Jennifer Lawrence: No Consideration of Failure

Jennifer Lawrence is not in my actual binder, but she is in my virtual one. When I first saw Lynn Hirschberg’s screen test of Lawrence, which she made in 2011 for W, I was blown away. The actress in this video has weird hair and uneven eyebrows, but you can tell that she just doesn’t care what the person behind the camera thinks. She is just being herself, telling us that she thinks she’s beautiful, no matter our criticisms. But mostly, I was struck by what she said at 1:46:

I’ve always had this really gross, dangerous mentality of no consideration of failure. Just never even considering the thought of failing. Like, if I want something, I just go until I get it.

I remember thinking, wow. That’s the only way to get things done. Otherwise, every little setback – every rejection from a role, every humiliating job we have to take to pay the bills while we nurture our passions, every time someone doesn’t love how we look or what we have to say – has the power to throw us off course. We run this risk of misinterpreting every obstacle as a “sign” that we should not be on this path, even if it is the only path that leads in the direction of our dreams.

So here’s to Jennifer Lawrence. Here’s to embracing the gross and the dangerous. And here’s to going, and going, and going until we reach our goals.

Coming Out

For professional women, writing about any aspect of one’s personal life is pretty much verboten. That is part of why I embarked on my binder project in the first place: Until more of us share our stories, the stigma will remain.

My own fears of being judged, combined with the fact that my previous employer forbade me from speaking up without the U.S. government’s permission, explain why the author of this blog has remained anonymous. But the time has now come to take the project to the next level, and that means I need to come out of hiding.

I can think of no better way to do that than with this video from new friend and social change-maker Michael B. Maine, who kindly featured me in his latest Inspiration project video. Michael is a photographer/filmmaker/media strategist with a head for smart communications and a heart for social impact. He’s the kind of person who inspired me to give up my steady, high-income job and join Seattle’s vibrant hub for social change. I can think of no better way to spend my life than by working with people like him, who have likewise decided to devote their time, talents, and treasure solely to causes they believe in.

Please forgive the shameless promotion of my book project and my friends. I mean it: I am inspired by everyone, male or female, who has chosen to live with purpose. It’s just that the women in my binder do it in such defiance of expectations that I cannot help but ask you to be inspired by them, too. Thanks, dear readers, for your support.