Get ready, I’m on a rant. A poetic rant – but it’s a rant nonetheless.
Enjoy. Or not.
Either way, it felt good to get it out.
The best or nothing, Go big or go home,
You can have it all
Rah, rah, I want to be your cheerleader, your greatest fan
But I disagree with the motivational posters
Which is probably bad when you are a motivational speaker
But it is my truth so I speak it now, I give voice to how I really feel
And I feel like good enough is enough.
Part way is better than no way, some is better than none, and done is better than perfect
Put that on a poster and see how you like it
But allow me to explain…
I am not the best, so am I nothing?
I am not going big, why do I have to go home?
I will never have it all; everything comes at a cost, after all.
Does that make me less than or not good enough?
Please, don’t insult me with your platitudes
For I am standing up for being good enough
I am full, so I say ‘no thanks’ to more food – that’s enough
I am satisfied, so I say ‘no thanks’ to more drinks, that’s enough
I am content, so I say ‘no thanks,’ a good night kiss, yes that is enough
I am happy, so I say ‘no thanks’ to more stress, pressure, obligations – that’s really enough
This upsets me, I won’t tolerate anymore, so I say, that’s enough,
But the world doesn’t seem to be content with good enough.
Do we look good enough?
Are we fit enough?
Are our teeth white enough?
Are we young enough?
All to which I answer yes – yes – yes – you are enough, good enough, more than enough.
Let no one, no one, no one tell you differently.
You are just right.
Just where you are supposed to be.
Just who you are supposed to be at this place in time.
Are you good enough?
Yes, yes, yes – we are.
Let no one, no one, tell us differently.
Whew – that felt good!
Have you ever considered having an Inventure? Patti Phillips, one of my radio guests this week talked about some of her amazing and inspiring adventures and about her concept of having inner adventures and the power that those can bring to your life. Listen in to our conversation below.
Beth Terry, CSP, is a Communications and Resilience Expert. She is the author of three books: Walking in a Crowd of Angels, 101 Ways to Make Your Life Easier, and Thinking About Thinking. She was my engaging guest this week on Your Life, Unlimited radio, you can enjoy our whole conversation below and her guest blog post here…
“… You can’t always get what you want…”
The Rolling Stones sang that. Probably their most intelligent work. I think it’s high time we Speakers begin telling the truth. So many “motivational” speakers trot up onto the stage and say things they heard another speaker say, who got it from another speaker, who read it in a book somewhere and misquoted it. The real question is: Are They Living What They Preach?
“…You Can’t always get what you want…”
If I hear another speaker say, “You can be ANYTHING you want!” I swear I will run up to the stage, grab the mike out of their hands, and send them to their room.
If that were true, if the “law of attraction” were true, all of us would be 20 pounds lighter, careening around in hot cars, while flashing our loot from the lottery. Some people in the 70’s discovered this. Of course they were on acid when they discovered humans cannot fly without an airplane, or at least a parachute. But they WANTED to fly! “I can be anything, do anything I want! Whheeeee!” Splat.
Not only is “You can be ANYTHING you want!” foolish, it’s irresponsible. For a time the audience is pumped. The energy alone from some Speakers could make the phone book interesting. Two days later, those rapt listeners feel down, dejected, depressed. “If I can be anything I want, and I’m living this miserable life, it MUST BE ALL MY FAULT!”
Eh, don’t give yourself too much credit. There are other forces at work. Well, OK, there is the Consequence Rule: “All your choices DO have consequences.” If you choose to spend your life on remote control patrol and the cushions have imprints of your cheeks from doing too much couch potato time … yeah, you caused that weight gain and sad social life.
But this latest economic collapse is a beacon in the wilderness proclaiming, “We have NO control over events ‘out there.’” All the magical thinking maestros want us to believe that somehow our Collective Unconscious Brain was bored and decided to shake things up… “HEY let’s have a complete meltdown and then see who floats to the top!” (And you KNOW what floats to the top… it’s not just crème and it’s usually dead.)
Believing we have more control over life than we do is a wonderful fantasy that keeps us out of the funny farm. Sometimes Hope and Faith are all we have to hold onto. That’s OK. Hold onto them until you can figure out a solution. Stuff just happens. Oh Well. It’s our job to figure out how we will respond. It’s our job to come up with a solution that works for us. We simply MUST stop believing (and stop saying) if we wish really really really hard, and say it “70 times infinity,” that only good things will happen to us. It is simply NOT TRUE. Affirmations created by someone else don’t always work.
“… But if you try sometimes…
That’s not to say we can’t affect our future. Like I said, “Choices have consequences.” If I step in front of a speeding bus, I will probably die. Or I will have a protracted and painful sabbatical in a hospital on the east side. So I don’t step in front of buses. I don’t smoke – that one has pretty well been proven to do dastardly things to lungs. And I need my lungs. I try to make good choices. I don’t always do a great job of that.
What we SHOULD be saying, if we are driven to saying anything at all, is, “You have a reasonably good chance of getting where you want to go, provided you are willing to do the work, take the risks, and make good choices for yourself.” We should also add, “And it might not work. It might not be your time, your turn, or good for you. So get over it and move on.”
“… you might find…”
As Speakers, friends, family members, or even counselors, we must dig a little deeper into the psyche of those whom we want to impact. This economic malaise has challenged people’s ideas about themselves. At their core, our audiences are shaken: discouraged, dumfounded, and distressed. Boomers especially, who have been drinking this “you can be anything” koolaid for far too many years, stare in dumb silence at the economic chaos of their lives. We just expected things would keep getting better. We expected the past predicted the future. We were wrong.
People everywhere are legitimately suffering. Blaming them for “not wanting it badly enough” or “not attracting the right things” doesn’t help. It harms. None of us had the crystal ball to see the full impact of this meltdown. And even if we did, it’s done. Getting on stage or sitting with people and telling them to be HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY! is just stupid. At this point, CAUSE is immaterial. SOLUTION is paramount. Part of that solution is to help people move forward, get over the regret and resentment, and start to rebuild.
“…you’ll get what you need…”
If we in the helping and healing professions are serious about moving this country forward, one audience at a time, we need to be Real. Cut the trite and cliché phrases out of all talks. Provide solid practical ideas that will encourage forward movement. Provide processes to help people get up every morning and keep on keepin’ on. Be IN the trenches with them. Be on their side. Knock off the Motivational Mayhem that doesn’t work, and provide Emotional Encouragement that does. We are messing around in people’s heads and we need to be responsible. Riddly Walker said, “Don’t walk in my head with your dirty feet.” Let’s be sure we are authentic and grounded when we counsel others about their lives.
“…you’ll get what you need…”
I do believe in Hope and Faith. I know these philosophies have helped me through many a dark moment in my life. And I believe we impact our lives with our thoughts as well as our actions. I know that all our thoughts are affirmations. If we affirm disaster, somehow we’ll find it. But that doesn’t mean we caused it – whether it’s an Indian Ocean Tsunami or an Economic Hurricane. There are forces greater than us. Acknowledging that and setting aside the magical thinking will help us find solid ground to build a healthier future.