know, I'll you know, learn it
and I'll be able to do it. Um. I've been

able to do most things physically in my life, so
I wasn't really scared of it. I was out of shape.
I was, you know, middle aged, I had two kids,
I was working a lot, and I thought, I have
this thing in my head I always wanted to surf.
I'm a little bit, a little bit I'm a lot
of bit afraid of the ocean and that, but I'm
also compelled by the ocean. So I have this love,
not a hate, but it's this love fear connection with

the ocean that's very, very deep. And I think having
children helped me. This is going to be counterintuitive too,
but it it helped me get over that fear. Um
because the fears that I had lived with prior to
having children were um, you know, I was afraid of
the ocean. I was afraid of things in the ocean. Sharks, sharks,

we're all fratish sharks, and so I mean every surface
are fretish sharks. But and they're there, they're there, you're
surfing with them. Um, you know, bugs and insects and
uncomfortable things. And then I had kids, and I thought,
I'm just now my fear was about their safety, their survival,
and it was so big I thought, Okay, the other

fears just they receded, and so I got over my
fear of trying to serve. So that's really headed into
my head. But I was always afraid. I had kids,
and I said, now my fears are based in something
very real now and I need to protect them. So
you think that I would want to, you know, not
put myself in dangerous way. But I hadn't really thought
about that piece of it yet. So I thought, Okay,

I'm just gonna try this and if I do it, great,
and if I can't do it, I'll just walk away
from it. But I had to kind of exercise that effort. Um.
I took one lesson. Um it was pathetic. It was
so pathetic. I was you, So did you realize at
this point, oh, this is not going to be like
the physical challenges that I've tried in the past. And

I realized how my my previously athletic body at forty
was was no longer there and I was very probably
brought to that realization. But I did get pushed into
a wave. It was probably ankle high, and I did,
you know, you know, scramble up on the board and
stand for a minute, and something locked in my head.

I did get this high, and I thought, oh, this
feels really good, and so I decided I was going
to try. And it took me from that moment on.
It took me five years to catch a wave, five
years of trying, and I changed my life so that
I could keep surfing. And how did you change your life?

Surdly long amount of Well, I rearranged by saying, all
of my free time, any free time, would be I'm
going to try to get out in the ocean, right,
So all of a sudden you have to push things away.
And they were, they were amazing about My kids were
really young. My one son being on the beach is
kind of a good thing. Well, you know, my one

son who I surf with now and who's of course
a lot better than me, and now it's the opposite.
But he used to be terrified. He was really scared
because I would go out in the ocean and then
the current pulls you north or south or something, and
he loses He would lose sight of me and he
would cry, and it was really difficult because he was terrified.
Then he started surfing with me. And then of course
now the roles are changed, where the waves get too big,

I have to come in and I lose sight of
him in the ocean, and I freak out. It's just
like but yeah, so I just kept at it. And
that first wave. When I say the first wave, I
don't mean, you know, the kind of you know, white
water in the front, the little waves, I mean the
first like paddle into, you know, drop into, turns, serve
control a wave, you know, really really surf away. But

still five years, I have to say reading in reading
your book, you mentioned the two places you surf with
our New Jersey, which has notoriously bad waves, like non waves.
And I know because my brother learned to surf in
New Jersey and Costa Rico, which is a very difficult
place to surf. And I've tried to serve in Costa Rica.

And you know, I learned to surf in Hawaii. It's
so easy. It's seriously like the training wheels on the ocean.
It makes you often carries you, and you think you're
a good surfer even though you're terrible, and you go
to Costa Rica and the universe goes, uh, you suck
because it's you're you're surfing and really not not ideal conditions.

So you maybe you're too hard on yourself. No, Now,
I I know where I'm at with I feel. I
feel like I have a very clear eyed view of
I mean, listen, I I can. I can surf, but
you know, I'll go out for a session of two
or three hours and catch a couple of waves. Maybe
there are sessions I don't catch one. Now, part of
it is that it's competitive, and I I seed to

the better surfers because I'm really insecure. I mean, all
of my insecurities, all of my everything is just out
there on the lineup. Like people who see me outside
of that will think, you know, I'm confident and I'm
you know, bold, and I'm allsy and I've got all
you know, all this energy and then I'm out there
and everybody goes wow, like it's you know, I definitely
I received in a way, and that's a really interesting

place for me. To be right, and I think people say,
you know, that's your way, take it, but I I
I still need permission. And I know I'm going through
all this right. I know, I'm saying, why do I
need permission here when I don't need permission to do
things on land? Why am I so hesitant? Partly because
I'm afraid? Um? Why am I afraid? And so I
have to exercise those fears And there is something in

that exchange. I feel very alive when I'm when I'm there,
and I mean it's brought me to I mean, this
is going to go. You know, this is like all
the way at the end where I realized that it
brought me to is a kind of connection to the
divine that I wasn't even looking for and I didn't understand.

