Humans are fine. I mean, really, most of them are amazing. Humans can show me love and empathy and kindness and generosity and humility and wisdom, and four small humans in particular are the greatest gift that the universe has ever given me.
And humans can also be … challenging.
And I am absolutely including myself in there. They can let you down. They can disappoint you. They can leave you flat out scratching your head trying to work out what the hell they are thinking.
But we can mitigate that a little. The great thing about community and society…
Language matters, and words have power. They have the power to encourage and praise and make someone feel really good, and they also certainly have the power to hurt and harm, and make someone feel less-than.
Often, it’s the words that we use to describe ourselves which is most hurtful. During therapy sessions that I have with my clients, they often refer to themselves in less than positive language, or give themselves labels like ‘manic’, ‘mad’, ‘crazy’, ‘bonkers’, ‘mental’, ‘psycho’, ‘nutter’, ‘schizo’, or ‘loony’. …
I see and hear this everyday from my therapy clients, some of whom are very ‘successful’ entrepreneurs and business owners:
“I am not enough”
“I don’t matter”
“I wish I was better”
That might not say those words exactly, but that’s definitely the problem they see in themselves, and that they ultimately want me to help try to ‘fix’.
The truth, of course, is that those things are most likely not true at all. And when I challenge these people on them, they often concede as much.
The most frustrating part of hearing this kind of stuff from people is…
“We adapt to the misery of an unloving home, of unfulfilling work. Of empty friendships and acquired alienation. The 12 Step program, which has saved my life, will change the life of anyone who embraces it. I have seen it work many times with people with addiction issues of every hue: drugs, sex, relationships, food, work, smoking, alcohol, technology, pornography, hoarding, gambling, everything. Because the instinct that drives the compulsion is universal. It is an attempt to solve the problem of disconnection, alienation and tepid despair, because the problem is ultimately ‘being human’ in an environment that is curiously ill-equipped…
“I’m simply saying that there is a way to be sane. I’m saying that you can get rid of all this insanity created by the past in you. Just by being a simple witness of your thought processes.
“It is simply sitting silently, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witnessing, not interfering not even judging, because the moment you judge you have lost the pure witness. The moment you say “this is good, this is bad,” you have already jumped onto the thought process.
It takes a little time to create a gap between the witness and the mind…
There is a lot of talk about data on Facebook at the moment, and none of it is particularly positive. The recent revelations about what third party data miners like Cambridge Analytica have done with user’s information to potentially sway political elections and so on are not great. No doubt.
And last night, I was trolled a bit for supporting Facebook (as I mostly do — I drank the cool-aid a long time ago AND I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of the company and the integrity of its directorship) and not being particularly transparent about how I am using…
My daughter is 8 right now. She is already a capable and confident person, and I can’t wait to see what kind of adult she becomes. These are the things that I want her to know, now as an 8 year old, but also for her whole life. I’m her Dad, and it’s my proudest job title.
1. I will never, ever, forget the moment that you came into my world and my life changed forever. I never knew I could love anything as much, and I have never stopped.
2. I loved you first.
3. Pink is a colour…
An important step towards self-forgiveness for all of us.
At any given moment, no matter how much I am hurting someone, hurting myself, misrepresenting myself, lying, cheating, using, giving in to my addictions, or lying in bed anxious or depressed or both, I am still doing my very best I can do at that time.
We all are.
I think that everyone of us is doing the very best we can do, at any given moment, given what we have to work with.
I mean, would anyone ever set out to do less than their best?
Don’t get me wrong…
Being a crap parent is easy. Being a good parent is hard. Being a perfect parent is the worst thing I can try to be.
There is a space, between my kids and me as their dad. Like a moat around an old castle, this space allows them to grow, and allows me to stand just at arm’s length, and let that growth happen.
Of course, that means I have to let a whole lot of other stuff happen too. I have to let other kids be mean to them, I have to let them make mistakes, I have to…
There are a few reasons, actually. But first, a caveat. I don’t know everything about speaking for a living. Geez, if I’m honest, I know very little about it. I haven’t been doing it for years and years, and I still make loads of mistakes with it, both in the actual presenting part of the work, as well as the back-end business part of it.
But, I am an expert in how I do it. And today I would love to share with you the reasons that I have been able to have a pretty big year of presenting, and…
Only person in the world to have worked in marketing at both Facebook and Twitter. Writes about kindness, storytelling, authenticity, depression and addiction.