Okay – I’m just going to say it. I’m so tired of all of these overly dramatic, “YOU CAN DO IT!” calls to action from… Oh god – pretty much anyone who wants to give them, I guess. Oprah’s life gurus…blogging “celebrities”…the writer of today’s viral link… You name it – these people have THE ANSWERS.
It doesn’t really bother me that they have ideas for how to be a better person or live a better life. Truly, anyone can hand you unexpected wisdom. And because of this, I will always stop and listen when someone says, “this is important – please think about it.” Or even, “hey – you should do this.” Sure – I’ll think about it. And yes – I may actually do it. But not if you believe that it’s your job to give me permission. Psst! I know I can do it. If I want to – I will.
I’m a grown woman with three children and my own share of personal crap to deal with on a daily basis. It would be fair to say that I have been (somewhat) successfully navigating my life thus far. And I haven’t needed anyone’s permission to do so.
This may seem touchy, right? Nit picking even…not taking encouragement in the spirit with which it was given? But I’m being really specific about who’s getting on my nerves here. Not enthusiastic people with ideas and hope and a desire to help others. And definitely not people who are making a plea for kindness, understanding or acceptance. I’m talking about the self proclaimed experts who have decided that you NEED their ideas – their wisdom.
They’re not always so obvious about it. They claim to be struggling too – just as flawed as anyone else. But their life or work experience has given them wisdom and they have answers! The theme is always the same… They had a thought or experience, did some more thinking on it, had an epiphany, and are now sharing it with YOU. But no – not only that, they are INVITING YOU to join them on this journey of enlightenment. They are telling you that IT’S OKAY – you can do it too! And in all of this supportive We Are The Champions pontificating, they are giving you permission to make your life better.
The ideas they have may be solid gold. But I can’t see past the bedazzled cover of proselytizing. People set up big white tents in fields for this kind of thing.
These inspirational diatribes often include words like “real” and “honest” and “authentic.” You know who I find authentic? People who have a thought provoking story to tell or a really great idea, and then just tell you their story or explain their idea. I’m a pretty smart cookie. I can find the wisdom without any hand holding. I can think it through on my own and decide what I want to do with it. I don’t need a call to action. I don’t need permission.
I KNOW! Everyone is different. I personally, don’t seek out leaders. It’s not that I have any particular interest in being the leader, I just kind of resent being treated like a follower. On the other hand, someone else may appreciate the encouragement – the message that they are part of something bigger. We all like our wisdom served up in different ways…shaken, not stirred…straight up…with a flirty paper umbrella garnish… So in the midst of my grumpy huffing, I have to admit that I am really only speaking for myself.
If those of you who find a leader’s call to action inspiring would be so kind as to lend ME your ear for minute… I have an idea. Not looking to provide any guidance here…not even a story…just an idea. No bedazzling.
You don’t need a call to action. Or a leader.
Wisdom is everywhere. You don’t need a guru or a virtual life coach to find it. You just need wide open eyes and ears.
Listen to what other people have to say – their stories and ideas. Even the ones who desire to lead you (as annoying as they may be, their ideas are often pretty good). Watch the people you love strive and care and try. Observe the world around you at your own pace. Take time to form your own ideas and opinions.
Then, when you’re ready – do something. Or not. Whatever feels right.
That’s it. That’s my idea. That’s what I’m going to do.
And you can too.
But you don’t have my permission. Because you don’t need it.