Somebody called me a Motivational Speaker…


Somebody called me a motivational speaker the other day. Frankly, I couldn’t have been more insulted. Sure, I kind of motivate people (I prefer the term “give them something to think about”). But the kind of motivation that comes to mind for me when I think of the term “motivational speaker” is the kind of motivation that got us into this mess in the first place. It’s that Secretesque kind of motivation that says that if we think about it hard enough, we can wake up with a new Lamborghini in the driveway. The kind of motivation that says that if I just think “happy thoughts”, nothing bad will ever happen to me. Guess what folks; it’s a real world we live in here. Real things happen. Our actions get real results, and it’s our actions that have bought us to where we are right now. It will only be our actions that get us out of it.

What kind of actions am I talking about? Think about this: nobody gave two hoots about “the economy” until a year ago. Why? Because it was working for us. We never really questioned the fact that our pension funds are invested in companies that make cigarettes that give us lung cancer, or landmines that kill people. Nobody really questioned how on earth anybody growing up today was ever going to be able to afford to buy their own house. I mean why would we question something that was making us a fortune as we flipped a house here; a condo there? Now we’re all screaming about what the banks have done to us. We did it folks, through our actions (or inaction in some cases), and until we can admit that; it aint going to be easy to move forward.

When I talk about creating your own reality, I mean it. You might call that hypercritical considering the first paragraph above, but of course we now know that we created this recession, mainly through being greedy and ignorant. In the same way we created our way into this, we can create our way out of it.

How? By first being able to see the kind of world we want to live in; and then taking the actions required to get there. Do you see a world paved for our convenience, so we can jaunt from one strip mall to the next, endlessly consuming to our hearts content, gloriously oblivious to where the materials and labour that created our “stuff” came from? It would be great wouldn’t it; we’d barely have to lift a finger and our lives would look like something out of “lifestyles of the rich and famous”. Seems like we just came from there and it didn’t work. It was never going to, not in the long run.

What if we imagined a world where everybody had enough to eat for a start? Where we didn’t have entire villages kept in poverty in Africa because we convinced them to stop growing food in favour of growing coffee beans for us. Where we don’t have entire cities built up around behemoth automobile companies that have done everything in their power over the last 40 years to crush any kind of alternative fuel or power source, along with creating the not much talked about sub prime auto market? What might that kind of world look like?

Pretty much like Europe actually. Don’t get me wrong; they’re not perfect over there, not by a long shot, but a lot of this stuff they’ve already figured out, but that’s a whole other story.

For now, I want to leave you with this: 

We can change the world; we’re doing it all the time whether we know it or not. It’s time we start doing it a little more consciously rather than unconsciously. To make it easy for you, here are three things you can do today to help move us towards a more sustainable future.

1/ Get your money out of the big banks and into a local credit union. You’ve seen what happens when your money goes to Wall Street. Enough said.
2/ Support locally grown (preferably organic) food. Buying from big agribusiness in California doesn’t support your community, in fact it doesn’t even support the community where it was grown. Most of those big farms are owned by Wall Street, and we’ve seen what happens when our money goes there…
3/ Turn off your TV, or better yet, throw it away. It’s stealing your time, robbing you of your creativity and sucking the very life force out of you. Take it out into the yard and shoot it if you have to, but get rid of it.

Now that’s what I call motivational; something we can do that takes us to a better place. Maybe I am a motivational speaker after all? Just not “that kind” of motivational speaker…