I’m sitting with my friend, Michele, in an Irish Pub. We are having a drink and talking about the different aspects of motivational speaking. We are both working on putting out our research in hopes that our findings will help other people. We want to be different and yet we’re worried that we are not saying anything new.
The realization is not surprising to us. We know we are not reinventing the wheel. Our passion for our projects stems from wanting to solve our own issues. We have both found, through our experiences, that our problems are not unique, but how we handled them are. It’s that perspective that we want to talk about. It’a distilling our scientific findings into something that can be relatable, that we both find overwhelming. We are working together to help each other stay on track and stay motivated. We both have to admit that failing is a real fear and that we may never leave this Irish Pub.
Our conversation turned to the topic of people who want to help others by telling them all of their pitfalls and hurdles that they went through to be successful. The promise is that they will teach you about what to avoid and keep you from making the same mistakes.
I believe that though the information is being given to help others, I can’t help but feel that everyone will experience setbacks and failures. I don’t think there is any way around it. It’s like trying to teach your children what you’ve learned so that they don’t make the same mistakes. In the end, they will still have to pray to the porcelain bowl because they drank or partied too much. We can’t keep them or ourselves from making mistakes. That’s how we learn.
I’m not saying that there isn’t value in trying to help others succeed and keep them from making bad decisions. I just think it should be said that everyone has their own journey. We will have to face our own challenges. I think that’s why after attending a rousing, energetic speech on being your best self, that a few days later, the energy seems to have dissipated. We have to find our own way of being our own cheerleader.
It’s great to feel inspired, encouraged and supported. It’s wonderful when you are in a like-minded group and the excitement of endless possibilities is in the air. No one wants that feeling to leave. How do you make it stay? How do you keep that level of enthusiasm going? What kind of Jedi mind tricks will work?
I realize that my road to success is what I make it. There isn’t a magic pill or seminar that’s going to do it for me. I’ve learned to employ different techniques to keep me on my path. I still find myself resorting to playing solitaire or wandering around the kitchen trying to decide what comfort food will eat up my time. I then will go back to my work and plug away.
One of the best things I do is to sit and have a conversation with myself, out loud. Living in my head, leaves me feeling defeated. Talking out loud, I can pay closer attention to how I’m really feeling. I can then counter argue and point out all the great progress I’ve made. I talk about my fears, my procrastination, my self-doubt, all the same things everyone does. So much for being special.
In his book ” What To Say When You Talk To Yourself” Shad Helmstetter, Ph.D. wrote:“The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about, it will create. It has no choice.”
That is what is great about working with a friend. Michele will tell me what she is struggling with and I can easily relate. As I tell her how important her ideas are and that she is on the right track, it reminds me to do the same.
I believe we all need to feel validated on the work we choose to do. I know that we can all learn from each other and recognize we are all trying to achieve fulfillment in our lives. Listening to someone who wants to motivate you to do that is awesome. Just remember that at the end of the day we need to find that empowerment in ourselves. We will make mistakes. We will not be perfect. We will feel like a fraud. We will also learn about ourselves; we will challenge ourselves and we will accomplish greatness. Or not. And that’s okay too. Because every step we take towards our goal is another reason to celebrate ourselves.
Whatever we do in this lifetime, to help ourselves and the people around us, makes life meaningful. To learn, to grow, to be content are all valuable goals to attain. It’s nice to be reminded that we are all in this together. The best part, having a good friend to sit and talk to in an Irish Pub.