“It’s far better to be ridiculous than to be boring.” Marilyn Monroe
To achieve anything meaningful and significant, there has got to be something ridiculous about the thing itself or the way you bring it about. By “ridiculous,” I mean absurd, preposterous, something others may make fun of.
For example, to master a foreign language that you didn’t grow up speaking, inevitably you will mispronounce, mis-use, and in general, butcher, up one side and down another, the language you are learning, until you get it. I speak from experience. I also now speak fluent Spanish.
My husband, a violinist, has gone to ridiculous means to heal an injury that has affected his playing. Like 3 neurologists, 8 orthopedists, 7 physical therapists, 1 sports therapist, 1 massage therapist and an acupuncturist. In two different countries. Two years later, the problem is almost solved. Whatever. It. Takes.
Face it, to conjure up what didn’t exist before, you will, at times, appear as completely mad or mildly ridiculous. Embrace that.
Not everybody is going to get, appreciate or support what you’re doing. And that’s a good thing.
This is young Salvador Dali, without the quirky moustache. Early on, he was one of many up-and-coming painters in Europe. It was only after he embraced ridiculousness, that he became the surrealist we all know and admire.
You, dear reader, have already broken the mold by creating what didn’t exist before, a living business that generates value.
On a practical level, this is what ridiculous means to you:
Being ridiculous means others (maybe even those you love and respect) question your sanity, good sense, and perhaps even your good taste.
Being ridiculous means people close to you may wish you were more normal, only because then they could spend more time with you. (But then … you wouldn’t be you, right?)
Being ridiculous means that when the stressors hit when you expand your business, as they always do, you will hear 127 variations of “Maybe you should reconsider” or worse, “I told you so.”
Being ridiculous means you feel foolish some times. Actually, you feel that usually whenever you have time to think about it.
Your energy is your most valued asset, so don’t waste any anguishing over ridiculous. Embrace it as committing to whatever it takes to be the person you want to become and create this thing that is your project.
The truth is it takes large bathtubs more energy to be different, quirky and ridiculous than it takes to be normal, conventional. [Boring.]
“A million and one forces of distraction, pulling at the corners of your mind, careening you off course. It takes a lot – coffee, conviction, coaching, community, rituals, sometimes, utter ridiculousness – to keep yourself on track.” Alexandra Franzen, accomplished writer.
Don’t punish yourself for choosing different[ly.]
These are practical examples of how you embrace ridiculousness.
If you need a personal trainer who looks like Channing Tatum to motivate you to exercise, so be it.
If you feel stronger and more relaxed when you have a weekly hot rock massage with Olga from Sweden, schedule them.
If you crave marketing direction and encouragement from a coach, hire the best you can afford. Or maybe you want a stylist, an organizer or personal chef.
If you’re hankering for purple hair or a golden tattoo, be ridiculous and go for it.
If your feel better writing your notes and lists with colorful sparkle gel pens on pale pink paper, stock up. You can even get cool stickers at shopbando.com.
If you must have quiet time, alone time to re-charge your batteries, check yourself into hotel, if that’s what it takes. It worked for Maya Angelou.
This is the time to ramp up your ridiculousness.
Be ridiculous to show your love for someone. Even your clients. Even someone you don’t even know.
While writing these words, I was smitten by a painting, actually a set of two by Margie Luttrell, who happens to live in Tennessee while I hail from South Carolina. I looked her up, emailed her and she wrote back immediately, thanking me for ”making her day.” Maybe she got inspired to make another amazing painting as a result of getting a ridiculous fan email.
If you’re going to bring someone cookies, bring the best, the vegan ones or the ones you made with your grandma’s recipe. Be ridiculous about it.
The conventional life, the comfortable existence, that’s not what you signed up for.
Whatever it takes for you to embrace the ridiculous, is what it takes.
Laura Mixon Camacho, PhD, is ridiculously obsessed with communication as a tool for building bridges and careers. She believes all conversations should be carried out with style and enthusiasm. And a presentation is just a special sort of conversation.She is the go-to coach if you want to improve your presentation skills to move your business or career forward with more confidence, more impact and less stress. Read more at www.mixonian.com.