Spot the common theme running through all these quotes-
“When I went to school, they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I wrote down “happy”. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.”- John Lennon
‘’To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero you’re the beautiful one. It’s society who’s ugly.”- Marilyn Monroe
“Success usually comes to those who are too busy looking for it”- Henry David Thoreau
Did you get it? All famous quotes regularly seen splashed over social media, usually with a really deep, symbolic image in the background, all completely fake and misquoted. That’s right kids! Lennon never was a wise five year old, in Marilyn’s day they didn’t even have size zero’s, and the last quote doesn’t really make sense?! Of course to the person reading the quote it doesn’t stop them gaining that brief moment of clarity and inspiration, if Lennon knew all that mattered in life was to be happy then damn everything else. What I’m really worried about is what if these inspirational quotes actually have the opposite effect?
A year ago I posted on Facebook the quote- “If you’re not doing what you love, you’re wasting your time” now of course many people liked and shared the image vowing 2016 would be the year they would seek out their dreams. A year later and all are pretty much in the same position they were in January 2016. The problem with these quotes are they merely gloss over all the hard work it actually takes to achieving your goal. They are quotes to fill a void, a need for instant gratification, and a way to make you think that if you read enough of them your dream will just appear, never mind all the hard work that comes before it. And even worse, it can leave you feeling like your not good enough, if it was so easy to achieve your goal how come you haven’t done it by now?
Now I am not saying these wise words can’t inspire, its more what people do after reading them that stops them being useful. Often they are placed on social media where you glance at the image, like it, then move on to the next, losing those feelings of ambition and determination. Motivational quotes don’t work unless you do. Take these feelings and apply them to your everyday life, knowing it won’t be easy and will require work. Inspirational quotes are meant to grab your attention by being deliberately ambiguous making it easy to apply to your own life. They’re also a vain attempt to make the poster look profound. So next time you read a quote that gets you excited do something about it, don’t just like it.