I expected to hate Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead but – in the event I found myself debating someone about how much I hated Sheryl Sandberg and her new book – I decided to read it anyway.
Instead, Lean In resonated with me in more ways than I could have possibly expected and enlightened me to things I’d never understood – about myself, about other people, about my own trajectory in life.
Most poignantly, it reawakened me to the discomfort I felt earlier in life when people would ask me what I wanted to do. I knew what I wanted; I wanted to inspire people all over the world with stirring films of mysticism and daring. With all my heart, I wanted to be George Lucas. I wanted to be a Jedi.
But I couldn’t say what I wanted without feeling guilty, ashamed and nauseous. I couldn’t lean in to my own ambitions because they seemed wrong and not humble enough. And, more than anything, it seemed as if my ambitions would make people think I thought too highly of myself. Conceited was what we derisively called girls like that on the playground.
I frequently hear the same from clients – that the things they really want are too big and too ambitious, or sometimes even too small and too silly, to realistically pursue. But whatever their ambitions, often they’re just too embarrassing to admit.
What do you want? What do you really want that you lean away from? And how can you lean into it today?
Is it a stand for justice? A humanitarian cause? A healthy planet or a healthy body? If you weren’t afraid of what people would think, what would you do? Right now?
I may not still want to be a filmmaker, but I still want to inspire people all over the world to lead lives of mysticism and daring. And I still want to be a Jedi. A Jedi Master.