Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Good-Bye George Carlin: How George Carlin Can Change Our Lives

Yes, I am talking about George Carlin. Whether you liked him or not, I think most of us will admit, he was a great satirist. George was not afraid to push the limit, to make us laugh and make us look inside at the same time.

I think if we pay heed to what he was trying to say, we can all live a little better, a little fuller, a little more honestly. Here are several of his greatest quotes and how implementing them can enhance our lives.

“A Place for my Stuff”

One of my favorites of all his “bits,” is “A Place for My Stuff.” George Carlin knew how to gnaw at our relentless consumerism. He knew how to make us question our choices. “A house is just a place to hold your stuff while you go out and get more stuff.”

How often have we fallen into the pattern of the gathering of “stuff,” shopping to fill emotional needs, responding to ads or keeping up with the neighbors? The problem with “stuff” collecting is two-fold. First, it is a temporary fix. It usually doesn’t make us feel good for long. Second, it adds up! And then we are left with what we all resent. Piles of “stuff.” Things we own that really own us.

I think George was trying to ask us to look in, to look deeper than gathering “things.” What if we decided to think twice about filling our worlds with “stuff?” What if we decided to buy less and let go more? What if our homes weren’t just places to “hold our stuff” while we went out in search of more? What if we decided that less stuff made us feel more fulfilled? What if….?

Whether you were a George Carlin fan or not, consider honoring his legacy by asking yourself to consider your “stuff.” Make sure you have what you need and love what you have without it owning you.

2 Minute Tips

Purge every day. We get good at what we practice over and over. Practice the art of letting go of things every day. Look around your world and ask yourself, “What can I let go of today?”

Question. Carlin was about questioning the way we live our lives. Question your motives when you bring in more stuff. In many ways, I think Carlin was frustrated with the “numbness” of consumerism. Question. It’s not about being a hermit on the mountain peak. It’s about being connected to what you are doing, how you are living.

“Always do whatever’s next”

Many of Carlin’s quotes are about moving forward. If you know his work, he talks often about how we don’t know what’s next but we go forward anyway. What wisdom. One of the keys to success is the ability to keep walking toward our goals. Carlin has said, “When you step on the brake’s, your life is in your foot’s hands.” Obviously, we have to slow down and examine our lives, but in many ways, he understood the need for us to move forward. We can not reach the goals we seek without moving in the direction of what we want. One of the keys to Carlin's humor was its simplicity. Just do what is next. It's that simple.

2 Minute Tip

Identify it. So many times, we get “stopped” because we are not even sure what the next step is. Know your next step. Write it down, talk about it, till you figure it out.

Break it down. When you get overwhelmed, which we all do, break down the task and do whatever small piece of that task that is next. If you still can’t do it, then you need to break it down even smaller. In no time, you will be on your way.

Talk your way through. Remind yourself where you are going. Build yourself up. Use your words to empower you to continue.

“I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately.”

Okay, we all know Carlin crossed the line and he felt it was his responsibility to push the limit. It was all part of his satire. Satire is not safe. He challenged himself, and he challenged everyone who listened.

How about us? What is life if we don’t challenge ourselves to look deeper, to take chances and confront ourselves to be more than we are? Carlin was considered an “unproductive airman” while in the Air Force. Yet, he went on to become one of the greatest comedians of all time. What limit do you need to push through to dare to become what you want?

Confronting ourselves is not so much about shocking ourselves or others. It's about living life to its fullest. It's about finding what makes us feel most alive and challenging ourselves to get there. And that means pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones.

2 Minute Tips

Figure it out. What do you want? Figure out what you want. Is it more time to yourself? Career advances? Whatever it is, you will get there quicker if you know what you want.

Break out of your comfort zone. Do one small thing that challenges your comfort zone. Do you want to be more fit? What one thing can you do, that you normally wouldn’t, to get you there?

George Carlin was a brilliant satirist. He challenged himself and challenged anyone who would listen. He confronted us and shook us, hoping to knock us out of our numbness. Consider using his words to help you live a more fulfilled and honest life, one minute at a time.

Have a great week and remember to make the moment happen!


No comments:

Post a Comment