The Internet is buzzing; two of my favorite motivational gurus are at loggerheads with each other. Mel and Tony ironically Robbins are in the newsfeeds. Tony is a no-nonsense coach who uses intimidation, force, NPL and energy to get his message across. Mel is a practical, intelligent motivator who recommends easy mental hacks to sabotage your brain into getting results.
It is obvious why the two wouldn’t get along, but not clear as to why I love them both equally. So let me explain. It is because they both help you to get to your goals albeit through very different routes. Tony is the military-style trainer who shouts in your ears, deafening the sound of your, ‘I can’t and I don’t feel like it’ moans and bullies you into your goals. It’s not for everyone and if you are the type who doesn’t like to be told what to do by someone else, he is annoying.
Mel, on the other hand, is for the thinker, the type who doesn’t like to be told what to do but likes instead to be inspired. She has been there, knows the aches, and the fact that she gets it is the main attraction.
I go to Tony when I am caught in my downward spiral of negativity and the mental fog is so dense that I can’t think. I listen to his powerful voice and pull myself out of the abyss but once I’m out and I can hear myself think, it’s time for Mel. I hear her common sense tactics; her mental hacks and I plan for a sustainable lifestyle.
There are others I turn to, the Bible for wisdom, the stories of saints for inspiration, the Ted talks to know what others are thinking, Simon Sinek to remind myself of my why, Vishen Lakhiani for personal growth, Jim Kwik for learning and many others.
In Proverbs 13:20, Solomon says: “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Or like my mom always said, show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are. I like to keep the company of the wise, the explorers, the free thinkers and yes that is what I pursue in my life as well.
The reason I have a huge list of people I listen to and the online courses I take is, apart from being a research junkie, I am trying to discover the truth, my truth. In my 42 years of discovery, I have found that while our destination might be the same, happiness, fulfillment; our paths can be very different. The journey of life is never linear, upward or predictable. It is skewered, jagged, sometimes in an endless loop and often a full circle.
Ben Sweetland the author of I Will, a book I read when I was nine and must admit greatly influenced my life, always said that success is a journey, not a destination. I have come to realize that life is in the journey and not the destination, money, joy, or enlightenment. It’s not the things that we acquire but the experiences that happen to us, yes life happens we don’t plan it, in our pursuit of it. The insights we get, the tears we shed, the pain we carry and the forgiveness we learn is what this life is all about.
I am a great believer in dialogue, of conversations, and hence my love of storytelling, yes I am an author. The one greatest achievement of mankind that separates us from other forms of life and perhaps the reason we haven’t found alien life is that we tell stories. We give our feelings, emotions, aches, and pains a language, we breathe life into an insight for others to assimilate and be inspired. In order to explore the vast dark universe, we need to ask what, why, where, how and then imagine the possibilities.
We need to be mad to ask a question and then seek an answer, for what else would have made the first voyager to leave the secure sands of a home in search of possible islands? You had to be madder still to follow when none had returned, the fire of curiosity is a unique gift, the kind we should always cherish and never admonish.
We need to be brave to be able to express our opinions no matter how wrong or politically incorrect, for only then can we have an honest conversation. It is only when you hurt someone that you get an opportunity to learn the art of seeking forgiveness and offer the power to the other to forgive. A master who does not fail has nothing to learn and the people who will not forgive can never learn.