Moment 138 The Power of Letting Go & Embracing the Unknown Bozoma Saint John

Summary Notes


In a candid discussion, Speaker B reflects on their serendipitous career trajectory, starting with an unexpected opportunity at Spike Lee's advertising agency, and the subsequent decision to forgo medical school. Emphasizing the importance of intuition and active engagement with life's possibilities, Speaker B shares personal insights on destiny, asserting that it is not preordained but shaped by our choices and actions. They advise against passive waiting for destiny to unfold, instead advocating for listening to one's inner voice and letting go of preconceived notions. This approach has consistently guided Speaker B through career transitions, underscoring that true success is defined by personal happiness and the freedom to pursue one's passions.

Summary Notes

Encounter with Spike Lee's Agency

  • Speaker B describes Spike Lee as a core filmmaker who also produces and writes.
  • Spike Lee's advertising agency was located on Madison Avenue in New York, which is renowned for advertising.
  • Speaker B had an opportunity to work with Spike Lee's agency, which was a joint venture with DDB, one of the biggest advertising agencies.

"Spike Lee is blackity, blackity black. First of all, all the blackness. No, but he is a film director, really, at his core. Filmmaker, let's call it that, because he certainly produces and does other things and writes. But he has an advertising agency in New York. When I was there was on Madison Avenue."

This quote explains Spike Lee's multifaceted role in the entertainment industry and specifies the location of his advertising agency, highlighting its significance in the advertising world.

Journey to New York

  • Speaker B moved to New York to escape the pressure of applying to med school after graduating from Wesley University.
  • New York represented a chance for Speaker B to find a different path, and they describe this move as destiny finding them rather than actively seeking it out.
  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of being open to new possibilities that one may not have considered.

"I graduated from Wesley University, which was in Milltown, Connecticut, and it was just time to apply to med school and I really didn't want to. And New York was right there. It was like an hour and a half from school and I really didn't have a plan. I just went trying to escape what I thought was my destiny."

This quote provides context for Speaker B's move to New York, highlighting the motivation behind the decision and the proximity to their previous environment.

Finding Destiny

  • Speaker A and B discuss the concept of finding one's destiny and the idea that sometimes destiny finds the individual.
  • Speaker B reflects on their career trajectory, noting that the move to New York and the subsequent work with Spike Lee's agency were pivotal in their career path.
  • The conversation touches on the advice Speaker B would give to their daughter about finding destiny, emphasizing the need for action and openness to change.

"So many people are in that chapter of their life where they're trying to find their destiny or trying to help, trying to figure out a way to let their destiny find them."

This quote acknowledges the common struggle people face in seeking their purpose or allowing their purpose to emerge naturally.

Letting Go and Letting Destiny Find You

  • Speaker B challenges the phrase "let go and let God," suggesting that letting go is an active process rather than passive surrender.
  • The speaker advises against holding onto preconceived ideas and encourages flexibility and the willingness to adapt when faced with obstacles.
  • Speaker B shares their personal decision to stop pursuing corporate CMO positions to allow new opportunities to arise, underlining the importance of creating space for growth.

"The letting go, for me is like the letting go of preconceived ideas about what it is that you are going to do letting go of. Sometimes you're like trying to do something and keep hitting a wall. You're just like, oh, if I just hit it one more time, it's going to break. Sometimes it's like, you know, that's a cement wall, right? If you just move 5ft to the right, it's actually plaster and you're going to go right through it."

The quote emphasizes the concept of letting go as an active decision to move beyond fixed expectations and to be adaptable in the pursuit of one's goals.

Intuition and Destiny

  • Intuition acts as a guide, leading one towards their purpose or destiny.
  • Intuition is described as a magnetic force, drawing an individual closer to their path.
  • Success and progress are attributed to following one's intuition rather than logical reasoning alone.
  • Intuition is often opposed by conventional wisdom or skepticism from others.
  • The speaker emphasizes the consistent success of following their intuition in various life decisions.

"I can feel it, like in my spirit. And that understanding of your intuition, and if you're listening to it, it's like a magnet."

  • This quote highlights the speaker's belief in the power of intuition as an internal guide that is felt spiritually and works magnetically.

"It's going to just draw you closer to the thing that you're supposed to do. And it has happened every single time."

  • The speaker provides personal testimony on the reliability of intuition in leading them to their correct path.

"Like every job, every move I've made hasn't been because somebody said, oh, you know what? This makes logical sense."

  • The speaker indicates that their decisions were not always based on logic or external advice but on an internal sense of direction.

"I'm like, I don't know, something inside. I'm telling you, it's telling me that this is the way to go."

  • The quote expresses the speaker's trust in their inner voice or intuition in guiding their actions.

Concept of Destiny

  • The speaker rejects the notion that destiny is pre-written or predetermined.
  • Destiny is seen as something one actively creates through choices and actions.
  • The concept of destiny is compared to the movie "Sliding Doors," illustrating how different actions lead to different outcomes.
  • Constant movement and discovery are believed to bring one's destiny closer.
  • The speaker does not believe in passive waiting for destiny to unfold.

"I don't believe things are pre written. Actually, for me, the idea of destiny isn't that something is already predetermined for you."

  • This quote clarifies the speaker's perspective that destiny is not something fixed but rather something shaped by one's actions.

"The concept is basically like if you're running for the train and you catch it, you jump inside, you have one destiny. If the doors close, you still stand on platform. Then you have to catch the next train."

  • Using the "Sliding Doors" analogy, the speaker explains how different actions can lead to different destinies.

"I think your constant movement, your constant Discovery is actually what then brings the destiny to you."

