No way I’m attending that workshop.

Okay, let’s be very clear. If I love something or someone, then I am happy to tell you all about it.

ALL. ABOUT. IT.  I’ll tell you more than you want to know.

Want to learn about something I know a little about? I’ll blow up your inbox with everything I’ve got. But I have to draw a line in the digital sand when I hear the words “motivational workshop” or even worse “motivational speaker.”

Do not ask me to go to a motivational workshop where the motivational speaker lives unless you can A] pay me a lot, and I mean, a lot of money for “research purposes,” B] assure me it won’t be anything like a graduate seminar in Education or English involving body wisdom, and/or C] find your own ride home when I leave half-way through it.

Don’t get me wrong, readers, if any workshop helps you get to the other side of some horror in your life, then I encourage you to go. Do it. What do I know?

Just don’t ask me to be snake-oiled by a for-profit motivator–and please stop convincing me it’s worth my “time as a leader.” Don’t tell me it’s going to help me in my profession. Actualize some untapped potential that I have *to pay somebody* else to see. Work through something I didn’t know was bothering me. Reveal something about myself I don’t already know.

The power of positive thinking–all who have created their empires around this idea–is not for me. And shame on all you folks who cash the checks of desperate people who would be better off doing anything else other than spending time with you. And I don’t like people who yell, so why would I pay somebody to yell in my face?

That’s not say, however, I am not a positive person. The glass is half empty or half full, surely, but I get to decide what I see. Depending on the glass. Who’s holding the glass. And what’s inside the glass. Whether I’m thirsty or not. Depending on the day.

I don’t want to hop on the bloggy blog soap box, but if one more person tells me about a certain workshop that has given them ‘momentum’ I might just lose it.

In short, it sounds like a cult–and it’s super-expensive! Pas moi!

If I was going to join a cult, it would be free, somewhere off the grid near a clothing optional hot spring, and wouldn’t be concerned with “my profession.” If I was going to join a cult, it would be something that could foster kindness, hope, and peace to all of humanity. There would be no fee.

And please, let it be known that we need people to mentor leaders; I get that. You are complimenting me, and that’s nice. Perhaps you see that I unabashedly and routinely beg for advice from people I know to be smarter than me. That’s being a leader, right? I repay my advisers in gratitude, chocolate, or alcohol. It’s a wonderful thing, and yet, I’d never ask any of them to come to a workshop with me. Maybe I’m a little too John Wayne, here, but this cowgirl would rather set out on her own horse than join some fad of the week for self-actualization in the workplace. (Did I really just type that sentence? Have I been asked to write a seminar paper?)

And I also know that people have been broken by other people and they may need something like this workshop education…or whatever it is…to help them realize their momentum. Rock on. Go for it.

I’m hesitant to link this workshop to my blog for fear that “a graduate” will try to explain how I have it all wrong. How I’m not open to my potential. How I just need somebody else help me with my goals. And maybe, just maybe, I’m hearing a lot about this because I live near Seattle. I bet this was oh-so-five-years ago in Boulder, CO or New York. And I’m going to wager that this company has little momentum in Detroit, Cleveland, or Baltimore.

I have been, however, enjoying listing some questions I’d have to ask “my coach” should I somehow end up working for a fascist who would make me attend something like this. Yay, questions!

1. So the power of positive thinking will help me pay my school loans next month? If I *think* hard enough, soul crushing debt goes away, right? Shouldn’t we let other people know about this? This is rad! Poor people don’t *think* hard enough about being rich. I totally get it now.

2. So let me get this straight, if I want to help somebody very close to me find full-time work, I just need to *think* about him “working full-time” and a job will “eventually find him.” Do I imagine him working? Or the job finding him? Do I imagine the paycheck? Or the workplace? Can I buy a GPS unit to help the job find him?

3. If you do this coaching to “help humanity” then why do I need to write you a check? Did you *think* positive thoughts about me paying you before I walked into the door? If this about yourself and your own happiness, then why do you need to recruit me?

4. Ever advised your clients to just crank Metallica “For Whom The Bells Tolls” when they’re feeling a wee bit of rage? What about having a good cry to a Patsy Cline song or a song by The Smiths? Bet they didn’t come back to your next workshop, huh?

5. Do you sound this positive about your coaching work after three gin and tonics? First round’s on me; let’s test my hypothesis.

You see, I’m so very open to the hippiest of dippy if it makes you happy. I’m so very open to the churchiest of churchy-ness if it makes you happy. Just keep it to yourself.

Want me to tell you Namaste after we do yoga? I’ll look you into the eye and say it right back. Want to point out how the stars  and planets influence your moods? I’ll crane my neck to learn those constellations. Want to teach me how planting garlic helps you keep track of passing time? I’ll weed, help you dig holes, and harvest. Want to walk into the woods for days? I’ll follow. Want to collect rocks for your familial shrine? I’ve already put two stones in my pocket for you. Want to solve the problems of education? Here, have a seat and I’ll cook you dinner. I bet after three gin and tonics, we’ll have it all figured out, you and I.

Just don’t ask me to attend a workshop to help me be the best me. On a Monday of all days.

About Alyson Indrunas

Always learning about instructional design, educational technology, professional development, adult education, and writing.
This entry was posted in All The Things and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to No way I’m attending that workshop.

  1. coasttech says:

    Fabulous-ness 🙂


    • Thanks! I suppose it doesn’t make me look like the team player that I am, but well, sometimes I’m not:)


      • coasttech says:

        This is Sarah Miller – my name doesn’t show up. I appreciate your honesty and always appreciate a good rant 🙂


      • Ah ha! I’ve been wondering who this is:) I’ve gone a bit rogue with the rants lately, so I need to chill out. I’m getting sick of myself, so I can’t imagine how it must feel for others. Thanks for the encouragement. Sorry to see that you won’t be at the Bridges conference. Totally understand about the travel funds.


      • coasttech says:

        Ah, me too – maybe another year or something a little later in the year. I’ll keep my eyes/ears peeled. Glad there are some online options for PD/connecting w/folks :).


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