The Good Life Project

Have you heard of Jonathan Fields?

Jonathan Fields & the good life projectIf not, let me give you the two second introduction – a former big firm lawyer, he is now a phenomenally successful author, entrepreneur and speaker. He’s one of the cool, popular kids in the startup world. The kind of guy you want to learn from. I had recently emailed him about getting together for coffee but our schedules had been too busy and the meet up had been put on hold indefinitely.

My weekend had slid past in a lazy summer haze of boating and beaching and seafood gluttony, when I had an email from Jonathan on Monday evening.

new york sailing

new york summer beaches

Would I like to be interviewed for his new venture, The Good Life Project. No big deal, he was just inviting 10 people he knew in the city to take part in a relaxed (his words not mine) Charlie Rose style interview where we would talk about what it means to lead a good life. The videos would be broadcast online and released to his 37, 000 fans (if we go by twitter). Oh and by the way, the interview was on Wednesday. Was I in?

Of course I was in. I was flattered, excited and ever-so-slightly terrified. Public speaking is one thing. I’m used to it. I know what I’ll say and I know I’ll have the floor. An interview is something entirely different.

But I had to do it. Because this was a chance to put my mouth where my pen had been and well and truly give in to the idea of being vulnerable.

The day rolled around. A steamy New York day, the filming was running late, 2pm had rolled into 2:30, half an hour was left on the memory card, four cameras were trained on my face and three lights were flicked on. A bead of sweat crested my ankle and fell into my sandal as Jonathan turned to ask the first question.

I would like to tell you that I was eloquent and funny and composed. I’m not sure if I was any of those things. I imagine I was rather more rattled and out of control. I know that I stuttered up a storm. The cameras cut out twice and we had to begin again, palms were raised in a 5 minute warning.

And yet I survived. I felt slightly sick afterwards but I said what I wanted, or close enough, and I got my first taster of what it might be like to start marketing this book that I’m bringing out into the world.

Not easy, not a walk in the park, but exciting and funny and awkward and well worth it. Because ultimately I think that living a good life means striving, living on the edge of uncertainty, laughing at ourselves and embracing those imperfect moments when we recklessly human.

19 thoughts on “The Good Life Project

  1. Hey Kat,
    I recently read Jonathan Fields book, “Uncertainty” which I absolutley loved. It is all about leaning into uncertain, fearful events with an enthusiasm and excitement that we will actually learn something from it.
    A good friend of mine, who stutters, and is big in the SEO world, knows Jonathan. I tweeted him that I loved the book, and he responded.

    So glad (and jealous!!) that you interviewed with him. Taking some really big steps there. You go girl.

    I think he has another book, called Career Renegade – heard it was good, but didn’t read. Uncertainty was just great – in fact, I have loaned it out twice, currently in the hands of a doctor friend of mine who stutters!

    Keep up all the great work!!

    • Pam – Amazing to hear your thoughts. I agree, Uncertainty is brilliant. He’s such an inspirational guy and it was a huge privilege to be able to meet him, let alone be interviewed. What’s your twitter handle? Let’s tweet together!

  2. Yay! Go Katherine! My inspiration! You went for it and you did it — as pricelessly real as only you know how to be. Fantastic and well done you!
    Your posts so often make me reflect on what it means to be human, I love that! Thank you so much.
    If there are ‘gifts’ revealed through stuttering, one of them must be this process that you describe and so beautifully witness. That is, embracing the fundamental truth which many people manage to live in denial of — we ARE, whether we know it or not, like it or not, whether we accept the invitation or not, we are always right there — HUMAN. Finding ourselves in the space of (as you hymn it so movingly) “striving, living on the edge of uncertainty, laughing at ourselves and embracing those imperfect moments when we are recklessly human.”
    Yes, please, I want to live like that.

  3. Hey K,

    I so enjoyed spending time with you! Huge gratitude for your kindness, your thoughtful replies and your energy. Even though our conversation was shorter than we both hoped it might be because of crazy logistics, you were a rockstar! You will help so many people.

    Can’t wait for your book to come out and bless the world. 🙂

    With gratitude,


    • Jonathan – huge gratitude back to you (for your incredibly kind words and the chance to spend some time together!). Can’t wait to see how the Good Life interviews turn out. Looking forward to staying in touch and keeping up with all your amazing work.

  4. Hi. I’ve just watched the interview and you were phenomenal. I loved the interview and learnt so much. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability. People like you change the world.

  5. I just watched the interview as well – wow, you did a fantastic job! – I loved that even when you struggled at times to get words out your smile just illuminated the room and really gave me the perspective that that struggle was not at all negative – thanks! (helps if I love the accent too… lol!)

    Best of luck with the book and future work!

    • Mike – Thank you so much for reaching out and for such an amazing reaction. I love your take on the interview and how you put it into words that the struggle is not all negative. Couldn’t have said it any better!

  6. I loved loved loved the interview. Thank you for doing it, heat and nerves and suddenness notwithstanding. I have complex post-traumatic stress disorder, which means in part that my nervous system is constantly out of kilter and I have all sorts of quirky symptoms that make navigating life rather more interesting than usual. Your interview filled me with a sense of buoyancy. With belief that I can not just tolerate this thing that’s part of me, but in fact climb higher because of it. I can’t thank you enough.

    • Beth – I can’t thank you enough for that message! The thought that you were filled with ‘a sense of buoyancy’ is incredible. Life is rather more interesting for both of us, but I completely agree that you can climb higher because of your disorder. I have no doubt that you’re amazing.

  7. Katherine, I thought the interview was remarkable, for the commitment to your ideas, your expressivity even when there was interruption in your vocal flow, and for the simple grace of your presence. I hope your book blooms, and that it’s merely the first of many.

    • Tom – Thank you for such a kind message. The three pieces your mentioned sum up all that I want to achieve in my voice, all that I hope I am. I am incredibly touched that you saw all of that.

  8. Hi, Katherine.

    I just finished watching the interview and felt compelled to come over here and thank you for doing it.

    I know there are going to be a lot of people that can relate to your story, and that are going to be inspired by both the interview and your book. As others have said, what you are doing really sees beyond yourself and will touch a lot of people.

    I am inspired, and take from it lessons that I hope to teach my young son. Lessons about how to live, how to deal with challenges, how to put yourself out there, to be grateful for the opportunities we have, and how to treat other people and to be mindful of how we react to people affects them.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story and to set a good example.

    I wish you the best of success with your book and with all of your future endeavors.


    • David – Thank you so much for taking the time to come over here and comment. I have such a beautiful image of you and your son. I really hope that you’re right, that this project touches and inspires some people. I’m thrilled to have connected with you.

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