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of continuous action and exploration in creating one's destiny.

Action and Choice

  • The speaker believes in the power of actions and choices in shaping one's life and destiny.
  • Relationships and experiences are seen as results of active decision-making.
  • Intuition plays a critical role in making choices that align with one's destiny.
  • The speaker disagrees with the idea that destiny will manifest without effort or action.

"I do believe that we are constantly creating our destiny."

  • The speaker asserts that destiny is a result of ongoing creation through one's actions.

"These experiences, the people we're meeting, the people you're in relationships with, it happens because there's a certain action that you take that leads you to that thing."

  • The quote emphasizes the causal relationship between one's actions and the unfolding of their life experiences.

"Now it's your choice whether or not you take it. And then that's when the whole intuition thing comes up for me, right?"

  • The speaker connects the concept of choice with the influence of intuition, suggesting that intuition informs the choices that lead to one's destiny.

Decision Making and Intuition

  • Individuals often face crossroads with multiple choices and seek to make decisions by listing pros and cons or seeking advice from others.
  • People question why they ask others for advice when others are not living their lives and don't have the same destiny.
  • Intuition may guide individuals to choices that are daunting or uncomfortable, leading to resistance and sometimes the selection of the "wrong" thing.

"They want to write pro and con lists. They want to ask people for advice, do you think I should do this or should I do that? Both of these are good. Why are you asking other people? They don't know. They're not living your life."

This quote emphasizes the common practice of seeking external validation for decisions and the inherent flaw in doing so, as others do not have the same life or destiny.

The Influence of External Voices

  • External voices, such as family members or societal expectations, can overpower one's intuition.
  • The metaphor of "George" is used to represent an authoritative external voice that can drown out one's internal guidance system.

"It's hard to hear your intuition when George is very loudly telling you, yes, George being your father."

The quote illustrates how dominant external opinions, represented by "George," can make it difficult to listen to one's inner voice or intuition.

Strengthening Intuition

  • Intuition is likened to a muscle that needs to be worked on and listened to in order to grow stronger.
  • Ignoring one's intuition can cause it to become quieter, while trusting and following it can make it more assertive.
  • Speaker B describes their intuition as loud and trustworthy, leading to decisive actions in social and professional contexts.

"But it is like any muscle, you got to work it, you've got to listen to it. You have to make it brave to talk to you."

This quote compares intuition to a muscle that requires exercise and attention to become braver and more communicative.

Training Intuition and Pattern Recognition

  • Speaker B has trained their intuition to lead them, which has been essential for survival and recognizing patterns.
  • Intuition can provide immediate signals about people or situations based on past experiences.
  • The difficulty of following intuition over logic is acknowledged, but it is presented as essential for true success, defined as happiness, peace, and enjoyment.

"Throughout my life, I've had to listen to my intuition allow it to lead me. Even when other people were like, no."

The quote reflects the speaker's personal journey of trusting their intuition despite opposition from others, highlighting the importance of inner guidance.

Success and Happiness

  • Speaker B redefines success as being happy, at peace, and enjoying what one is doing.
  • The path to such success is not easy and often involves choosing intuition over more logical or conventional choices.

"It is so hard. I'm not pretending as if this is the easy thing where it's like, oh, just listen to your intuition be fine. Thing is dumb, hard. It's like, look, because sometimes the logic makes a lot more sense than your intuition. And so I'm not saying that it's easy, but it is the only choice if you want to be successful."

This quote acknowledges the challenge of following intuition, especially when it contradicts logic, but frames it as necessary for achieving true success and fulfillment.

Definition of Freedom

  • Freedom is about enjoying what you're doing, such as working passionately on a campaign without sleep.
  • It is not defined by material possessions but by the ability to follow one's excitement and intuition.
  • Intuition leads to opportunities that provide fulfilling experiences with people, jobs, or other aspects of life.

Like, do I have freedom, man? And freedom isn't just like, I can do whatever the hell I want. Freedom is that I can be working on a campaign and not sleep for three days because I'm so excited about it.

This quote emphasizes that freedom is the ability to engage in activities that bring excitement and joy, even to the point of sacrificing sleep due to passion for the work.

Personal Definition of Success

  • It's crucial to establish your own definition of success to guide your life's direction.
  • Without a personal definition, others may impose their version of success upon you.
  • Defining success for oneself can prevent feeling lost and can act as a compass for life choices.

What is your definition of success? Because if you're not clear on it, someone else is going to write that definition for you.

This quote highlights the importance of understanding and defining success for oneself to avoid following someone else's expectations or societal norms.

Sunday Scaries as a Signal

  • Sunday scaries can indicate that one has made wrong turns in life.
  • Recognizing these feelings can prompt a person to take control and change direction.
  • Sunday scaries are not exclusive to work and can apply to relationships or other life aspects.

When I started recognizing that Sunday scares were tied to my wrong turns, guess who jumped into the driver's seat real quick? Me.

This quote suggests that realizing the connection between anxiety about the upcoming week and one's life choices can be a catalyst for taking control and making changes.

Evaluating Relationships and Choices

  • Consistent negative feelings in a relationship or situation should be assessed critically.
  • One should seek to feel excited and positive in the presence of others or in various life situations.
  • Applying the concept of Sunday scaries broadly can guide decisions about engaging with people and activities.

Do you feel great? Do you have ickiness when you're with them? That's a Sunday scary that you need to watch out for.

This quote advises that persistent negative emotions in a relationship are a warning sign, similar to the dread of Sunday scaries, and should be addressed for one's well-being.

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