I am not talking about his beauty, charming British accent, or bank account—it’s something that is actually achievable.
When I started my journey into the world of mindfulness, I remember falling into another episode of depression. More awareness came along with more anger in my case. I was angry at companies exploiting their workers, I was mad at dudes displaying toxic masculinity, and I couldn’t stand shallow pop culture anymore.
Mindfulness actually caused me to feel even worse about the state of the world and myself.
At that time, I was seeing a physiotherapist who was trying to heal the chronic back pain that originally led me into the world of yoga (besides many other issues). One day, she noticed that I was even more grumpy than usual and sat me down for one of the most inspiring conversations I ever had.
She said, “You are a nice guy, but this negativity is super annoying. I am sure that is one of the reasons why you experience problems in your relationship. You know, I just saw a video of this Russell Brand guy. He seems to have a similar perspective, but he talks in a different way, and I love that guy.”
Of course, first, I did what every man would do in my situation: I belittled good old Russell by saying that he has no idea what he is talking about. But after my anger settled, I started thinking about the big question: what does he have that I don’t?
And then, I realized that it is not about the perspective on politics or other topics; it is about how we show up when presenting these topics and ideas to others.
He is not coming from a place of we’re-all-f*cked, but from a hopeful place that suggests that we could actually do something about it. Most importantly, he seems to have his sh*t together. He faced his own struggles with addictions and mental health issues, found his way within the world of yoga, and reinvented himself.
When I had this inspiring conversation with my physiotherapist, I was far away from having my sh*t together. Therefore, every perspective or idea I had to offer came from a really dark place. Over the years, I got a little better on that, but I am still far away from Brand-levels of positive awareness.
Yesterday, I saw a video of Brand talking about Jeff Bezos’ plans to go to space and receiving government funding while treating his workers in quite questionable ways. I was laughing about his light jokes in between, felt better after watching the video, and once again realized that he is a pretty cool dude.
If there is one thing most of us could learn from Brand, it is the ability to talk about serious issues without coming across like a grumpy, depressed loser who is blaming the rest of the world for his self-created misery. In order to inspire others, we need to be inspirational.
If our thoughts about society only lead to sadness and feeling disempowered, they are not inspiring others to take the same route. But if we can share our most controversial ideas from a healthy place, others might want to join us—but of course, there is still no guarantee for that. Even further, Brand’s attitude probably needs that nonattachment toward how others perceive our perspective.
I am sure he doesn’t sit at home crying when someone insults him in the comment section because he doesn’t need the approval of others to prove his point.
Facing the atrocities of our world with a “Messiah Complex” seems to be far more healthy than discussing every topic from a place of anger that is based on personal insecurities.
It’s not easy to stay humble and positive, but Brand keeps on inspiring me to do better, and for that, I am thankful. Thankful for the harsh but necessary words of my physiotherapist—and Russell Brand for being Russell Brand.
Here is the video of Brand that inspired me to write this blog: