Sharing a Message
Somewhere on my job description is says that, among other things, I mentor some up-and-coming speakers and writers. They are mostly people who feel that they have some kind of motivational and/or educational message to share with the world. Some of them are young and some are slightly more experienced. Either way, they’re all relatively new to the world of disseminating information to the masses. Or, at the very least, to a small audience.
At some stage in our first mentoring session, I ask them to share their personal philosophy with me. Now, depending on where we’re at in the conversation, I might be talking about their philosophy on business, spirituality, transformation, relationships, happiness, health, life or maybe, the whole shooting match. Invariably, what follows is some monologue that sounds like it’s been lifted from the back of a self-help book. A bad self-help book.
“No Sally, I don’t want Dr. Phil’s, Oprah’s, Deepak’s, Marianne’s, Tony’s or Eckhart’s philosophy, I want yours. What do you believe, think and value? What really drives you? What is success for you? What is your purpose and how do you know? Where does your stuff finish and where do you start? What has life (not Eckhart or Deepak) taught you and what are you compelled to share with others?”
Somewhere along our lumpy, bumpy, messy journey of learning, growing and transforming, it seems that some of us have allowed ourselves to become a patch of someone else. Which is understandable but not always healthy. We’ve all met at least one Tony Robbins or Dr. Phil replica haven’t we? And while it’s great to be inspired, influenced and educated by our mentors, it’s not great to want to be them. Of course, the only person you can ever be is you and if you’re going to convey a presence, energy and message of authenticity and power, then – in the middle of all those influences – you need to think, choose and create for yourself.
That is, to develop your own ‘uniquely you’ philosophy.
Inspiration not Imitation
While I could happily learn something from all of the gurus listed above (and I have in the past), I don’t want to be any of them. Apart from Oprah, I’ve read books written by all of them and while I respect their talent, drive and accomplishments, I’m not in total alignment or agreement with all of their thoughts and ideas. That is, their philosophy is not mine because they are not me.
It’s been my experience that many people are miserable, confused and conflicted because they’re so busy trying to be somebody else that they never really get to discover who they are beyond all the acting, mimicking, conforming and role-playing.
What Makes You, You?
If personal transformation is part of your mission, then my advice to you is to develop your own personal philosophy. Nobody else’s – yours. One that accurately reflects your core beliefs, standards and values. Don’t tell me what Oprah thinks or believes, tell me what you think and believe. I don’t want to meet an Oprah doll, I want to meet you. Don’t recite some bullshitty self-help mantra to me, tell me what drives you. What inspires you. What resonates for you. What excites you from a cellular level up. What makes you, you.
Tell me about your personal philosophy.
* I’ll announce book winners (from last week’s Your-Turn-to-Teach post), next time.