Elizabeth Gilbert on success, failure, and the drive to keep creating

We enjoyed Gilbert’s Ted talk a lot, because our experience proves it’s true. Success can be as disorienting as failure, and can derail you just as easily too. And not uncommonly, the challenges of success can be more confusing, lonelier, and riskier ones to work through.

So after the weird, disorienting success that I went through with “Eat, Pray, Love,” I realized that all I had to do was exactly the same thing that I used to have to do all the time when I was an equally disoriented failure. I had to get my ass back to work.

The only trick is that you’ve got to identify the best, worthiest thing that you love most, and then build your house right on top of it and don’t budge from it. And if you should someday, somehow get vaulted out of your home by either great failure or great success, then your job is to fight your way back to that home the only way that it has ever been done, by putting your head down and performing with diligence and devotion and respect and reverence whatever the task is that love is calling forth from you next. You just do that, and keep doing that again and again and again, and I can absolutely promise you, from long personal experience in every direction, I can assure you that it’s all going to be okay.

Her metaphor of one’s “home” as the place to keep coming back to beautifully resonates with us.

“Your home is whatever in this world you love more than you love yourself…. that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotion that the ultimate results become inconsequential.”