Being Okay

Being Okay

Lisa O'Neill

Lisa O'Neill

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I feel like the past 18 months has been a battle of OK – staying ok – people not being ok and people doing their best to be ok.


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Are you okay?

I feel like the past 18 months has been a battle of okay – staying okay, people not being okay, and people doing their best to be okay.

R U OK? is an Australian-based harm prevention charity that encourages people to stay connected and have conversations that can help others through difficult times in their lives.

I am one of those weird people who love talking about difficult stuff. I think it’s an honour to be with people in their difficult times, to experience and support them when being a human is hard.

Thanks to all the work that has been done in the area of mental health awareness – we now know that it is okay NOT to be okay. It’s important that people can be open and real about the challenges they have and get support when life is tough.

The past two years have meant many of us have lowered our bars. We have dropped our expectations to below what they used to be.

This week, I have become very interested in how do we get to more than okay… how do we lift our expectations to above okay?

We have spent so much time being limited and locked up that we have forgotten that living big is an option.

Six years ago, I joined Thought Leaders Business School because I wanted more. I wanted to be commercially smart, I wanted to be supported, noticed, nurtured, and professionally nourished.

Being self-employed is not an easy option. I was professionally lonely. I wanted to find a community of like-minded people who were committed to delivering the messages that were buried inside them.

I think being a thought leader is brave. It takes guts to stand up, to stand out, and to sell your thinking to the world. In the opening pages of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Big Magic,” she asks the following question: “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

It’s a question that makes some people incredibly uncomfortable. Being audacious enough to admit that you have a book ‘inside you’ or a solution to offer the world is brave stuff. It is living an amplified way. No surprise that when Matt created the Thought Leaders curriculum, his ‘big word’ was “Amplify”

Being amplified is vital if you want to change the world. The definition of the word amplify is to make something larger, greater, or stronger. The Thought Leaders community does this for me. It makes me stronger. It makes me want to be great, to increase my impact.

I am committed to being more than okay. Committed to living an amplified life.

“An amplified life. It’s a bigger life, a happier life, an expanded life, and a hell of a lot more interesting life. Living in this manner – continually and stubbornly bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you—is a fine art, in and of itself” – Elizabeth Gilbert

Committing to thought leadership is this – it’s about bringing forth the jewels that are hidden within you. Some of them might not even be visible to yourself! It’s a process that demands you to do more. To want more. To be more than okay.

I feel so grateful that I am able to make this choice. Why would I choose to be miserable when I can choose to live in that space of curiosity and wonder?

Fear is boring. I am sick of accepting limits. I want to live in wonder. To live in delight. To be grateful for my life and to push up against the ceilings that have become normal. We must be brave.

I love this line from poet Jack Gilbert:

 “We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure, but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.”

Even when I am not okay, I want to be a person who persists with stubborn gladness.

Lisa O’Neill

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