Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Too Content to Be Mediocre."

Knowing I'm a big Beatles fan (and John Lennon, in particular), my friend Bonz sent me this article talking about the publication of John Lennon's previously unseen letters.

While reading it, I remembered Mikey's, his cousins' and my visit to the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame about 10 yrs ago, when they had a whole John Lennon Exhibit. Yoko had donated a bunch of personal items, including report cards from elementary school.  Now, as I watched, most people just skimmed past the boards where they were posted, but I was way too nosy for that. I scanned every word I could get my eyeballs over. I found a couple pix online. See if you can read any of the remarks.

I couldn't find the actual note I was looking for, but I found one of my favorite quotes of all time by reading through these comments that day. You may have noticed that most of their remarks are pretty negative. It was from one of John's teachers, who wrote, "John is too content to be mediocre..." and she went on to talk about how he never worked to his potential etc.

It was an awesome reminder that:

1. Just because someone is a teacher, a mentor, an employer or even a parent, it doesn't mean they know everything. They can be wrong too. It's important not to let anyone else define you, particularly when their view is negative.

2. Just because someone is extraordinarily successful in one aspect, doesn't mean they succeeded at everything they ever tried. Everyone has their "niche" and it's imparative to always keep trying.

With all due respect to my other idol, Yoda (yes, I'm a big Star Wars geek as well), who said, "Do or do not. There is no try.", I disagree and think there can be both a "do" and a "try". Let's be honest: trying is often the most difficult part.  If you are lucky enough to then succeed in whatever you may have tried, combining them is really much more fulfilling (Thank you for that point, Melanie K).  If you don't find success, the fact that you even tried is a HUGE accomplishment on it's own and not to be discounted in any way. At least you won't have any regrets! 

That said, John Lennon has several songs that have really made an impact on my thinking, including the often referenced "Imagine" and one of my favorites, "Instant Karma". If you're unfamiliar with this song, but would like to hear it and see a couple John pix, I found this video on YouTube.

Anyway, bottom line: I think many of us beat ourselves up and waste time stressing about bs and not REALLY living or even trying to live.

Over the last few months of being in a fulfilling job that I actually enjoy for once in my life, I've spent a lot of time analyzing myself and wondering why I had previously been allowing myself to stay in a job where I was miserable and not being treated with the respect that a 6-year employee should have been given at that point. They completely changed my job and my environment, removed us from our boss whom we knew and loved, dumped 5+ more responsibilities on us, took away any privileges we had and all without any prior notice. When we complained and expressed our legitimate concerns, we were told, "If you don't like it, get out."  It was like being betrayed while already being in an abusive relationship. Between the actual job itself and the way I was being treated by my employers, I had become an emotional punching bag.

I had lost weight while working there and gotten healthy physically, but I was clearly still having self-esteem issues if I was willing to work in an environment where I was being treated that way. Of course, I had bills, but there was something else. There was something that made me think that I couldn't do any better.

Thankfully, I was very wrong and even more importantly, Mikey, my family, my friends (and yes, even my WW leader and group at times) let me know what they thought. They put up with my endless complaining and depression, trying to sort it all out and let me know they were there for me. I eventually found a job with Apple last summer, where I was respected and appreciated. I really only left the company because I was hired by Weight Watchers, where I could start to fulfill my goal of helping other people to realize that they are also worthy of health AND happiness!

So fwiw, please read through these lyrics and even if you're feeling unsure about yourself today, know that honestly, if you can read this, I can verify that you are better than that.

"Instant Karma"

Instant Karma's gonna get you, 
Gonna knock you right on the head, 
You better get yourself together, 
Pretty soon you're gonna be dead, 

What in the world you thinking of,  
Laughing in the face of love, 
What on earth you tryin' to do, 
It's up to you, yeah you.  

Instant Karma's gonna get you, 
Gonna look you right in the face, 
Better get yourself together darlin', 
Join the human race, 

How in the world you gonna see, 
Laughin' at fools like me, 
Who on earth d'you think you are, 
A super star, 
Well, right you are.  

Well we all shine on, 
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,  
Well we all shine on, 
Ev'ryone come on.  

Instant Karma's gonna get you, 
Gonna knock you off your feet, 
Better recognize your brothers, 
Ev'ryone you meet, 

Why in the world are we here, 
Surely not to live in pain and fear, 
Why on earth are you there, 
When you're ev'rywhere, 
Come and get your share.  

Well we all shine on, 
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,  
Yeah we all shine on, 
Come on and on and on on on, 
Yeah yeah, alright, uh huh, ah-.  

Well we all shine on, 
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,  
Yeah we all shine on, 
On and on and on on and on.  

Well we all shine on,  Like the moon and the stars and the sun.  
Well we all shine on,  Like the moon and the stars and the sun.  
Well we all shine on,  Like the moon and the stars and the sun.  
Yeah we all shine on, 
Like the moon and the stars and the sun.