And as a you know, elapsed Catholic, you know, I
grew up you know as a Catholic and then and
then left, you know, the church when I was like
eleven years old. Being out there brought me and I
didn't know what that meant, but it did bring me
closer to a kind of access to the divine And
I think, well, what does that mean? And I'm still
exploring that frankly, but that is also humbling because it's

not something that you know, you can call the ocean,
the Church of the Open Sky. You know, it's Thomas
Blake Um, it's nature, which is just bigger and more
powerful and and and you know, pure energy. You know,
they're all these things you're experiencing and then you're going
but you're also saying, what I'm afraid? What am I

afraid of? I'm insecure? What am I insecure about? I'm
impatient sometimes I'm afraid of making a fool of myself.
I mean, it's believed me. Even though I've been doing
this for eighteen years, I am not. I haven't worked
it out completely. I've gotten much better at it. I
can push through those things, and I think it's the
pushing through that keeps me going back for it. And
I have found in my conversations with people, and most

people don't you know, who read the book kind of yeah,
I don't surf, but and there's always dancing is really
is a huge one that people want to do. People
love to dance, and they're afraid to dance. People love
to sing, they're afraid to sing. And that's like being embodied, right,
and you feel like there's a there's a shamefulness that
we have and if we can let go of that,
it doesn't matter if you're good or not right, it's

the letting go. It's the act of letting go that
brings you that joy, that freedom, that self love that
you know, invitation to join others and so um. So
I'm curious now to get this really grounded in in
the details of your life and the transitions that you've
been through. So you've been through breast cancer and other

traumatic events. So how has this through line of surfing
and having those struggles on the board. You know, it
sounds like all the stuff comes up and you have
to catch a wave and stand up and hit you
in the head. Yeah yeah, But how how have the
is how has this strange pursuit helped you through the

stuff that life through at you? And in a really
huge way because when I when I was diagnosed with
breast cancer, um, which sucks. Right. So in your previous
conversation there is a you know, you were saying about
being grateful for the things that are that are that
are difficult, which is a really hard gratitude practice. Right,

you kind of go, what is that. How do you
how do you how do you become grateful? How are
you grateful for sucking at something right? Just just plain
and simple. And when I got breast cancer, I was
just unhappy. I, you know, beat up by myself. What
did I do wrong? Well? How did I live that?
I you know, you brought this on myself. I had
to go through all of that stuff, and then I went, Okay,

wait a minute. This is an adventure. I've been on
adventures before. This is a different kind of adventure. It's
not a one I would choose, but it's one that
chose me. So I'm going to reframe that. And as
I reframed it, the one thing that went on in
my head. I don't want to die because I don't
want to leave my children. That was like my first thought.

My second thought, Am I gonna be able to serve again?
It was my second thought? And I thought, wait, my
second thought, and having breast cancer is whether or not
I'm gonna be able to do the thing that I'm
the worst act, you know what I mean. So I
was watching my mind do this and I thought, well,
what is that about? And I thought, oh, and that's
when I started. Also, it helped me too, because I

wrote this book afterwards. It helped me to realize how
important it had become to me and to think about
why so having the goal of I had to start
all over again, basically because the way I had breast
cancers like you couldn't get the margins. I had excisions
and reexcisions and a mastectomy and two bouts of chemo.
It was just like you know, and everybody who goes
through cancer, it's an adventure and it's a nightmare. But

through it, I kept telling my doctors like you, I
have to get in the water. You have to get
me in the water. That is going to and that
drive to get in the water. I felt the fight
that I would have felt to stay alive from you
stay alive or just you know, to to stay healthy
for my children. But this was about something I had
to do for me, and so I think in in

in in pushing through, I knew discomfort. I knew discomfort
from surfing. I knew what that felt like, I knew
what fear felt like, and I just kind of said, Okay,
I've got some practice. Now I'm gonna now I'm going
to apply that to going through this adventure and I'm
going to get my butt back in the water. So
I mean, literally four weeks after I was dying on

the couch. I mean, I just felt like I knew
what it was like to die after two rounds of chemo.
I couldn't it. It's an amazing thing to feel, actually,
and it's a great gift, right. It is one of
those things where you're grateful that you're saying, but I'm
on a couch, I have care, I have my children
around me. I could be in a much worse situation. Also, Oh,
this is how you get grateful for bad things is

by understanding how lucky you still are if you can
find that piece of it. And we are, we're privileged.
We're lucky because I do have that care. I did
have that care. But I said four weeks from now,
I'm going to be in the water. My son said,
I don't think that's going to happen, and I said,
oh no, watch me. And it helped me. I had

