Attitude,  Coaching,  Entrepreneurs,  Mindset,  Motivation,  Procrastination

What would happen if you decided to be average?

This Week’s Soulful Marketing eNewsletter Highlights:

Core Article: What would happen if you decided to be average?

Paragraph I’m Pondering: It’s a shift towards authenticity, integrity, and transparency in every interaction

Powerful Affirmations to Inspire: You are a visionary leader!

Book Review: Make Your Idea Matter: Stand Out With a Better Story by Bernadette Jiwa

Cool Stuff: The theme this week is ultra weird – like space junk and Kellogg’s new bizarre cereal flavors.

AI Info & Resources: Did you know Amazon doesn’t make the majority of it’s money from it’s online store…

What would happen if you decided to be average?

It’s been a little over 30 days since I started a project and actually finished it using Mel Robbins’ Launch method. It’s been a fascinating journey into mindset, perspective, and how to create better habits to accomplish some important projects of mine that have fallen off the wagon.

(In fact, the project I finished was what I shared with you last week – Soulful Marketing Manifesto: Marketing That’s As Honest, Authentic, And As Value-Driven As You Are. See more at the end of this blog if you missed this last week.)

I’ve been reading this book (Yeah, you oughta know me now, sometimes it’s all about sharing the book ideas I keep getting… 😉 Improv Wisdom: Don’t Prepare Just Show Up by Patricia Ryan Madson.  

So when I picked up this book that a colleague had recommended, I was like,  “Huh? Don’t prepare?”

Yep, the title pretty much describes the book, and to my horror, I realized how much I prepare to the nth degree. My executive coach’s motto was: Planning Promotes Perfect Performance, which worked incredibly well when I was in corporate America. 

Then I get to Chapter 5: Be Average…

Here’s the quote that starts the chapter:
“When I told some New Yorkers about dumbness in a workshop two months ago, they were so relieved. They were tired of being alert and intelligent. They wanted dream time. Walk around your neighborhood dumb for half an hour. ~ Natalie Goldberg, The Essential Writer’s Notebook. (Can I just say that I love Natalie Goldberg? I took a writing class from her during the pandemic on Zoom, and it blew me away…) 

Madson’s premise of being average is that when you try hard to do your best, you often jinx your performance. You have something to lose, and this can provoke tension and easily lead to anxiety.

I totally get that. Does that resonate with you, too?

Madson suggests we focus on this advice:

“Dare to be dull. (Keith Johnstone)

“Be nothing special.” (David Reynolds)

“Cultivate ordinary mind.” (a Zen saying)

So you might be like me, thinking, wow, this is kind of weird, or maybe even way too simplistic. And as she suggests, let’s not underestimate the power of how well this works…

After I tested it out—Umm, yeah, it really does work!

Let’s imagine what would happen if you took that pressure of being extraordinary or perfect off of yourself and simply allowed your creativity and authenticity to flow naturally. 

It’s interesting how focusing on the ordinary can lead to more interesting and maybe even out-there ideas and outcomes.

What happens is that you shift your perspective. As some writers say, “Just get the sh*ty first draft over with.”

I’m 150% on board with this!

The poet William Stafford used to get up every morning at 4:00 a.m. and write a poem. Someone asked him what happens when he can’t write one. He replied, “…then I lower my standards.”

I love this perspective because it’s about practicing your art, your craft, and your work every day. Pick a time and just do it.

Lower your standards to relieve the pressure. Just put your pen to paper and see what happens. Or take 15 minutes a day to work on something you love. It could be getting outside, reading your favorite book, drawing, painting, connecting with friends, you name it.

Now, this next part is where Madson’s steps get interesting:
The first step is ‘Giving Up Perfection.’ 

The next step is to simply stop trying to do something different. When you strive for an original idea, it robs you of your everyday intelligence, your creativity, and authenticity.

The last step is to turn the phrase “thinking outside the box” (my twist on this phrase is that there never was a box to begin with) on its head. 

It’s not about creating the far-out unusual ideas. A true understanding of this phrase is that it’s about seeing the obvious, which you haven’t seen before. 

Try this right now (after you read it :-). 

Take a minute and look at what’s in front of you for a few seconds. Then, close your eyes and think about what you noticed. 

