We watched the Social Dilemma last night, like a lot of people have been doing. Now I’m writing about the movie, here on social media (the very subject of the documentary) — like a lot of people have been doing. The documentary is chilling and I would recommend watching it — but that’s not the point of this post.
One fact that struck me was that false information is six times more likely to be shared and propagated than are legitimate facts. Incendiary and inflammatory statements and posts are more likely to get shared than positive or neutral statements.
The upshot of all of this is the simple truth that my message is unlikely to go viral, and if you’re up to the same kind of game that I am, yours is unlikely too either. What I’m seeking to enroll you (and everyone else) in is the difficult work of facing where you are in life, and opening in the face of that truth. Rather than have you go see a therapist the four times allowed by your healthcare provider and then hope you’re fixed, I’m aiming to have you commit and invest (with your time and money) to ongoing, continual work, taking on whatever is currently challenging you in the moment.
What is far more compelling are miracle drugs and cures that stop you feeling anxious, depressed, or afraid, without you really having to change much about your behaviour.
The truth about coaching is that it actually works, but only because it requires you doing a bunch of work. Unlike a pill you can take, the scary financial investment and commitment of time aren’t the end of your work — they’re the beginning.
One of the interviewees in the Social Dilemma talked about how the floor has effectively been tilted by social media — we’re on a downward slope that leads us in a certain direction (more phone use, clicking on clickbait, etc.). You’re free at any point to walk up the slope… but which is going to be easier, going up, or going down?
These are the truths I hold:
Every human being has the capacity for full expression.
Every human being has the capacity to be a leader.
Every human being is worthy of love.
These truths aren’t free. I want the fucking pill too. The pill that makes life magically interesting, frees me from boredom, stops everyone else being so interesting, and just lets me get on with what I’m here to do and be admired for it.
Standing for these truths (for other people, yes, but in particular, for myself) and the practice of living them is a practice of walking up the slope…
The status quo is everything that gently glides you back down the slope. You’re too busy right now. Now isn’t the time, I’ll do it next week. I just don’t feel ready. I’m fine, actually. What’s the harm? I just want to share a few more photos and browse my feed a little longer. Another couple of weeks and I’ll be through all of this.
I get it — I’ve said all of those things a million times, and I still do.
There’s never a good time to walk uphill.
There is only the choice you make to do so.