Ruth Bader Ginsburg and I were both treated at Memorial Sloane Kettering. She had been discharged a week before I was initially admitted for treatment. I was on the 12th floor. RBG’s room was on the 18th which was wood-paneled, carpeted with crystal sconces. It was a floor fit for a king or a queen, and that she was. How did she do it? Fight cancer four separate times all while never missing a beat as a Supreme Court Justice? Cancer couldn’t beat her because she had bigger dragons to slay. I want to be like RBG. RBG created success on her terms. There are reactors in life and there are creators. Most of us live in a reactive world: Life happens to me. I’m so busy I can’t get anything done. Working to keep up with the calendar. Doing everyday according what’s next and the asks of others. That’s living as a reactor. Reactors get stuff done, and stuff needs to get done. That’s productivity in the moment. Living as a reactor can have you running on a hamster wheel feeling depleted. When you run on empty you are not living for your future. It took me three decades to discover I was a reactor working hard each day to meet expectation. I felt great when I produced. Thrilled when I landed that new partner. Accomplished when I met my quotas. I was living in the moment. Not living with intention nor conviction for I wanted for myself. Then there are the creators. RBG was a creator. RBG created her life against all odds based on her convictions and beliefs. In a created world you commit to that which is bigger than your job or your day’s calendar. In a created world you think about what you want for yourself shaped on your convictions and beliefs. Creating is doing work which matters to you. Creating the legacy you want.
If you want to think like a creator, make a list of the goals. Then choose ONE, that if you focused on it—to the exclusion of every other goal—would be a game changer for you. Now ask, what will you do to ensure you make it happen—no matter what? That’s creating. We make a choice to live as a reactor or a creator. Ruth Bader Ginsburg was THE ultimate creator. She was driven by her convictions and beliefs, and created her future on her terms. In doing so she created a better future for each and every one of us. ‘Real change, enduring change happens one step at a time.’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg Let’s learn from the master and create the future we want.