Earlier today I was reading a post on Copyblogger which quoted Madonna:
Better to live one year as a tiger than a hundred as a sheep.
It was a fairly rare moment for me to read an entire post, but I was catching a few minutes to myself between working, games of ball, training and treat giving.
You see there I was lying across the sofa with my iPhone at 11am (feeling very un-tiger, Madonna - sorry) drifting vaguely through the numerous blogs and newsletters I've signed up to, and I fell upon this one. And, listen up folks, I actually read it through - start to finish.
I've noticed that my approach to newsletters mirrors my attitude to life, albeit a quite smudgy, splattered mirror... or would that be life? I subscribe to so many websites, blogs, e-newsletter and, like a large pan of porridge bubbling over with good intentions, I have this heady idea that by signing up to this blogger's amusing insights on life, it will broaden my horizons, expand my mind, make me funny, witty, interesting and every other cliche of well-intentioned betterment.
Mostly I just hit delete before even opening the email.
And then I feel guilty, mildly ignorant. Do I not care about the world? Do I not want to improve myself?
Naturally, since I don't read that many of the many newsletters I sign up to, I pick carefully those which I do. I'm usually drawn to ones with enticing subject lines, like this Madonna one - 'Madonna's 6 Secrets to Personal Branding Mastery'. In fact Copyblogger do this amazingly well. I mean check out these for starters:
Ernest Hemingway's Top 5 Tips for Writing Well
3 Steps to Turn Yourself from Good to Great
And, for mains, my personal favourite...
How to be interesting
But that's where the crusade towards personal greatness ends. If you're lucky I'll skim one post very quickly. If you're really lucky I might read it through to the end, kind of. The most luck you're getting is that I'll read it and pass it onto someone (most likely my husband).
I will never... I repeat, never, act upon any of the advice.
You see the thing is, I think I'm getting a bit weary of being 'motivated' by everything I read.
I mean I've heard that Madonna quote a few times, though I must say I didn't realise it was Madonna who said that, and sure, she's amazing. She is a Master. She's success embodied and undressed.
She's also scary. I mean I've never met her, but I reckon I'd whimper at her feet with my tail down, rather like Conan was at the dog park today. He's learnt his place. Maybe I need to learn mine.
I just think that there's so much focus on finding the 'answer' externally, through books, websites, seminars, inspiring lists of things I could be doing more of and better. You can marinate too long in these heavy 'sauces' of advice until suddenly you crave something light, lemony and simple.
I want to stop reading so much (and, as you know, I'm reading a fraction of what I could be reading) and start actioning at least something. I want to take nibbles rather than great greedy mouthfuls of advice, and season it lightly.
Next blog post I read I'll try take their advice rather than chew it over on the sofa for 12 seconds before going back to my sheep-like slightly flawed, but surely quite normal (?) life again.