Then open your eyes and see what’s in front of you again.  Did you notice anything different from the first time you looked, or did you maybe not see it the first time? 🙂 

This is a terrific exercise. One of my favorite quotes Madson uses in the book is by Marcel Proust: “The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”

The best part of striving to be ordinary is how Madson implores you to do what’s natural and comes easily to you. 

This totally aligns with Soulful Marketing. 🙂 

When you do what she suggests, your unique view will be a revelation to someone else.

Your unique view is so worthy of being heard and seen. Trust it, and give up striving to be original; you already are! 

Next time you have an idea that you think is ordinary—promise me that you won’t go down the rabbit hole of “Oh, I can’t do that. Someone else has done it.”

Your perspective in the world is uniquely yours. Whatever you have to say needs to be out there. Let’s kick fear out the door. So what if someone else has written a book about your topic? You’re going to have a different perspective – write it!

As Ingrid Bergman once said: “Be yourself. The world worships the original.”

What’s obvious to you may not be obvious to anyone else. 

Next time you have a big project, speech, presentation, or something else, approach it as though you don’t have to do your best. Good is good enough.

And if you have a problem you’re looking to solve, ask yourself, “What’s the most obvious way that I can go about solving it? 

What’s the simple solution?

Let’s do this together: “Dare to be average.” 

It will definitely shift your perspective, and I bet you that whatever you create or do will be looked upon from others as extraordinary.

Paragraph I’m Pondering: 

“Soulful Marketing is about forging genuine connections, not just chasing profits. It’s a shift towards authenticity, integrity, and transparency in every interaction. It’s about not using manipulative tactics or manufactured urgency. Instead, we focus on forging real and meaningful relationships based on mutual respect and shared values.” ~ Shannon McCaffery, Soulful Marketing Manifesto: Marketing That’s As Honest, Authentic, And As Value-Driven As You Are

Powerful Affirmations to Inspire:
~ Created by Shannon’s Visionary Guide – ChatGPT

  • I am confident in my abilities and trust the process of my entrepreneurial journey.
  • I am a visionary leader, and my innovative ideas create positive change in the world.
  • Every challenge I face is an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Book Review

Make Your Idea Matter: Stand Out With a Better Story by Bernadette Jiwa One of my favorite books by her!

Cool Stuff

  • This statistic is kind of crazy. It’s estimated that 36,500 pieces of debris objects larger than 10 cm are floating in Earth’s orbit. This is according to the European Space Agency. Check out what happened to a family’s roof in Florida. Cuz, eventually, this stuff just might be coming down.
  • And just when you thought things couldn’t be weirder – check out what flavor Kellogg’s is introducing in their cereal. Personally, I kind of like the name. Very clever.
  • Not to be outdone with space junk and weird flavored cereal, here’s how you can predict the weather (and it’s a real thing dating back to the Middle Ages) with an onion. 

AI Info & Resources: 

Weekly Photos:

  1. Emma will sleep literally anywhere, mostly on my lap. She’s resting her head there on the arm of the chair on our deck. You can see my many beverage choices for the morning.
  2. I love our hummingbird feeder. In the summer, they drink so much from the heat that we’re filling it up every week, or sometimes more. Good thing we can make it ourselves – 3/4 a cup of sugar and 3 cups of water, heated until the sugar melts and serve.
  3. Mt. Shasta on my drive up I-5 north. Her snow’s starting to melt. She’s so majestic and beautiful in the skyline.
  4. I swear Emma’s like a little person in a dog’s body. Whenever she sits on the couch, she sits like this.
  5. Mt. Shasta on my drive up I-5 north. Her snow’s starting to melt. She’s so majestic and beautiful in the skyline.
  6. Yep, we’re coming up hearts, even embedded in the road. Have you started looking for hearts? They just start showing up everywhere. Loving that R.A.S. (Reticular activating System) in my brain. It works!
  7. Yeah, it’s Emma’s week, can you tell? She’s the star this week since I didn’t get out as much as I thought I would. Now you get a really good look at my messy office. Look at Emma doing her ‘frog dog’ on the floor. Check out all the books piled everywhere. So many books, so little time to get my reviews done. Have a book you want me to review? Let me know!
  8. Another beautiful sunset photo of Lake Shasta. Living up here sure is beautiful.
Please follow and like us: