After having a good old rant in my lost post 5 Easy Ways TO Piss Of A Life Coach, I thought I’d carry on the ranting theme for just one more post seeing as I’m on a roll.
I regularly post motivational quotes to my Facebook page, and unless it’s not immediately apparent I will sometimes also explain what I think makes that quote so cool.
Of course for the large part motivational quotes are subjective. What may have one person pumped and ready for action may go straight over the head of the next.
A number of the quotes I use come from Pinterest and it really is an amazing resource for this kind of thing.
Unfortunately it’s also an amazing opportunity for anybody who fancies themselves as a budding Mark Twain or Oscar Wilde to create and then post their quotes for all the world to see.
I say unfortunately, because some of them are more poorly thought through than Mitt Romney’s decision to point out the US Navy has less battleships now than in 1916 during the Presidential debate.
So let’s take a look at 7 of the worst that I stumbled on this morning whilst sipping my coffee.
Please feel free to disagree with me, because as I said, this stuff is highly subjective.
And by the way after minutes of hard work I have developed my very own bollocks-o-meter (pat pending). The bollocks-o-meter is a highly scientific tool designed to sniff out crap quotes.
The bollocks-o-meter runs from 0 – not all all bollocks, in fact very, very good, take this on board. To 10 – total and utter bollocks, please avert your eyes or risk losing your sanity!
1. The Old Follow Your Dreams Myth
I used to believe this, until that as I started to see a steady stream of clients who had adopted this kind of thinking and things hadn’t gone according to plan.
In fact in some cases things had gone horribly wrong.
What if you have a dream of being an astronaut, but you’re 300lbs, have a history of health issues and you recently lost at chess to a goat?
It’s probably not going to happen and it would be far wiser to focus your attention elsewhere.
Having big dreams is super cool, but there has to be at least a miniscule chance of them coming to fruition if you’re not going to make yourself frustrated and unhappy.
Bollocks-o-meter rating – 7
2. Decisions, Decisions
Who could possibly disagree with this nugget of wisdom?
Well rather unsurprisingly, me!
It has some merit in in it until you realize all feelings are temporary.
And to drive the stake through the heart of this sucker, nothing is permanent.
I do get the gist and it’s not wise making long-term decisions whilst experiencing highly negative or even highly positive emotions.
However, in and of itself it’s a poor quote and deserves a damn good thrashing.
Bollocks-o-meter rating - 8
3. Nobody Is Broken
To suggest everybody is broken and thus needs fixing is abhorrent to me.
I am somewhat biased against this because there is an NLP presupposition that suggests “nobody is broken” and it’s one I subscribe to.
This quote almost (and I do mean almost because this is how I view it, not necessarily how it is) contains a presupposition that the answers are ‘out there’ rather than in us.
Not only that, but how hard do you think it is to change for somebody who thinks they are broken compared to somebody who just wants to work more effectively?
Exponentially is the answer.
Bollocks-o-meter rating - 7
4. The Beliefs Myth
I wanted to include a Wayne Dyer quote that says “Believe – it’s as simple as that” that I saw the other day, but couldn’t find it.
No it’s not Wayne, stop being so silly.
Beliefs are awesome and mind-blowingly powerful.
However, they are not enough on their own.
My wife has seen enough oncology patients who fervently believed they would beat their cancer and didn’t, and others who totally believed they were doomed and recovered.
Every X Factor and American Idol is chock full of talentless believers.
If I had $10 for every contestant who got knocked out and announced with total conviction “The world hasn’t seen the last of me” only for that to be the last thing the world ever sees from them, I’d have my own Caribbean Island.
Bollocks-o-meter rating - 9
5. Don’t Give Up!
On the surface this makes perfect sense, but think past the obvious.
Who would you make such a statement to?
Who would you tell to not give up on life?
Either somebody who is seriously depressed at best or potentially suicidal at worst.
You don’t need to say to most people, don’t give up on life, because they won’t.
People suffering from depression don’t think like people who aren’t, that’s why they’re depressed.
So advice that seems great and very well meaning on the surface, can be seen as trite and even insulting by the recipient.
Bollocks-o-meter rating - 6 with the potential to hit 10 if read by the wrong person
6. Don’t Think Too Much
Seriously, thinking too much leads to negative thoughts?
Has there been some scientific research on this that I’m totally unaware of?
Should we close down the scientific community starting with the field of positive psychology because those brainiacs are thinking all the time?
Should we tell philosophers that it’s time to call it a day?
Should we tell people who are happily planning their future and giving it a lot of thought to stop for fear of melancholy setting in?
I’ll tell you what leads to negative thoughts, negative thoughts.
We are all thinking 24 hours a day (albeit it mainly at an unconscious level), so that means by default if this were true we’d all be having entirely negative thoughts
Bollocks-o-meter rating – 9
If It Won’t Work, It Won’t Work
This doesn’t even make sense. “Forget the reasons why it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will” is totally contradictory.
If it won’t work, it won’t work and if it will work, it will work.
Shouldn’t that be at the very least “forget the reasons why it may not work”?
And even then, to ignore reasons why a project may fail is a tad irresponsible and what a lot of people do who are blindly following their dreams – see point #1
I get the drift of staying focused on something you believe in, but there is a big difference between being focused and developing myopia and ignoring things that may trip you up.
Quite honestly, I think this is anonymous because the person who said it sobered up and thought better than attaching their name to it
Bollocks-o-meter rating - 10
So what do you reckon? I feel sure that some people will disagree with me on some of the quotes and if that’s you, feel free to vent your spleen in the comments
I’d also love to hear any quotes that you have seen that have had you shaking your head in disbelief.
By the way if you sign up for my newsletter in the box below you get a full ebook on 50 great motivational quotes.