We were heartened by this revealing snippet from a New York Magazine interview with Eileen Fisher, creator of the eponymous clothing line, about how she manages a global business and her life:

I am easily overwhelmed. There have to be several filters before things get to me….

I think I chose to make such comfortable clothes because I’m such an uncomfortable person. I’m more comfortable with myself now; I’m more direct. I’ve always been shy and afraid of public speaking, but I’m learning to communicate better. I always marvel at what people do that I couldn’t have done myself. 

The gist: Fisher’s work, that is, the making of comfortable clothes, comes out of her being an “uncomfortable” person. Her challenge has proven to be her gift. She’s devised clever ways to manage her discomfort, turn it into a positive and bring her work to fruition.

We’ve found two of Fisher’s simple strategies to be immediately useful:

When really stressed out, she stops, notices the stress and and thinks (or says):

Breathe, relax, feel.



In order to manage long hours, she’s found that rather than worry about stress, chasing meaning is more productive and energizing:

The last few years, I’ve been doing this purpose-work where I assess what feels meaningful, what feels right. If I know what I’m supposed to be doing here, and I know what I’m doing feels meaningful, then I actually have more energy at age 66 than I did at 25.

It reminds us of Ginny Jordan’s great question for clarifying what is meaningful in her day and editing out the rest:

Sally Schneider


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