You don’t need any reminders about what today is if you live in the U.S. So I’m just going to send this out to anyone who has been saying, “Just get me to Wednesday.”
Here are three things to remember as Wednesday looms, and you keep on living your life…
1 – The media feeds on your knee-jerk emotions.
I saw a “trending” story this week on Facebook. The headline was about a “controversy” caused by the Dixie Chicks and Beyonce.
I clicked through because I’m a musician – and a marketer. I was betting that the controversy was fabricated and that the Chicks were grabbing clicks.
It was. And they were. (Their publicists have been spinning stories from day one of their tour.)
Because the news media spins stories to get you riled. Reporters, bloggers and marketers count on you being so unconscious that you can’t NOT click if the story involves opinions, outrage, controversy… and oh yeah, boobs. (I was going to say that the last one has nothing to do with this election – but sadly, yes, boobs have made an appearance, too.)
The reason so many people are so exhausted from this election is that it has been one long outrage orgy. And everyone makes more money when you get hooked on opinions and keep clicking. And then click again. And then throw your opinions onto the big pile.
Tim Kreider, a political cartoonist, coined the term “outrage porn” to describe this media phenomenon. In a 2009 op-ed reflection, he says: “Outrage is like a lot of other things that feel good but over time devour us from the inside out.”
So be aware today.
Don’t feed the media. Take some deep breaths and offer your outrage-prone self the possibility that it has become hooked. That’s all. It’s just a little addict sitting inside you looking for the next thing to snort.
Teach it how to breathe. Introduce it to your dog. Take it for a walk. It needs fresh air.
Oh yeah. And if you’re about to comment and tell me that I obviously have no intelligence, morals, awareness or a clue, and that I’m casually sitting around letting the other candidate just win…then your little outrage addict may also need some cheesecake. Or at least a donut.
2 – Often times, other people win.
There’s a West Wing episode where President Bartlett is obsessing over his former political rival winning a school board election back in his home state of New Hampshire.
He is raging at press secretary CJ Cregg about all the terrible things this guy does and believes. CJ sighs and says, “Then, that’s the way it is. In a democracy, often times other people win.” With that, she leaves the room.
So, yeah. Bummer. But, yeah.
You will handle the coming four years just like you’ve handled every other political upset, victory or term in your life… you will move day by day through your life, being who you are, knowing that, like everything else, this too shall pass.
3 – Elect yourself president.
You matter. The work you do matters. The influence you have matters. Your focus matters. The power you hold in that heart of yours is indescribable. Don’t underestimate any of this.
Call me woo, but I honestly believe that if you are here on this planet right now during all of these weird changing wrestling grappling times, then it’s because, at some level, you chose to be here. You were called.
So own your power, my friend. Elect yourself president. Be a leader of unparalleled proportions. Stop hiding. Stop making choices out of fear. Be courageous and heal yourself. If nothing else, go clear out the clutter in your basement. Bring compassion to the conversation in your head. And move deliberately.
Oh, and ask yourself this question right now: Who can I help today?
Then, be on the look out.
Going fetal serves no one. Least of all you. In the words of Seth Godin: “We need you to lead us.”
p.s. I wrote a song many years ago. It’s called The Good You Do. You can download it here for free. (No opt-in required.) If you’re really freaking out, listen to it. It might help.
p.p.s. If you have thoughts or comments – you can write them below. Yes, I read them. 🙂