“Less bullshit, more awesome”: In homage to A Life Less Bullshit

A Life Less Bullshit. The dream...

A Life Less Bullshit. The dream…

Just a quick homage to the inspirational powerhouse that is Nicole Antoinette, over at the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin blog A Life Less Bullshit. One of my all-time favourite blogs ever (thanks to one of my other all-time favourites, Superlatively Rude, who told me about it), it basically provides you with periodic pep-talks about going out, getting off your butt, and putting the work in (however small or weak or rubbish you think the first step) to get what you want for your own life.

Its writer, Nicole Antoinette, doesn’t do things half-arsed. Not only has she become a runner from scratch – when once, by her own admission, she much preferred sitting on the sofa eating cookies – but she is planning to RUN ACROSS AMERICA. Seriously. It’s like, what the ACTUAL hell? If she can do that then I can probably manage a jog around the park, or whatever else I want to do.

Yeah, sometimes it feels easier said than done, but generally, her message is – just get out there and do it, and you’ll feel a whole lot better than if you sat there just thinking of excuses why you can’t do it.

As that other inspirational wonder, Jillian Michaels, says in the endless fitness DVDs I do of hers: JUST SHOW UP. Get out there with your trainers on, put on that sports bra, sit down at your writing desk – wherever you need to go – and just show up.

Looking through some of Life Less Bullshit’s tweets, I saw that she had had a canvas bag made with the motto “less bullshit, more awesome”. Well, I WANT ONE. Not sure how to get one (cheeky tweet about it, perhaps!) but wow. And also because you can never have enough canvas bags. RIGHT? Right 🙂


On getting my arse in gear: In defence of motivational sayings

I love motivational slogans. I love their pithiness, their optimism, their bite-size portability and their inevitably cheesy array of colourful, artistic backgrounds. I have a couple pinned up around my desk at work and in recent weeks I’ve been Googling them on a daily basis, saving my favourite ones with an enthusiasm somewhere between obsession and glee.

But honestly? My first instinct is that I’m a teeny bit embarrassed to admit it.

As much as personally, they spur me on and keep me going, it often appears that chilled nonchalance that the most well-adjusted, cool kids seem to affect without thinking, doesn’t chime too well with a cheesy slogan or five.

From where I’m standing, it often seems like you’re supposed to get the results you want – whether that’s (say) writing for a national publication, eating healthily or doing more exercise ‒ without breaking too much of a sweat, sacrificing any element of your social life, feeling sorry for yourself, or really kicking your own arse.

If you’re a real success, it often feels, you’ll do something because you love it, because it comes naturally, because you were born to do it.

Especially in my industry, journalism, where people chase a story with grit, or write a winning features piece, or craft a hilarious comment based on their own life, where everything has a neat story arc, a personal story, and all the ends finally dovetail in quite nicely, without too much hassle.

Granted, it’s better to be nonchalant than a desperate, arrogant arse.

But neither are you supposed to admit that actually, you live your life according to someone else’s one-sentence maxims.

The kind of thing a lot of people say if you talk about “following my dreams” and “positive thinking”.
The other thing they say is “BOLLOCKS”.

It seems far too naïve, too childish, too simple. As you get older, society seems to say, you’re supposed to get more cynical. More unshockable. More disappointed. More negative. More “realistic”, more hard-hitting, more focused. “Positive thinking” slogans?  That’s all a bit too cheesy and contrived, thanks.

And although in some ways, I agree  – for example, I love comedians who create hilarity out every day, mundane situations, and I’m a great advocate of the “gotta laugh or you’ll cry” maxim when things get tough.

But personally, adopting a totally cynical viewpoint – where cold, cruel “reality”, rather than bumper stickers, lead my mental state ‒ doesn’t lead to realism for me.

It leads to near-crippling depression, where the world stops being manageable and appealing, and becomes an overwhelming wall of negativity, pain, tragic events, bitchy comments, jealousy and insurmountable obstacles.

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