Today is March 2 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often do you remind yourself to keep going?” Those who navigate the chaos often have experience moving from the known to mystery as they translate their dreams into reality. American singer and songwriter Rachel Platten is someone very familiar with the mystery.
An international relations major at Trinity College, Platten did an internship in Trinidad at a diplomat's office and at a record label. While she was there, she sang backup for a friend's band in front of over 80,000 people at the International Soca Monarch finals in 2002. According to Platten, from that moment on she knew she had to pursue music full-time.
Upon graduating college she moved to New York City's Greenwich Village where she played in the local music scene. She performed her solo music around the Village and eventually began touring the country.
After 12 years of grinding it out and living in the mystery or not knowing if she was ever going to make it, Platten released Fight Song on June 27, 2014 which would be her first hit song. As Platten said “This has felt like a complete fairy tale. But a fairy tale that is 12 years in the making. I grinded and worked so hard for so long and got to the point of… I didn’t think it was going to happen. I thought I might need to figure something else out. That moment bred Fight Song. So that song came because I had to make a decision, “Am I going to keep going or am I going to give up on myself?” Actor Jenna Fischer also learned to keep going in her pursuit of a television career.
American theoretical physicist Fred Alan Wolf observed “Asking yourself deeper questions opens up new ways of being in the world. It brings in a breath of fresh air. It makes life more joyful. The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery.” Jenna Fischer, the Emmy-nominated star who brought Pam Beesly to life on the NBC comedy The Office, was certainly ‘in the mystery’ as it took eight grueling years and plenty of rejection before she landed a part on the hit show that would go on to air for nine seasons.
In her book, The Actor’s Life: A Survival Guide, Fischer details the highs (crashing an SNL party) and lows (riding a Jurassic Park water ride for 12 hours straight as an extra) of her journey to becoming a fan-favorite on a network television show. In 1996, she said goodbye to her hometown in Missouri, where she was raised by her father, a plastics engineer, and her mother, a teacher.
But she endured six years of “small successes, followed by heaps of rejection,” while accumulating debt and living in crappy apartments; she describes one as a “cave,” furnished with cardboard nightstands that were so depressing her cat licked out patches of his fur. Fischer joked that her book could have been titled Struggle, Struggle, Cry, Think-You-Should-Give-Up, Work, Repeat. Both Platten and Fischer reminded themselves to keep going despite one setback, rejection, or hardship after another.
How often do you challenge yourself to keep going when difficulty crosses your path while navigating the chaos?