Are you living a life of quiet desperation? – 7 questions to help set yourself free

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I started writing this Blog post this morning, about 6 hours ago.  I then read it back and decided not to continue and not to publish it.  Why?  Because it felt a tad dramatic, and even a little bit irresponsible and almost reckless to write about encouraging people to live their lives being themselves and in the same breath writing about death.  I also wondered (a question posed by one of my social media critics (more about them later)) why I even bother writing these Blogs.

At 3.30pm I clicked on a link.  I had never heard of Stuart Scott but the headline said he died today, at just 49 years of age, so out of curiosity I clicked on the link.

Stuart Scott on the ESPN Newsdesk doing what he loved

Stuart Scott on the ESPN Newsdesk doing what he loved

I was spellbound for the next 14 minutes and something seconds.  You can watch it here: ESPN Stuart Scott video   That beautiful film said everything I that I wanted to say here in this Blog and was trying to put into words.  I was inspired and deeply saddened all at the same time as I watched it.  His fellow broadcasters said of Stuart:

“He (Stuart Scott) brought his own attitude and energy and lexicon (to ESPN) and he owned that distinctive style.  He did it the way he wanted to do it.”

“He didn’t push the envelope, he bulldozed the envelope; the fact that he was willing to try something new.”

“He did not change who he was.  He brought his hip hop culture to the TV and did not try to wear the right shirt and the right tie to fit the corporate role. He didn’t know this but he was a role model for me . . . He let me know that it was OK to be me and that I didn’t have to try and change myself to fit in.” 

After watching that I got out of bed, went back down to my desk, and decided to finish writing this Blog post.  And not just writing it, but hitting that ‘publish’ key.

Here goes:

One of the patterns I see a lot is where people have things that they want to do and say and put out into the world yet they don’t do it for fear of what other people will think and say.

The dark critics and can come loud and hard

The dark critics and can come loud and hard

I can’t lie to you, the critics, and what some like to refer to for dramatic effect as the haters are out there, and strangely, they are often the ones who come up first and come hard and come the loudest.

Does that mean that because there is a possibility that this might happen that you keep quiet and live what has been called in poetic terms a life of quiet desperation?

Possibly.  It can feel easier at the time.  I mean, to have no one challenging you or criticising you, or accusing you of doing or saying things that you didn’t; that is easier because being publicly criticised is not necessarily a ‘nice’ place to be so yes, one might say that this option is easier.

We then however come to what I come the internals.  That thing that can happen inside of you.  That thing where you can eventually feel twisted or conflicted or torn up or simply sad inside as you watch yourself day by day not expressing who you are or what you truly want to do or be in the world.

You might be fully functioning and showing up every day, but in those quiet moments, that internal desperation can rise up to the surface and come to the fore.

The secret torture of quiet desperation

The secret torture of quiet desperation

It is possible to live your entire life that way, wanting one thing but living another.  That’s fine, nothing wrong with that at all (however those who work in the field of Meta Medicine might have a slightly different view).

There was a Reggae song out when I was growing up by a group called The Mighty Diamonds, the song is entitled: You’ve Got To Live Some Life Before You Go.  I agree.

Each year TV shows and Award Ceremonies do a roll call of those who have passed.  The list, understandably is always long because time marches on for all of us, yet invariably there are always a bunch of people who fall into that category of seemingly ‘gone too soon’, some by their own hand, others just a random twist of fate or unfortunate circumstances.  (I wrote this paragraph some 6 hours before seeing the video about Stuart Scott.  He would most certainly fall into that ‘gone too soon’ category).

Steve Jobs on dying and living

Steve Jobs on dying and living

In amongst that roll call are probably a few who died with some of their big dreams still inside of them.  And sometimes, you aren’t just living those dreams for yourself, it also about what you bring into the world and who benefits from your inspiration or creation.   My logo from the time I became a Hypnotherapist and Coach as always been a waterdrop because I recognised that way that this work works:

The 'TranceFormations' TM Ripple Effect

The ‘TranceFormations’ TM Ripple Effect


I now can’t imagine my life without my iPad (OK I can, but you know what I mean), but imagine if all those decades ago Steve Jobs believed what people were saying about there being no room or space in the marketplace for anyone other than IBM and MS Dos.  Oh and my Dyson floor cleaner vs emptying hoover dust bags, forget about it!

