Success Lessons from “Julie and Julia” — Part 2

Commitment to taking personal responsibility for your personal and professional success is one of the keys to career and life success that I discuss in several of my books: Straight Talk for Success, Your Success GPS, and 42 Rules to Jumpstart Your Professional Success.  If you want to succeed, you must commit to three things.  First, you must take personal responsibility for your success.  Only you can make you a success.  You need to be willing to do the things necessary to succeed.  Second, you must set high goals — and then do whatever it takes to achieve them.   Third, stuff happens; as you go through life you will encounter many problems and setbacks.  You need to react positively to the negative stuff and move forward toward your goals.

Yesterday, I did a blog post about the movie Julie and Julia.  It’s two stories in one.  The first is the story of how Julia Child became JULIA CHILD and the second is about a young woman Julie Powell who decided to prepare every one of the 524 recipes in Julia Child’s famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blog about her experience.  It’s a great movie with a good cast that says a lot about personal and professional success.

I bring it up here again today, because of the lessons it offers on committing to your personal and professional success.  Both Julie and Julia were highly committed to their personal and professional success. 

Julia Child entered the all male world of Le Cordon Bleu.  As it turns out, she was not especially coordinated when she began learning to cook.  There is an amusing scene about learning to chop onions in the film which demonstrates her personal commitment to her success.  Also, it took over 10 years to get Matering The Art of French Cooking, the cookbook that launched her stratospheric success, published.  Through it all, she remained committed to creating the success she envisioned for herself.  Every setback seemed to make her stronger and more determined.

Julie, on the other hand, made a very public commitment to her success.  She set up a blog.  In the very first post she told readers that she was going to prepare every one of the 524 recipes in Mastering The Art of French Cooking in one year’s time.  She even put two little clickers on the blog which allowed her to note how many days and recipes she had left.  Julie’s blog clicked with a lot of people because she wrote about her successes and failures in preparing the dishes in the cookbook.  She was unwavering in her determination to prepare all 524 recipes in 365 days.  She did this while holding down a full time job. 

As I watching the movie I couldn’t help but thinking about how these two women went about achieving the goals they set for themselves.  Julia Child was relentless in learning to cook and in pursuing a publisher for her cookbook.  Julie Powell cooked everyday for one year and took the time to write about it.  That’s commitment – on both of their parts.

Are you as committed to achieving your goals as these two women?

The common sense point here is simple.  Successful people commit to taking personal responsibility for their own success.  They choose to treat setbacks as temporary and look for the learning opportunity in them.  Julia Child’s dogged pursuit of a publisher helped her create tremendous success as a TV cook show host.  Julie Powell’s 365 day cooking and writing marathon led to her achieving her goal of becoming a published writer.  Both women committed to finishing what they started.  And that’s what successful people do – they set high goals and do whatever it takes to achieve them.  That’s what commitment to taking personal responsibility for your own success is about.

That’s my take on Julie and Julia and the commitment to taking personal responsibility for your own success.  What’s yours?  Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading.


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