I have started following some “inspirational” people on Twitter, in the hope that some of their positivity and energy might rub off on me. I’m a big fan of the concept of making changes to your life to make you feel better. The term “self-help” has become something of a dirty word, but I have always been attracted to people who can see the best in their circumstances and actually *do* something to change what’s not working, instead of bellyaching to their mates and then getting up the next morning and carrying on in the same old way.
So I am following these people in good faith. But I can’t help but wonder what happens “between the tweets” as ’twere. I know everyone has off days and moments of self-doubt. But I love the image of Anthony Robbins walking out of his arena-filling seminars and just emitting a series of fucks, to somehow redress the balance. Or Susan Jeffers snarling at kittens for sport.
For where there is light, surely there must be dark. Are motivational speakers and “upbeat” coaches hideous to live with? As they have to be positive for their living, do they have days where they can only raise a smile if money is involved?
I know that sounds deeply cynical, and, as I say, I am all for positive action. But I guess I would like to see a little more ambiguity in their communications. It would make the positive ones seem more authentic and less “businesslike”. I know people like their idols to be human -but not too much, and they are selling us an idealised version of themselves. So it makes good commercial sense to sell what we want from them. But it’s making my Twitter feed look awfully upbeat and “out there” – something I’m not really feeling at the moment. So if I follow you on Twitter, or you’re my friend on Facebook, could you leave some slightly gloomy comments or update, please? Just to keep the earth turning on its axis and to restore balance to the universe, you understand…