Pardon me, dear friends, for my step outside of the norm here. Its just that recently, the Facebook overlords seem to have decided that I need motivation. They are advertising *all* the motivational speakers at me. And its got on my goat a little bit. (What even does that figure of speech mean? Anyway…)
I’ve always glazed over so-called motivational speakers with a nod of amusement when they’re these young, shiny types who look like they’ve never faced a trial in their life. I’ve also rolled my eyes a little bit at the motivational speakers who actually never had a career other than motivational speaking. Isn’t that cheating? Don’t you need to achieve something before you can pimp yourself out as a success coach?
There are some people who I listen to. They’ve learned by hard knocks. They’re legitimately interested in people. They’re overcoming demons, not just telling people how to suck eggs and overcome their own.
But for the most part, generic motivation spruikers annoy me. So if you’re like me and the endless stream of success quotes bother you, I’ve got something to say.
Those people who keep telling you “If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough” – Ignore them. We don’t all have to conquer the world. We don’t all have to climb Everest, start our own business, make a million in a year. Your dream doesn’t have to scare you. If your dream is to have a job you enjoy, a family you love, and to not worry about putting food on the table, great. That shouldn’t scare you. That should make you feel warm inside. Your dream doesn’t have to be bigger than that. Be you. To the people who tell you that isn’t good enough – smile, ignore them, or tell them to take a long walk off a short pier. You do you.
Those people who tell you “You need more motivation” – ignore them. Did you get out of bed today? Are your kids fed, clothed, educated, and loved? Did you go to a job, say hi to a friend, or leave the house? Are you keeping up your end of the bargain in whatever you are doing? Then you have enough motivation. Ignore them.
Those people/pages/multi-level-marketing networks that tell you happiness is just the other side of a barrier, and that you have to push yourself further, buy this product, lose this weight, build this business to get there – Blergh. Ignore them. Hug your partner. Kiss your babies. Cheers your friend. Smile at the sky. Remember that happiness is something that comes from the inside and never, ever from a formula someone else hands you.
I could recite a million success-coach cliches, and truly if you are into that sort of thing, great. Listen to them. Print them off. Put them on your wall. Power to you.
But if you aren’t, and if you look at this stuff on social media and think “I’m not good enough” because you’re just not in that zone, take a load off. You are enough. Your standard of success is all that matters. Push yourself when you need to. Turn to that stuff when you need to (or more importantly when you want to).
I don’t know – I guess I felt the need to balance out the motivational speaking scales because social media has been throwing them at me, and I know social media can be a place where we might compare ourselves to others and feel like we come up short. Reality check: Social media can be rife with personal false advertising! Don’t fall for the hype.
My standard of success is this: a happy marriage. Kids that are loved, fed, clothed and happy. A job I love, that contributes to the world in a positive way. Space to let my mind do what it does best (think, create and communicate). A social network (offline) that I find satisfying. Space to live out my faith in a way that is meaningful to me and keeps my conscience clear.
You figure out what your standard of success is, and work towards that. It doesn’t have to scare you. It might just make you smile, and let out a contented sigh. If it does, good for you.
Over and out.