I walked away feeling disappointment, a bit unsettled and definitely not motivated. Interesting, as I’d just left a massive conference room with over a thousand others, where we'd heard a motivational speaker. He’d shared with an edge of disgust (how’s that for an oxymoron? A negative motivational speaker) that the word “awesome” was totally overused by “today’s young people.” “They use it all the time – about the latest video game, some stupid stunt in an action film….” He droned on and I really don’t remember his exact words, nor do I recall the point of his presentation.
He shared that he had hiked Half Dome in Yosemite National Park and witnessed a magnificent sunrise upon his assent - now that was AWESOME!
I agree that such a physical feat and spectacular display of nature are indeed awesome, but I was put off by the judgmental stance he had toward someone else’s experience of “awesome.”
Per Dictionary.com, “awesome” is defined as:
- causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear
- an awesome sight, exhibiting or marked by awe; showing reverence, admiration, or fear
- Slang: very impressive
I think he was annoyed that a word which described an incredibly deep emotion for him had been turned into slang, and at that, to describe things that weren’t very impressive to him.
I hadn’t thought about Mr. Non-motivational’s speech until recently when I was in a store and heard a teenage boy exclaim “awesome” so loudly that everyone stopped dead in their tracks and stared at him. He was leaning against a wall looking at his phone, grasping it tightly and wearing a full, broad smile boasting shiny white teeth. He was genuinely filled with joy.
For all I know, his buddy had just posted a photo (that only appeals to teenage boys), or he won a video phone game. Or, maybe he just found out he was awarded a full scholarship to a prestigious university, or that his family was going to climb Half Dome at Yosemite. I have no idea what level of “awesome” this kid was feeling, but thought, wow - I want some of that!
It struck me – what if he felt like that about everything? What would it be like if we could all feel that intense level of emotion – that same feeling that we have when we see, do or experience something truly remarkable, yet we feel it while enjoying dinner, walking in the park or just spending time with friends - the little things in life? If we could all tap into that level of positive emotion all the time, how would it change how we approach and live our lives every day?
Now that would be “AWESOME!”
I’m grateful for having heard and witnessed Mr Non-motivational and the Awesome teen. Those encounters taught me a valuable lesson and remind me to tap into the awesomeness of all things, however small, that life brings my way.
Wishing you awesome,
P.S. Not enough “awesome” in your life? Let’s chat about how I can help you get out of your own way to open the door to better health and more awesomeness in your life. The session is complimentary and scheduling is easy with my online booking system: Schedule Now
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