Mel Robbins: Just Do it!

March 3, 2017



I just watched Mel Robbins' TED Talk on activation energy and what it takes to break through habitual hesitation and take action! Lot to unpack, but I'll keep it brief, and give you a chance to give it a look see on your own! 


She looks at the way many of us use the word "fine," and all the ways that this word cuts us off from our truth. Every time someone asks how we are doing and we answer, "fine," we are not only lying to the person we are talking to, she asserts, but lying to ourselves - giving ourselves permission to stay stuck, to let things in our life remain as they are. I would argue, that by replying, "fine," we also compromise our own instinct for (and sense of) what is truthful. It is much safer to say "fine," when the truth is that so many of us are yearning and longing, deeply frustrated in our pursuits. Many of us, myself included, find it almost impossible to believe that we could ever get what we want in life, so...we never ask. This reminds me of Jim Carrey's sentiment to grads of Maharishi University, that we "never ask the universe for what we want...we choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality." How true is that?  


The only thing about her work as a speaker that didn't work for me was how demanding and drill sergeant like she was. It was more abrasive than I would want from a life coach. To help one have a breakthrough often requires more than a harsh command. It often requires a healthy dose of empathy and compassion, especially if the block is fear based...although...I don't know...the more I think about it, maybe I'm not so sure about this small critique I'm levying. There's something to be said for a gentler approach and using more coaxing tactics to embolden someone towards their own liberation, there's also something to be said for ripping the band-aid off and putting motherfuckers on trial! Shit is real out here, after all, and maybe that's what was at the heart of her entire speech - that life is too short not to get to the fucking point! 


Her philosophy is very aligned with the Atlantic Acting technique, practical aesthetics. All my Atlantic folks know what I'm talking about, the rest of y'all gotta do your research :) 


One philosophy of hers that I more certainly do disagree with, at least in part, is her disregard for the notion of motivation. She boldly claims that motivation is bullshit and that it has nothing to do, whatsoever, with whether we actually do anything. I agree with this to a point, but if my own life is evidence of anything, it's that I often DO feel motivated prior to big changes I've made and big breaks from routine. I understand what she means when she says that if we wait until we want to do things, they'll never get done. I often find, however, that my motivation builds and builds during the period that the vision for a new path begins to  crystallize - and that it is often this motivation, or momentum, that gives me the courage to break out of whatever routine I've been stuck in. The motivation comes after beginning to anchor my sights on the new goal, or path, and assists me in creating the necessary momentum, the escape velocity required to break free. 


She also cites an amazing statistic regarding the likelihood of any one human being, YOU, for example, to have actually come into existence. Watch her talk -  I would love to hear your thoughts on that statistic, and what that stirs up in you! 


Hope to hear from y'all! 

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