They’re everywhere. Memes on Facebook. Cliché-riddled wall hangings. Books with smiling authors touting their 7-10 steps. So many words and slogans telling us how to live so much better than we do now! To become our best selves!
So what’s wrong with this, other than the noise & confusion caused by these oftentimes conflicting messages?
In the powerful movie Requiem for a Dream, four characters quickly spiral downward from serious drug abuse and the subsequent choices they make because of their dependence. One of the characters, a middle-aged mom & widow, is transfixed by a flamboyant motivational speaker on TV, whose motto (repeatedly chanted by his studio audience) is “JUICE!”—“Join Us In Creating Excellence!”
Yes just a movie, but not far off from real-life characters. Motivational speakers are, in general, a waste of time. Even if well intentioned, they preach their secrets of success, productivity, happiness, whatever—while looking pretty and sounding confident (as they sell us their goods). They promote the idea of you being more like them—emulate who they are, what they have done to reach their lofty heights of success and self-enlightenment.
But hold on, there’s one inherent problem here. You are not them. You are you.
You may walk away with a new, effective habit or two, but that’s all. Once the motivational buzz wears off, you’re still you!
So who should you listen to, what should guide you? Well, it’s your life, right? Therein lies the answer. Start with you.
Peel away pressures from outside (if you wish).
Focus on your expectations of you (if you wish).
Find your true self—not someone else’s self (if you wish).
Simply putting up blinders to so many “how-to’s” will help quiet the noise—allow you to follow your own compass.
Go Like Yourself isn’t about ego. Or selfishness. Or shunning responsibility. Or disregarding your current beliefs. It’s about finding you. Who you choose to be. How you choose to live.
Not just drinking the JUICE being served that day.