If humanity were to wear a 'What’s Your Stuff?' shirt, what would it say in 3 words or less? 'Obese', 'Depressed', 'Abusive'? Our challenge as a species is to accept what it is that we don’t like about ourselves. Then put on our takkies and do something about it.
Naked Living guest blogger and goal coach, Si Ekin, wrote about the Virgin Active “What’s Your Stuff?” campaign in which gym employees don white T-shirts with their worst physical or mental trait emblazened in BOLD and RED across their chests. “An open, honest and laudably vulnerable attempt to show that nobody is perfect. Even fitness enthusiasts.”
This got us thinking - If humanity were to wear a “What’s Your Stuff?” shirt – what would it say in 3 words or less?
“Greedy”, “Abusive”, “Head in the Sand”?
Ekin reminds us that no label is in fact an unchangeable truth. It is merely an acknowledgement of what can be improved upon. Without being brave enough to accept what needs changing, change will not happen. You’ve got to buy the lotto ticket to win the lotto right? And you’ve got to buy the gym membership (or at least engage in some sort of physical activity) before you can be an IronMan.
So our challenge as a species will be to accept what it is that we don’t like about ourselves and then put our takkies on and go for a run.
Unfortunately humanity is highly averse to feeling any kind of shame.
Or to admitting wrong doing.
Shame is not pretty. It is possibly the most uncomfortable, and actively avoided emotion on the planet.
Who wants to experience shame? No-one. Why? Because it tends to come hand in hand with blame. Shame and blame have a nasty habit of lying down in the conjugal bed and bearing nothing but inaction, fear and stagnation.
But experience shame we must if we are to make changes.
"Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change"- Dr Brene Brown
Shame + action = innovation and change (Yay!!) Shame + blame = guilt and paralysis (Booooo!)
We need to start being honest with ourselves as a species.
Virgin Active says it best. And to prove our point we have, without any permission from Richard Branson or Virgin Active, blatantly stolen the campaign copy occasionally replacing the word “stuff" with “shame” below:
"We've all got shame. Shame that holds us back. Stuff we think we need to change. What if we shared our shame for a change?
The more people shared their shame, the more people would realise that they are not alone, that whatever their shame is, it's no big deal because we're all in it together."
So share your shame and let's make a positive change in other people's lives (and to the planet). In every crisis there is opportunity. We need to accept our wrong doings not as human destiny or genetic trait but as a challenge that inspires us to improve.
Our capacity to do so, and thereby expose our daily role in the destruction of the planet, and our responsibility as individuals / companies / organisations / races / cultures is the key to our success in winning the battle.
It’s time to wear our white shirts. Not as a badge of shame. But as a reminder to ourselves and others to get up off the couch and get into action.
And we need to do it fast. The doctor just told us we don’t have long to live.
We have to change our diets. Our transportation. Our entire lifestyles. Or else the imminent decline and possible death of our species is inevitable.
The choice is ours:
- Step up.
- Or.. go back to bed.
Time is running out.
P.S. Any gym-goer will remind us that with the hard work of change comes joy, empowerment, a rush of endorphins and the thrill of success.
Change for the better is always worth it. And more often than not, the journey is surprisingly enjoyable.