The phrase, “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” has several meanings and one of those can be interpreted as, what is works for one person will work for everyone. During my journey, I had a one of these experiences. My “aha moment” was so profound that I expected everyone could – or even should – have the same kind of enlightened moment.
February 22, 2013, the day to which I fondly refer as my own Independence Day, was when it finally became absolutely clear that shame – the negative things I learned to believe who I was – controlled my life in ways that I never wanted to see. It was actually causing me to make choices which were harmful, hurtful, and even sabotaging my life and now I could no longer look to blame anything or anyone else for those decisions. The insight I gained from this understanding was immediate and I had an overwhelming feeling of FREEDOM! It was one which I wanted all to experience.
However, this zealous approach to my new-found freedom was off-putting to some. There was nothing wrong with wanting others to have their own feeling of freedom and if I could discover how shame controlled my life then certainly they could discover the same. But my passionate attempts were sometimes viewed more as criticism which created walls rather than opening up lines of communication. Through my benevolent ignorance, I ended up alienating those whom I desperately wanted to help.
Sometimes I get the feeling that many coaches, motivators and inspirational speakers use the same theory. They will have a major breakthrough which catapults them onto a successful career path and because it worked for them, then it should work for everyone else as well. On top of that, they’ll trying coming up with some unique way of motivation which causes a reverse effect. Then they cap it off by urging people to never give up and if they do, they’ll be a “loser”.
While there is much benefit to be had from teachers, mentors, and coaches, we cannot simply mirror what they did and expect the same results. The story of actor Duane “The Rock” Johnson is certainly an inspirational one but we all can’t quit our jobs and focus on becoming a professional wrestler then parlaying that into an acting career. Retired shortstop Derek Jeter was a once-in-a-generation athlete. His hard work and dedication made him one of the most recognizable athletes of his time. But if we were all as nearly talented as he, no one would have paid to go see him. One of the biggest names in motivational speaking is Tony Robbins. He has influenced and created new paths of opportunities for thousands of people. No doubt he is the benchmark for many life coaches but if we were all as inspiring as he, no one would feel the need to come to our seminars.
So what is the answer? Where is the mix between inspiration, “hype”, and even sometimes anti-motivation? Share your thoughts in the comments and in the next post, I’ll continue with mine. In the meantime, when you see a post that includes an inspirational quote, don’t just accept it at face value. Think about it what it’s saying and how it is useful in your own life. Accepting everything you hear, even from those who have stellar reputations, might be the gander accepting what’s good for the goose.
Thanks again to E. Rachel Thompson for the beautiful picture. Find her on LinkedIn by clicking her name. I look forward to your comments.