motivational speakers

Should motivational speakers make you feel like a failure?

I am a big fan of those books you find in “personal development” sections of a bookstore.  Robin Sharma, Tony Robbins, Bob Proctor, Lisa Nichols, Brene Brown, Jack Caulfield.  Bring them on.  The more, the merrier.  My hubby refers to me as his dippy hippy wife but he happily buys more for me to read or listen to.

I have a huge audio book section on my iPod with their books and “how to” guides and actually enjoy long car journeys so I have the opportunity to listen.

I cannot rate Tony Robbins highly enough.  I could listen to him all day.  His passion and his very dry sense of humour together with his real language and lack of jargon make him a lot of fun to listen to and read.  He also seems to keep it real.

I really love Robin Sharma’s voice and his calm presence.  I always have “aha” moments when listening to him however, I sometimes feel like he lives in a world I can only dream of entering.  It’s not about the goals he sets, or the insightfulness he brings to situations.  It’s not that I don’t want to put the work in, it’s just that I find some of his methods somewhat out of my reach, even with all the positive thinking in the world.    Isn’t is strange how one thing can make all the other achievable stuff seem pointless?

The 5am club:

motivational speakersThis is Robin’s mantra.  Get up at 5am and “spend the first 20 minutes of your day in exercise. Second 20 minutes reviewing your goals and daily plan. Last 20 minutes reading something inspiring or listening to audiobooks so you outperform who you were yesterday.”  Sounds great and so many people do this, to great effect.

So what’s my issue here?  If it works for so many people, it has to be do-able, hey?  Well, I have three children.  All three have special educational needs.  Two of these children like to bounce around the house most of the night so I am always awake at 5am but….  I am not alone.  Ok, you say, get up at 4am.  Well, usually I am awake at 4am too and guess what?  I’m not alone then either.

So, perhaps I should consider doing this 20/20/20 later in the day?  I considered that but he talks a lot about how spending that first hour doing his 20/20/20 sets you up to be great for the day ahead.  My first opportunity would be 9.30/10am by which point, I have been awake for at least four or five hours into my day and my day has not started in any manner that can be described as “setting me up to be great”.  Usually by 9.30 I could happily curl up on the sofa and sleep for a week but I don’t.

I have tried everything I can to keep my kids engaged so I can do this but hey, forget any special educational needs, they are kids and even 5/5/5 doesn’t seem possible some days. As any parent will know, sometimes just being able to pee alone is worthy of celebration.  Getting a full hour to yourself is something we can only fantasise about.

The next rub comes when Robin suggests that I do this for at least 7 consecutive days.

Again, welcome to the world of SEN – paperwork, appointments, schools to ring, forms to complete, emails to send and filing – oh how I loathe the filing.    Trying to do anything at a set time consecutively for 7 days is beyond a challenge!

Yes, I could perhaps fit in 5/5/5 throughout the day but it isn’t going to set my day up when I am doing it half way through the day; nor is it going to be at the same time every day as my life just won’t commit to that. So immediately I feel like a real failure.    I have tried using the power of positive thought, e.g. “Today I will achieve 20/20/20” but the problem is my kids aren’t doing the same positive thinking.  Their thoughts tend to be more along the lines of “mum, now, please”

It’s not even something I can aspire to in the near future.  My gorgeous children will need me at 5am for the foreseeable future.

I hate to feel so discouraged because a lot of what Robin shares is inspirational but sadly, delivering this with a really rigid method makes me turn off.  I feel as if I am being set up to fail and that is something I find difficult to accept from a motivational speaker.

Get into juicing and  invest in a personal trainer.  

Another suggestion from Robin.  His response to people who say they can’t afford that is “can you afford not to, think of it is as an investment in you”.  Well, I am sorry Robin but there are many people out there who couldn’t afford it, not because they choose to spend their money elsewhere but because a disposable income is not something they have.  If you have to choose between a) feeding your family or b) investing in a personal trainer, well the majority would choose option a.

I have to say I was sat in traffic when I first heard Robin talk about this and I am glad my car was stationary.  I sat listening to it and thought how demotivated it made me feel, how much of a failure I suddenly felt because I couldn’t invest in a personal trainer.  I had the juicer but the personal trainer was not something I could invest in.

Some people only have their time to invest, they don’t have any physical funds available, and often they are the people who need inspiring the most.

Tony or Robin?

Tony offers a similar self-improvement approach but in a more realistic way.

“When you get up, get moving” – well I can do that, running after three kids ensures I wake up and get moving.

“Write down and review your goals”  – Yes, I can do that because he doesn’t insist that it is done at 5.20am after 20 minutes of exercise.

“Read or listen to others who have done it and can teach you” – yes, again, I can do that because again he doesn’t insist on when it is done.  He may make recommendations but he also accepts that we are all individuals with our own schedules.

For me, Tony inspires me and makes me feel that what he is suggesting is there, just outside my reach, if I can put the work in.  Robin sets the bar at a height that personally makes me feel like I’ve failed before I start.

However, we are all individuals and I am sure there are many Robin fans out there who cannot abide Tony and vice versa.  I actually enjoy them both, sometimes the calm of Robin is exactly what I need and other times it is the “oomph” that Tony brings that I need to kick start me;  I just want Robin to give us alternatives.

We can’t all rise alone at 5am for an hour of peace, not everyone can afford juicers and personal trainers so, Robin and all the other motivational speakers out there who want to give something back,  remember we’re years behind you on this path and we would love to catch up with you so please don’t leave us behind just because we can’t afford the entry fee .

What about you?

Have you managed the 5am club with any consistency?  Could you achieve it?

I am always looking for inspirational books and speakers so who do you read?  Who inspires you?








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