Go on. Call me self-important and arrogant.

KO doing as he pleasesNot long ago, I saw a Russell Brand interview about his opinion of UK government.

I didn’t know much about Russell Brand, as I don’t have a TV, and I don’t follow celebs. But I enjoyed the interview. I watched it twice! Russell seemed to be honest, articulate, passionate, and caring. And I want to listen to anyone who displays those traits, whether they’re famous or not, whether they’re 100 years old or 2 years old or any age in between, and whatever other traits they may have.

Well, since Russell Brand has appeared on my radar, that thing has happened … you know, that thing where you become aware of something or someone, and suddenly you start noticing loads of other references to that thing or person in your day-to-day life.

And the thing that bemuses me, is how so many people get worked up about Russell Brand, actually ANGRY at him. And the main thing they’re angry about is they think he’s arrogant and self-important.

Mirriam-Webster online defines self-important as:  having too high an opinion of your own importance. Seems rather vague. How high is “too high”? If anything, it seems to me that most people have far too low an opinion of their own importance. OF COURSE people should have a high opinion of their own importance.  They ARE important. IMMEASURABLY important. Because they are ALIVE (what a mystery!), and that means just by being themselves they can change the world.

So why did I post a pic above of KO pulling a face? Because KO could care less what any celeb is up to. And KO has got an incredibly high opinion of his own importance. This is the boy who does not feel the least bit sorry to drag his exhausted hard-working mother out of bed at 5.30am in order to play games with him downstairs. Grrr.

Very young children have got a healthy sense of self-importance. Sure, they could really work on recognising that OTHERS are EQUALLY IMPORTANT (take note, son!!!), but that comes with time. That’s called maturing. That’s called empathy.

Ever seen a young child in action, interacting with another person? Chances are, you’ll see they don’t give a flying fuck whether someone is rich or poor, “successful” or not, famous or obscure, “attractive” or not, thin or fat, tall or short, brilliant or bumbling, male or female, black or white, gay or straight, and so on and so on. When a child asks why someone is in a wheelchair, or looks different, it’s not to judge that person. It’s to understand the complex and confusing world around them. It’s a desire to know WHY.

Children instinctively understand that these things do not define a person or determine a person’s worth.  Children are utterly unconcerned with a person’s social status, and more concerned about whether people interact kindly with them, whether they engage with them and are interested in them, whether people approach life creatively, fearlessly, lovingly, and authentically. We can learn a lot from children, in this and in many other ways.

So you think Russell Brand is self-important? Well good for him. Perhaps the issue is not the high opinion he has of himself, but the relatively low opinion you have of yourself? 😀 I said PERHAPS!

So go on, call me arrogant, or call me self-important. I don’t mind. I DO think highly of myself. And I also think highly of YOU!


Want to be powerful? Here’s a clue.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again:

Being powerful is not about having power over others.

It’s about having power in yourself, so that whatever anyone else does, or whatever happens, you can be okay, ultimately.

Those whose power is dependent on having power over others and external circumstances, are the most disempowered of all. Because one can never truly have power over others and external circumstances.

I understand that this concept is rather abstract and perhaps difficult to apply. So let’s dig a bit deeper.

How does one find power within, become able to survive and thrive, whatever happens? I’d say, in short, this comes from learning to accept oneself, and owning everything about oneself, shamelessly and fearlessly.

This means being able to tolerate one’s bad feelings as well as good, accepting when one feels sad, angry, upset, jealous, insecure, psychotic, heartless, ashamed, afraid, stressed, or otherwise distressed. It means letting one feel whatever one feels, and not blaming those feelings on anyone or anything else. Simply owning those feelings, allowing those feelings, and not trying to get away from them or stop them.

I love how Louis CK puts it in THIS INTERVIEW WITH CONAN.  He says, “Y’know, underneath everything in your life, there’s that thing, that empty, forever-empty. You know what I’m talkin’ about?” And he goes on to tell about an experience he had, where he grappled with that feeling and came out on the other side, not just as a survivor, but empowered from having gone through all that.

It reminds me of Jacob wrestling with the stranger in the desert (who turns out to be God). Or Jesus going into the wilderness to be tested. He came out of the desert filled with power.

When we are tested, and we meet those tests, we become more powerful. And those tests are about sticking around when the going gets tough, and the toughest tests are about what is within ourselves.

So in conclusion, learn to accept yourself. Learn to feel your feelings. Be kind to yourself.