Riss Reads

You don’t have to be on the political right to read Megyn Kelly’s and Dana Perino’s memoirs and see they are right regarding life.  These two women had successful careers as a lawyer and White House press secretary, respectively, but their shows on Fox News gave them the notoriety and perspective to write really insightful memoirs at ripe ages.   Even though they are by no means towards the ends of their careers, they took huge paychecks early in life to leave the private sector and pursue what they each love – politics and journalism.  Sacrificing to follow one’s vocation is always an inspiration.

IMG_0884Both women are blonde and live in New York and look amazing without working out — I am none of those things.  But I relate so strongly with their reflections on their first years out of college as young working women searching for their vocations.  And The Good News Is by Perino and Settle For More by Kelly provide both emotional and professional advice.  From stories of failed first relationships to dealing with loss; from anecdotes of serendipitous job acceptances to addressing gender discrimination; the authors provide clear voices and relate their surreal experiences to any working woman’s life.

I strongly encourage you to read both books, mainly because these women were not given success — they really worked hard to earn it.  Kelly’s humble beginnings in upstate New York and Perino’s ranch raising out West are testaments to one’s ability to make a name for yourself, not rely on those before you who share that name.  I especially love how real they are with how unglamorous their success has been at times.  Kelly would breastfeed her baby on set right before taping a show, and she felt deathly ill prior to the first presidential primary debate, which would be an unforgettable night in her career.  Perino used to read news articles on the elliptical because she didn’t have time to not multitask, and she stood on a crate at the press secretary’s podium because she was too short to reach the mic.  These are the stories that stick with me and make me admire these tenacious women, who acknowledge their careers have been successful not just because of their talents but because of the people that helped them get to where they are.  In Settle for More, Kelly cites a time where Perino came to her aid and asked her “what did that cameraman say to you in Chicago?” Perino asked. “Pay it forward,” Kelly told her. “Pay it forward,” Perino repeated. Below are some of my other favorite quotes from each book; I encourage to check them out yourself, heed some of their advice, and pay it forward:

And The Goods News Is… by Dana Perino

  • “Say little. But when you speak, utter gentle words that touch the heart. Be truthful. Express kindness. Abstain from vanity. This is the way.”
  • “As soon as voices are raised productivity is lost. Disagreeing for disagreement’s sake won’t get you very far. To win a heated argument, you have to keep your cool.”
  • “It’s okay to have butterflies in your stomach, as long as you make them fly in formation.”
  • “Helping a student with a four-year bachelor’s degree is very generous, but an advanced degree should be considered a personal responsibility. That will ensure that the coursework is taken very seriously and makes the young person take ownership of their degree. and when they graduate, it’s a shared accomplishment that the whole family can be proud of. But do not encourage graduate school just for graduate school’s sake. Work experience is much more valuable if the decision come down to that.”
  • “I look at it this way – I don’t ever want to apologize for something I’ve said, but I want to be gracious enough to be ready to apologize if I ever need to. My answers to those questions have come gradually and after some trial and error. In my own life, personally and professionally, I’ve realized that being civil is an active decision that I get to choose to make several times a day. That’s why I believe there’s hope – civility is not extinct. It is a choice.”
  • “In America, we are blessed with the freedom to speak our minds—and we should do so thoughtfully. We also have to recognize that people who disagree with us are not enemies. We’re all in this together—and we should act like it.”

Settle for More by Megyn Kelly

  • “The ‘zone of genius’ [is] the place where one’s top talent combines with one’s passion–with what one really wants.”
  • “Dr. Phil says of fighting in relationships, ‘How can you win when the person you love most is losing?'”
  • “I told her I am not a feminist…Is there no room for ambivalence about this term? We need more women in this sisterhood tent, not less. Who gives a damn what label we use, so long as we are living a life that supports other women?”
  • “A quick note on what’s happening on our college campuses these days. Some in the younger generation today seem determined to shut down any opinions that don’t happen to match their own values. I believe this…is bad for us as a society. I believe in the right to offend….It’s not that we are supposed to enjoy it, it’s that we’re supposed to allow it and then respond in a more persuasive voice.”
  • “I do my best to avoid celebrations of destruction where I can. ‘Sharing news that does not create more resentment takes great style.'”
  • “My feeling on the subject of women’s equality is that it’s better to show than tell. I believe in the Steve Martin mantra, ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you.'”
  • “Money removes many stressors, but it has not changed my level of happiness, nor who I am. It changes how I spend my time.”
  • “When something stressful happens to me, I often remind myself: ‘Remember who you are.’ It is the rip cord that releases me from almost any dark situation, because it reminds me that what I really value is almost never at stake.”
  • “‘It’s too bad our son isn’t old enough to remember this day,’ [Kelly’s husband] said. ‘It’s all ingredients in the cake,’ [Kelly] said.”

© Rissponsible Living, 2017

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