a goal, and so now there I have a goal.
The goal wasn't to surf well, the goal was just
to get up, get stronger so I can get my board.
I could put it in the water. And I could
sit on it. It's all. It wasn't a grand goal.
It was being able to sit on the board in
the water. I thought, I'm gonna have to start all
over again. And it's very powerful. But I think it
was years of I'm not I'm I'm not kidding. I

think it's the years of sucking it surfing and doing
it anyway. I thought, Okay, this is gonna be another
thing that's just gonna suck, and I'm gonna get to
the other side of it when we come about let's
talk about other things that are just gonna suck. Before

the break, we were talking about your breast cancer and
how surfing really enabled you to process that and probably
um and use the lessons you've learned from sucking at
surfing to to get through the chemo and the surgery

and the the adventure that was breast cancer. So I
want to talk about the lessons, the big lessons that
that sucking surfing. I think it is surfing in particular
because there's something magical about surfing that really makes you
understand presence and um and uh, it's weird being in

the moment, and surfing is unlike anything else. So I
do think it's unique, but I think you can you
can get that from anywhere. So I want to talk
about those like what you mentioned dancing, but I think
any painting, if we stuck at that, any venture we
take that we're passionate about and pursue. So I want
to talk about the big thing, the big takeaways. And
one of the things I think that you talk about

and embody and have lived is the ability to take risk.
And I think so many of us, when we live
in that perfection brain, don't take risks. So we can
we talk about risk a little bit. Yeah, you just
said the word though the most important word, um is perfection. Right.
So a lot of the book after I wrote, there's
a there's there's a piece in the book about perfection

and embracing our imperfections. But a lot of the conversations
I've had after I put the book out there was
UM about this conversation, which is, you know, hey, it's
great to suck at something in The response would always be,
you know, you know, it sounds like fun, But I'm
such a perfectionist that dot dot dot dot dot right,
So everybody feels in the box. I'm such a perfectionist.

That I can't fail, I can't try. I'm afraid. And
when I hear I'm such a perfectionist, that what I
hear is I'm afraid, right, And that drive for perfection
is innate, right, because that is called striving. Right, We
need to strive, We need to learn. If we didn't
do that, we never learned to walk and run. And
and it's also learned. I mean, we certainly schoollearn o

our kids striving. What happens is that striving is innate
and you know, in the human brain needs to grow
and live. And you know, I mean if you go
back to you know Adler who you know, Alfred Adler,
one of the early psychologists who studied this. You know,
he was saying, there are two kinds of striving. You know,
there is normal striving and there is abnormal striving. And
striving means you want to improve. And it goes back

to your first questions like do you improve? It's like, yeah,
you improve? Am I going to be good at surfing? Note, well,
i'd be perfect at it? No? Never, right, not even
on a perfect wave that I catch is still not perfect.
Letting go of that notion of perfectionism because it's a lie,
it's a myth, it's a killer. And embracing our imperfections.
It's like, only by embracing our imperfections can we actually

accept the fact that we're just human. I mean, I
feel really passionate about this because the excuse is always
one of perfection. So I feel like it's not antithetical
to be driven and you know, successful and want to
reach goals and to accept our imperfections and that means
to you know, to love ourselves right, that we are

worthy of love even in our imperfections. And I think
that's hard for a lot of us to believe. And
there have been studies. There have been studies, you know,
child psychologists have done studies where the children who are
pushed to perfection, they're so afraid that if they fail
that test and they don't get into that school, they

don't get the gold star and they're not the best
on the baseball team the soccer team, that they will
not be loved, they're not lovable. And think about that
tragedy as opposed to just play it safe constantly, well,
play it safe or strength or or you're pushed so
hard and no matter what you attain, it's not perfect.

Because what is perfect? I mean, I guess God is perfect.
That's but you know, we will you know, that is existentialist,
right start to talked about that we're not going to
become God? So what do you do short of that?
It's like, oh, I'm human. And then you're saying, well,
that's okay, that's cool, and it's not only cool, And
this is where I want to turn it on the head.
It's like it's kind of awesome, you know, and to

embrace that and kids, I think I'll have a lot,
can can learn a lot and glean a lot from it.
I've had a lot of people take the book and
use it. You know, educators um have taken the book
and created programs for their their their students or their
kids that they kind of take care of its stuff
to try and teach them that because it's a lifelong

thing that we have to continually confront and learn and
test and you know, particularly like we talk a lot
about times of change on this podcast, and it seems
like that is the moment where a lot of people
want to stick with what they're good at. They feel like,
I mean, you know, when I was sort of wandering

