There was about a decade of my life where I thought I needed to play it “cool” and I hid who I really was.

Not in an actual “cool girl” way (HA--I was always the nice girl :) ), but more of a reserved way, because I thought that’s what it meant to be professional and successful.

But one of the things I’ve been studying lately is WHY I like some of my favorite musicians across genres, and in a shower inspiration moment, I realized that 3 of my favorite dudes--Justin Timberlake, Chris Thile (of The Punch Brothers, formerly of Nickel Creek), and Chris Martin (of Coldplay), have maintained a sense of childlike wonder, joy, appreciation, gratitude, and excitement when they perform, despite each having achieved massive success and acclaim.

When I met Chris Thile (arguably the best mandolin player in the world, a MacArthur Genius grant recipient, and basically a legend), I thanked him for an album that helped me get through a bad breakup. I told him, “I think this was the best album of the year.” He immediately gave me a huge hug and said “Oh my gosh, thank you so much!!!!” I was so surprised that I almost fell over (and of course I blushed big-time :). Instead of him saying the generic, “Thanks so much,” and moving on to the next fan, it was a beautiful moment of genuine appreciation for someone enjoying his art, and it stood out to me for that reason.

It would be easy for these guys to get jaded, become insular and surround themselves with “yes” people, and rest on their laurels as many celebs do. I’ve met and seen a bunch of them. This so often leads to them getting out of touch, cynical, losing their creativity, and alienating the fan bases responsible for their support.

But each of these 3 continues to push themselves, appreciate and feature the talents of others, and set an example of what’s possible with the right attitude--a long, fulfilling and rewarding career.

And that inspires me to maintain the same sense of excitement that Fi brings to everything because whether you’re 2 or 2x many years ;), finding excitement and passion for your work every day is a choice!