On Friday last week I wrote the following post on LinkedIn:
My intention was to capture the essence of what I believe is a not-so-much talked about depiction of the personal development and inspirational models that exist today.
Personal development has always been an interesting topic to me, and it certainly has been a lived trait of mine, and it still is. I’ve written a number of pieces here on my blog around it, too, and I may say that personal development is what got me to start this blog in the first place. But today, I believe we can’t log on anywhere without receiving some kind of motivational advertisement, whether we follow it or not. And as a result, I am honest when I say that the messages I see - and most of us are seeing - are beginning to lose their meaning. If for nothing else, I’ve become almost numb to the themes, and I doubt I am the only one experiencing the same.
Even seeing the same thing in a different tone or in different words isn’t cutting it for me anymore. Because again, the themes don’t change. To me, it all continues to be the same. There is just too much.
I do want to make it clear that I in no way, shape, or form believe people shouldn’t improve themselves or find ways to get motivated. This blog is merely an observation of what I believe is an over-saturation of motivation and self-improvement content that no one is saying anything about. And just like a new song that steals our attention the moment it hits the radio begins to lose its touch with us after hearing it so many times, I too believe that this is what is happening with all the likes of the personal development arena.
Okay. Well that’s all well and good Kyle. But what’s the solution for those of us that agree with you? Is there another way? How do we tune out the noise and become more in-tune with our inner-being and listening to ourselves rather than to everyone and everything else around us?
I can’t say that I have any direct answers to this yet, but here is what I’ve done to get started at the foundational level:
Removed influencers that I have followed for awhile but have not engaged with or read content from within the last 3 months. This is on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Unsubscribed from all the garbage email I get. Stay subscribed to only a few people, companies, or organizations you are really focused on at the moment. For example, I just unsubscribed today from 2-3 individuals email lists that I subscribed to maybe a year ago. I had noticed that the amount of unread emails I was getting from these people were piling up and I decided there was no way I was going to catch up on them all mostly because I wasn’t finding their themes to resonate with me recently. So, I unsubscribed.
Going to Church. Trust me, regardless of the denomination you associate, or choose to associate, the messages you will hear at Service and/or Mass, in terms of inspirational content, will be a breath of fresh air compared to the overused and redundant “uplifting” memos we now see on the regular everywhere else. Even if you aren’t “religious”, just go sit in at Service or Mass and observe. Listen. Keep an open mind. You are already sick of the same old regurgitated quotes, poems, and lyrics anyway.
Sitting in silence, for at least 15 minutes per day. We don’t need more stimulation, more more content, or more quotes. We need more time alone. If you can’t do 15 minutes, start with just 1 minute. You can build progress from there. I understand that this task will not be easy for a vast majority of people. Modern societal structures have made us this way: Almost incapable of being alone. Mind-blowing, really, that we can’t sit alone without having a sudden panic-attack. But, it never used to be this way. We’ve adapted, and we can all adapt again. Start small.
Using less social media, even after all of the unfollows from point #1, and spend that time outside or with your family. Or better yet, both. Not only will you improve your relationships with the people in your life, you will also improve your relationship with Nature. We have very little connectedness anymore - both with each other and in Nature - in a world that is, in theory, completely connected. This week, finally, I will be back to running outside after work. For the other runners out there, find a new place to run. Park, trail, somewhere. Change it up, stop using the treadmill. Even start your time in silence next weekend or on an evening this week with a walk at your nearby park. You’ll be amazed at what being outside does for your psyche. And I’m not asking you to go find and sit by a tree with a blanket doing yoga. You can if you want, but, No. Just move. Walk, run, jog. Breath. Let your mind wander with fresh air and the early Spring. Bring your Dog if you like.
Unsubscribe from all the “Motivation” channels you subscribe to on YouTube. They are designed to make you feel powerful and that you are accomplishing something by watching them. But they aren’t. Because the moment they end, you just go right to the next one seeking the same feeling. It’s almost like a drug, but you don’t get anything accomplished. They keep you distracted from what truly matters.
Again, I don’t have all the answers to this yet. These are just some ways I have begun to silence the redundant, same old tired messages that no longer resonate with me. These are ways I have begun to find the things that truly matter to me, and not what some motivational quote tells me is truly meaningful to me. I am beginning to think with greater clarity as the noise around me becomes less and less obnoxious. And in doing so, I have not put my own development to the curb. Rather, I am breaking habits I thought were good but really just took up space and distracted me from what mattered. My mind is calmer, though more progress can and will be made. And I’m beginning to identify far greater a vision for myself, and, consequently, for those that continue to follow me on this blogging journey.
We aren’t robots. We can and will make improvements to our own lives but we don’t need the current structures in place today to tell us this anymore. It is, more or less, time for retreat. Time for rejection of what currently is to make peace with the only gift we have - This Moment. Life is fleeting and yes the clock ticks. But we are made for more than constant Instagram pictures telling us what we need to be doing to make our lives better. We are made for what’s Within and what is Here. And in our retreat, we can bring this reality back to life.
If you liked this post, you may also like content found here: deanabbott.com
I am a Patron of Dean’s work and believe his message goes hand in hand with the blog I just wrote. His email list is now one of the very few I am keeping a close eye on after the subscription purge I did earlier. You can also subscribe to his email list too. Here is that link, which can also be found on his website above: https://t.co/gqUimpyVY3
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