and trying to figure out what direction my career would take. Remember,
a lot of people drew that annoying ven diagram and said,
this circle is the things you're good at, and this
circle is things people will pay you to do, and
the overlap is where you should be looking. You should
look at something you're good at that people will pay

you to do. First of all, it was super condescending.
I was like, people, I'm at midlife, like, thanks for
the drawing. Really, how clarifying is that? And I also
felt like it did not give me permission to try
something I might might not be good at, or god forbid,
I try something that people somebody doesn't want to pay

me for, and it just oh, it was so it
was so annoying. And I feel like, what you know,
that's part of what you're getting at here is like
this worthiness thing, just let that go. I think it's
also what you're getting at right there is the transactional
nature of so much of what we do, right so,
you know, we do things for as a transaction. If

I do this, I'll get that. I'll either get and
you can that transaction can be paid out in any way.
I will get money, I will get praise, I will
get status, I will you know, any number of things.
And it's so one of the other key things say
is I will get safety, or I won't test myself
or I won't fail. So whens soon as you take
the transaction, I'm all about I love that. Just take

the transaction out of it. There is nothing that is
transactional about my paddling out. It doesn't help anyone, It
doesn't help you know. It's really not the only exchange
is I get to be I mean, you were just
talking about surfing. Definitely teaches you that because if you're
not paying attention, notion is going to kick a button. Right, So, um,

there are a lot of ways to be humbled by that.
But I think it's like if when you strip the transactional,
have a thing, I would say, have one thing in
your life that's not transactional, one thing. Just pick that
thing that you're not going to throw potteries that you
can sell it. You're not going to knit so that
you can, you know, open up a knitting store. You're
not gonna play your guitar and sing because you're going

to go perform. You do it for your soul. It
sounds so hokey, but you know you do it for
other reasons, and you go, oh, there's no transaction. I
feel differently about this, and I think that's what you
were talking about that then diagram was was transactional, right,
She's also looking for she was talking about a job,
and you specifically say the goal here is not to

suck at everything. And you don't want to suck at
the things that you need to make a living at,
and you don't want to suck as a parent. This
is outside of your competency to allow you to grow.
It's not like, don't just say I'm gonna suck world
and then just go blithely around doing a terrible job
at everything you do well, it's the osord. We can't.
We can't do that. I mean, you're obligated, right, So

if it's a transaction, you're obligated to do well and
to do good. Right. So that's but the little bonus
of that is that if you're sucking at something that
you that nobody cares. If you're good at nobody cares.
If I am good at surfing, no one cares except
the person down the line in front of me that
I have to surf around without hitting. Okay, so that

there's a little bit of that right that that terrifying feeling.
But as I practice this, you know, being comfortable sucking
at surfing and doing it in public and having people
see me fail when I do suck at work, I'm
good at what I do. I know, I know I am.
I don't worry, don't have any of those hang ups.
I know I'm I'm a good publisher. But I still

make mistakes and I make some bad calls. And when
I do, I am a lot quicker to come up
with the solution and to figure out, yeah, that, and
and to admit my mistake, not throw blame, you know,
on everybody else, but to say, yeah, I sucked at that,
and we need to fix that, and then you go
about the business of fixing it. That happens so much

more quickly now that I have this kind of this
less of a fear of being wrong. We're twenty years ago.
I would make a mistake at work heart quick, and
you'd hear that noise in your head and you just
panic because you think, oh my god, I'm going to
be called out. In that fear, it's like, yeah, I
made a mistake, Yeah I made a mistake. And you
can't do it a lot, but you're going I don't

know one person professionally or even as a parent where
it counts the most right where you I don't know
if you've done this, but say something to your kids
and you think, I cannot believe I just said that,
And that is the most awful feeling you find your
you're thinking and then but you can quickly say, I
can't believe I just said that to you, and I'm sorry.

Why do I feel like all of our future presidents
need to serve or put him on the pole, put
him on the board, but don't let them in the
oval office until they are sucking at all Politicians you
know them, well, we all need to suck. We all
do suck. It's something we just have to embrace that suckered. So, Karen,

thank you so much for showing us the way. Thank
you very much for having me on the show, and
to everybody listening, thank you for joining us for this
raucous conversation. Get Karen's book It's great to suck at
Something and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook at
suck at Something. The Road to Somewhere is recorded in

New York City, make sure you share, subscribe, rate, and
review us, and let us hear from you. Where are
you on your journey? Connect with us on Instagram and
Twitter at pod to Somewhere, Email us at road to
Somewhere at iHeartMedia dot com. Special thanks to our producer
Alicia Haywood. Thanks for joining us on the Road to Somewhere.
Available on the I Heart Radio app, on Apple Podcasts,

or wherever you get your podcasts. M

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