Speak No Evil: Motivation Malarkey

Motivation – Shmotivation

I’ve recently noted a number of posts that are simply inspirational quotes from others. Aside from a few quotes from William Gibson or Dan Pink, I rarely quote other people. Personally, I don’t actually get much of anything in motivation from those quotes. I also don’t think that a simple quote, almost like a little bumper sticker of wisdom, will really make a difference in your life.

Why do people like to quote others so much? Does it really help to motivate you to move forward in your life? Does reading a quote from a different person in a different place and a different time, really apply all that much to you, here, now?

I say no.

I say that the reason why you can’t simply apply the actions, thoughts, and methods of others and get the same results again is that every person, place and moment are unique, new and different.

I think you can see where I am going here.

If not, let me elucidate.

I think the entire motivational business is malarkey. Everyone from Tony Robbins to the life coach down the street is hawking bull crap. They are all saying “here is what worked for me, and if you apply the same principles, it will work for you”. Those things may have worked for that person in that time and place, but you are a different person in a different time and a different place. What worked then will likely not work for you now.

The most annoying ones really do say that “All you have to do is copy exactly what I did, and you too can be a billionaire”. If that were true, there would be a lot more billionaires out there. Success is not simply a template that you can repeat over and over. Unless of course, you are on the right side of the success dividing line.

As a student of success literature (I’ve read a ton of it and attempted to apply a lot of it) I find that 99% of it is pure bunk. And since I can’t argue with the success of the industry, I can only come to the conclusion that the reason these techniques worked for them but not for me is that they are single use, one time techniques, which, once used, no longer apply. They might sell books to those who aspire, but the techniques will never work again.

You can’t do the same thing over again and expect the same results. We should be treating the entire motivational industry like the stock market – past results do not guarantee future returns.

What worked for them will likely not work for you.

What does this mean? Well, for me it means that we should all stop collectively listening to all these self-appointed motivational speakers and “success pushers” and look at what works for us, not them.

Stop looking for the quick fix or the 7 tips to make you an awesome pubic speaker.

Success typically requires a lot of luck, along with hard work, being in the right place at the right time, and the right people knowing you. The successes you read about in these books are not successes you can share – those successes are their successes, not yours.

You have to go get your own.

So my advice. Stop reading this crap, and get someone to kick your ass instead.