Shonda Rhimes Shares What Saved Her Career and Family

shonda ted talk


Feb. 22 2016, Published 2:00 a.m. ET

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A woman. A writer. A titan. Emmy award-winning triple threat Shonda Rhimes is spreading her wisdom across the world with her NY Times Best Selling book, “The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person.”

The book shares her experience of saying “yes” to everything for a full year. If she was asked to do it, she said yes to it—things that scared her, terrified her, and left her crippled with fear. Recently, Shonda took the stage at the official TED conference to talk about her year of yes, but this time she lingered on one major point: how saying yes to play saved her family and career.

A Few Key Takeaways From Shonda Rhimes’ TED Talk:

shonda titan

1. Make Time To Play

When your kids ask you to play, PLAY. Make it a rule to always say yes. Get down with your tiny humans, take the time to be goofy and laugh. No kiddos to keep your playtime accountable? Give that uninterrupted time to yourself, a friend, or your lover. Find what makes you feel good, and play there. 15 minutes of uninterrupted time a day is all you need to reconnect with joy. And being joyful makes you a better human.

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2. No, Really Resist The Itch To Work 24/7

This point needed to be highlighted twice. Being burned out, overworked, and overused will happen if you’re ambitious. You have to remember the very act of not working is important to refuel. “Work doesn’t work without play,” Shonda says. This is especially important for workaholics to put into practice because it’s not going to feel comfortable doing at first. That itch to check your phone, or try to multitask is going to be there, but resist and you will be better because of it.

3. Invest In Your Relationships & Experiences

Don’t let life pass you by because you were working your dream job and forgot to dream. As someone once told me, when you are on your deathbed you aren’t going to be thinking, “Wow, I wanted to be at so many more meetings.” You are going to be reflecting on the people in your life and experiences you had—give yourself enough time and energy to invest in them. And never apologize for doing that.

Watch her talk in the video below:

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By: Cassandra Bizzaro

Cassie Bizzaro is a digital content creator based in New York City. With a passion for organizing and productivity, she can be found giggling in the aisles of The Container Store. She is a fan of kind people with big dreams. Tweet at her @casscakey.

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