Dyson was toiling away in that shed for years, not allowing himself to be beaten down by those who kept telling him that his new-fangled idea would never work or catch on, yet as many of us now know, he dominates much of his global market and commands a premium price for doing so.

It’s about the spirit of creativity and innovation and having the courage to bring those ideas to fruition seemingly against the odds.

I am guessing that some of these factors also contribute to the old ‘midlife crisis’ where people suddenly wake up and go: “Whoa there!!!  Hold on a minute.  If I want to ‘ride a Harley’ (insert own metaphor/generalisation here) then I’m darn well gonna do it!”

So we kind of come back to choices regarding our lifes journey.

If you are one of those people living a life of constraint which no longer suits you, one of the first steps after the sense of realisation is to make a decision.  To decide how you would like to live your life instead.

A few key questions come to mind in terms of freeing yourself up to be your authentic self and really share your skills and gifts and talents with the world.

The 7 Freedom Questions

There are of course a ton of questions you could ask yourself and ponder.  These 7 below will at least get the ball rolling and get those creative juices flowing . . . . . . .

  1. Who are you?
  2. What is ‘your thing’ and your style?
  3. What mark do you want to leave on the world?
  4. If you are not already living ‘your thing’, how can you do it in a way which honours you and those that you care about?
  5. If you are currently living a life of ‘quiet desperation’, what stops or blocks you from being more of your authentic self?
  6. What support do you need in order to help you get in touch with and live as your authentic self?
  7. Will happen if you don’t do it?

In my line of work as a Coach and Therapist I know that there are all manner of things that can stop and block you; Limiting beliefs, fears, self doubt, your past, genealogy, old patterns and habits, even, if that is your thing, past life issues and your Soul Plan.

What I also know from being in this line of work since October 2000 is that it is possible to change.  That it is possible to break out of your shell.  That it is possible to go from living life on the side lines feeling like you are on the outside looking in, to taking centre stage of your life.

Is 2015 your year to take centre stage of your own life and really live it?

I will close with the words for Stuart Scott, who shared these words in the speech that he made in that final awards ceremony in January 2014 where his industry and peers honoured him with the Jimmy V (Valvano) Award.  As Jimmy V spoke on that stage in 1993 as he faced the end of this life he said that there are 3 things that we should do every day.  We should laugh, we should think, and we should be moved to tears through joy or sadness every day, because having those emotions move through you makes a full day.

The last Jimmy Valvano giving his now famous ESPN Speech

The last Jimmy Valvano giving his now famous ESPN Speech

Jimmy also said:

“I urge all of you to enjoy your life, all of it, get those emotions going, be enthusiastic and keep those dreams alive in spite of problems . . . . If you see me, smile, and maybe give me a hug because that’s important too . . . . Cancer cannot touch my heart, it cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my soul, these 3 things will carry on forever . . . . .”

Jimmy was right, because some 22 years later I was moved by his speech and that Foundation that was created that night lives on.

If you have never watched Jimmy’s ESPN Acceptance speech, I would definitely recommend it.

Standing on that same stage as Jimmy V, giving what would maybe also unknowingly be his last ESPN awards speech, Stuart Scott said:

“When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer.  You beat cancer by how you live why you live and by the manner in which you live.

Have a great rest of your night and have a great rest of your life.”

RIP Stuart Scott.

You have just re-inspired a girl from across the pond who prior to today didn’t even know your name.

Marilyn Devonish ♥



About the Author:

Marilyn Devonish has been described as the UK equivalent of Oprah Winfrey, Marianne Williamson, Anthony Robbins, a dash of Doreen Virtue, and the trio from Charmed all rolled into one. I (Marilyn Devonish) have admit that was too big of a statement for me to own, but I equally admit that I do like the sound of it and it did make me smile. Marilyn Devonish - Herself since Year 2000.

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