The energy and drive that comes at the start of a new year can feel like magic, when really, it's more like focused optimism. Sure, early January is an arbitrary timeline in the grand scheme of life to make a change — but you should claim that energy whenever, and however, you can get it.
As you set your mind on the things you want to accomplish over the coming year, whether that involves starting over or picking up where you left off, you might look toward other hard-working, go-getting, prolific women for inspiration. Start 2018 with their words of wisdom in mind!
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"Experience has taught me that
you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true
. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire. That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move you forward. And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you've closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you've done today."
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"[I learned] to never again — never again, ever — put all of your hopes, expectations, eggs in the basket of box office.
Do the work as an offering
, and then whatever happens, happens."
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The only way to learn
is to keep doing something new, and, if you’re lucky, learning with people who really know how to do it."
Photo: Maarten de Boer/Getty Images Portrait.
Tracee Ellis Ross
The Brave You gives you the courage
to hold your own agency, your own choice, your own desire, your own longings, your own fear, your own grief, your own future. She’s just one aspect of your soul that helps you become your fully embodied and completely integrated real, true self. She's in you right now, in your journal, in the back of your mind, in your Netflix queue, waiting for your invitation."
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"I'm never going to retire. Would I retire from life?
This is my life!
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"I somehow got the feeling early on that if human beings did a thing, I could study it and try to do some of it too. And one thing led to another. If I had not studied Latin in school, I wouldn’t have found it as easy to comprehend the structure of language. Had I not danced, I might never have really listened to music and known I could compose something. You see? I understood early that not everything I did was going to be a masterpiece, but I would try to do it the best I knew how. I’ve listened to an inner voice and had enough courage to try unknown things.
And I think everything in its time.
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"I have realized as an entrepreneur that so many people don’t pursue their idea because they were scared or afraid of what could happen.
My dad taught me
that failing simply just leads you to the next great thing."
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Diane Von Furstenberg
"I think that the most important thing in good time and in bad time is to absolutely face the truth and not be delusional. By facing the truth — 'Okay, well, this is what happened. It's not so great. What can I do now?' — then you find another path, another door, and another person or something. You start something fresh."
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At one point I quit acting
for a little bit to study psycholinguistics — somewhat a more practical career. It just didn't feel right. Then I went back and struggled really hard. About a couple of years before I got
Fresh Off the Boat,
I was really broke. I was in tens of thousands of dollars in debt: credit card. Car. Personal. Student loans. I paid for my college all myself. I didn't have a boyfriend. I was really alone and lonely. I was new in the city, and I didn't have a community of friends in L.A. I was like,
Are you okay if your life stays like this, where you're waiting tables, struggling to make ends meet? Are you still okay doing this when you're 45?
I decided that I was.
"That's when my work improved because it wasn't results-oriented. It wasn't like,
I heard that this director likes crazy characters, so I’m going to try to make it crazy.
I was like,
What do you, Constance Wu, envision for the character? What is the special thing you can bring even if it keeps you from getting the part? This is your chance to do it. Let's do it.
"[...] That's when I started booking work. The catch-22 is you get employment by focusing on the work, not the employment. That's generating meaning: doing what you want to do so they can't take anything away from you."
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"I will get the best of health care for my mother and myself. I will hire a car whenever I want or need to.
"I will travel whenever and wherever in the world that I choose.
"My books will be read by millions of people!
"So be it! See to it!"
Read Butler's full letter to herself on The Huntington Library blog.