Author Archive | Nilofer Merchant

Emma Watson Wins the Internet

What To Say When Someone Tells You “You Can Never Do That”

A friend recently told me of a story when she was talking to her boss, the editor of a major publication, about doing a feature story, a COVER story for one of those bound paper things people buy called magazines. And the boss had held up the existing issue and said “This. This Will Never  More

Stop asking yourself, "what do I love, and focus instead on the doing"

One True Thing (Part III of III on How To Know Your Onlyness)

As we wrap up our conversation with Geoff (which continues in the comments, please join us!) let’s highlight one of the more nuanced elements of Onlyness: It lives at the intersection of what you care about. The trick is not to focus on the tension, but the harmony. This is Part III of a series  More

Shonda Rhimes 2014 Dartmouth Graduation

Get Busy Being Yourself

As we’ve been talking about “how to find your onlyness”, I thought you might like this nugget of wisdom from Shonda Rhimes: I did not dream of being a TV writer. Never, not once when I was here in the hallowed halls of the Ivy League, did I say to myself, “Self, I want to  More


Is Onlyness Selfish? (How to Find Your Onlyness, Part II)

In the last post <link>, I shared the first part of an ongoing conversation I’ve been having with an e-pistolary friend about finding one’s Onlyness. Geoff, like so many of us, was having trouble identifying what his ‘weird’ is, that thing(s) that only he can contribute to the world. In this installment, things get pretty  More


And the Mophies Go To…

The funny thing about onlyness is that, to get there, most of us need inspiration from and conversation with our communities. Whether it’s yoga classmates, a religious organization, a book club or a volunteer organization, communities like these are what shape us, awaken us and inspire us to explore and chase our big ideas. I  More

Onlyness thru

What Color Is My Weird? (How to Find Your Onlyness, Part I)

The first in a three-part conversation from a Yes & Know reader. “Personally, I have no idea what my Onlyness is.” A new commenter appeared on my blog, sounding equal parts friendly, and plaintive. “Do you want to?” I wrote back. And that’s how Geoff Clements, whom I later learned had been reading Yes &  More