I've written two books that deal with reality television: my first published work, The Bonds of Matri-money, and the first of my Nobody series, Nobody's Darling. Like most viewers, I have my favorite shows, the ones I don't miss, or DVR when I can't be home for them: The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (a guilty pleasure), Top Chef (and Top Chef All-Stars), Project Runway (and Project Runway All-Stars), and The Millionaire Matchmaker. That's the whole list for me. No Dancing With the Stars or American Idol. No other Housewives. Like food choices, my television choices are all about moderation. But I've also discovered some interesting lessons from my viewing pleasures.
1. "Make it work." Oh, Tim Gunn, how I adore you! In life and love, we're given great gifts and challenges to make us stronger. The trick is to always take what you've got and make it work.
2. Take risks. Whether it's an ingredient you've never before cooked with or an activity you've never tried, dare! Fling yourself into the unknown. Sometimes you'll succeed, sometimes you'll fail, but either way, you'll have learned.
3. Communicate. You will not always get along with others, but you can work through your differences by talking and listening to each other.
4. Dare to dream. Let no one tell you, "You can't."
5. Embrace yourself. No one else is you. Be original, be genuine. Be you.
6. Just participating in the game can be enough. Not everyone can win the big prize. But if you've done your very best, if you've learned along the way, and if you've become more skilled because of the experience, you still walk away a winner.
Got a favorite that's taught you a valuable lesson? Share!