But if I see one more post that quotes the Dalai Lama, Albert Einstein, or Sophocles, I may barf.
You see, before digitization made it uber easy to share inspirational words, we only got occasional doses of motivation by picking up a copy of Bartlett’s, or by picking up a plaque at the local decor store.
Now, you can hardly log in to any social network without seeing a virtual torrent of bromides.
Oh, lighten up, you say. Where’s the harm?
Because it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
For the readers of such posts, motivation has become cheap, free, and easy. We’re deluged in positivity; it has become commoditized, in the same way that amazing, high-definition photographs of beautiful things have become commoditized.
And ask yourself, what did you do the last time you saw one of these motivational posts? Chances are you said to yourself “Wow, dude, that’s deep,” clicked Like, and moved on to the LOLcats.
You didn’t really read it, much less internalize it, or allow it to change you.
If you’re the person posting, it gives you a false sense of yourself. It makes you feel deep and profound and thoughtful, when you’re not being any of those just now, really. You could be. But posting borrowed thoughts gets in the way of coming up with something of your own.
Worst of all, constant bathing in shallow positivity doesn’t prepare you for when shit gets real. Life is not all rainbows and unicorns, and sadly, wishing doesn’t make it so. If you don’t take a realistic view of things, you can be blindsided and have no real way to cope.
Finally, it also masks the real problems people have in the rest of the world. You and I lead comfy, cozy middle-class lives, but there are billions who don’t, and positive thinking won’t help them much.
Positive thinking is useless without action. Great ideas are worthless without execution.
Having self-confidence issues? Go get something DONE. There’s a world of difference between being able to point to something and say, “Yeah, I read that” and “Yeah, I DID that.”
And if you do that enough times, who knows? Maybe people will someday be quoting you.