I buy all of my yoga wear from a brand called Lululemon. I frequent a store on Queen West. On one wall, there is a picture of each ambassador and a goal that they are working towards. They are called Big Hairy Audacious Goals: bhags. I got to talking with one of the ambassadors, and I told her that my bhag was to be a Picador author and write a Picador book within the next two years. I told her that I’d had the gracious and outstanding support of the entire editorial team while interning there last spring, and that working with them had completely transformed my book into something better. I told her that they had set the bar extremely high, and that I had been shying away from writing it for fear of failing.
Alicia told me to turn my fear into a Big Hairy Audacious Goal and to Just Write My Book. She said that if the team believes in me enough as a writer and that I have a real story to tell, I should write it. The only thing actually holding me back from starting and finishing the book is my own fear. It isn’t a matter of ability, confidence, or Having Something To Write About. It’s just time management, discipline, and core self-belief that I am worth being a successful writer and being supported and represented by the imprint that I would like to publish me (who, gratefully, actually know me).
I am writing this down now in order for people to hold me to it. If I were a Lululemon ambassador, the text beside the picture of me on the wall would read, ‘I will be a Picador author by 2016.’ I just have to believe in that in order to actualize it (and I have to write more). My in-progress book was morphed into a Picador book, and it wouldn’t have if the team didn’t believe I could do it. I am extremely lucky not only to have worked with that team, but to have had enough belief from them that I could write a book worthy of their list. I just have to Do This.
It’s my BHAG. Lululemon ambassadors dream up these far-reaching goals and use their supportive networks, personal resources, and self-belief to achieve them. All I have to do is do the same.