Several weeks ago, Chris Brogan wrote a post about depression. It stood out to me for a couple of reasons:
He’s a man. Men are less likely to speak about depression.
He’s successful. Successful people online don’t casually talk about their weaknesses unless it’s to “teach a lesson” about how they overcame some flaw or failure (because God-forbid we keep our icky flaws).
He made a simple point:
”I’m saying that people who suffer from depression can be successful, even though they are depressed.”
Even though and not when they finally overcome depression, as in – success and depression can live together.
That was a pretty noteworthy thing to say.
Because there are too many pseudo-gurus out there on a mission to fix people who are “broken” when the truth is… being a little broken doesn’t need to stop anyone from succeeding.
I really don’t care to fix everything about me that’s “broken”.
I think it would be nice if more people (especially in the self-help world) would get it in their heads that when someone says “I’m depressed”, or… [insert any flaw one can have] … that isn’t a cry for sympathy.
They aren’t necessarily looking for a cure or to be fixed. It isn’t an open invitation to hear about your life coaching services. They’re just stating what they’re going through. People should be allowed to do that – without others thinking they are doomed, or playing the “victim”.
I wonder how much self-help in the world is actually helping and how much is hurting people.
I wonder how much time is being spent distracted by this notion of achieving perfect self-actualization.
I wonder how much time I wasted not doing something interesting because I was busy reading about “how to do something interesting” with my life… as if I ever needed instruction.
Or what’s worse – reading the same thing over and over, but written just slightly different… because ya see… what the internet has done is put everything out in the open. So, what happens when everyone knows everything? Because that’s seems to be what is happening.
Every method and idea you’ve adopted from your guru is a Google search away.
Then the only thing you have to give that is somewhat interesting is YOU… but, the you that you used to be before you knew anything at all. If that makes sense.
What I mean is what’s interesting about anyone is who they are when they aren’t acting as a member of a “tribe”.
Take a look at Andy Warhol.
When he wrote “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol”, he was just being his weird self. He wasn’t trying to reveal the “7 Habits of Highly Successful Artists”. The book is partly nonsense, with glimpses of what sparkly things go on inside Warhol’s head. His random thoughts and epiphanies. All unique to his life experience.
This is something we all have. And it’s what we use to make sense of and deal with what works and what doesn’t work in our lives.
But, there will always be someone to tell you what should work better for you, and all without knowing anything about you at all.
“Your way wouldn’t be my way, any more than your eyeglasses prescription would do me any good. We all get here via different vehicles, all have different paths, all have different levels of capability and coping. Your way isn’t my way and my way isn’t yours.” ~Chris Brogan
And isn’t that the way it is? Even when I try someone’s method and it works, it’s only because I’ve tweaked it to make it suit me.
When I started Nurturing Creativity, I told myself I didn’t want to teach creativity. I wanted to support Creatives. I didn’t want to be a leader. I wanted to be a peer.
I know some of you are born leaders, and are building your tribe of minions, and it works for you, and that’s cool. It’s just not me, ya know?…
I’m more the supportive type, and always will be.
You might make a difference in the world by leading. I make a difference through supporting. Maybe that IS a form of leadership? … I dunno… Let’s not analyze it and just keep doing what we do best in our own unique way.