Motivational Slogans Pretty Much Suck

US culture places a high premium on feeling good. How about feeling how you feel and being true to that? There is something "ugly American" about the proliferation of motivational sloganeering along paths of self-realization. Less talk, more do. At some point, self-actualization just increases narcissism.
A positive outlook can be a social grace. It can also carry a backdraft of needy insistence. Inhabitants of the first world do not need to be motivated. We need to commit to the maintenance of our inspiration, to engage in free thinking and action, and stay able to absorb the fallout of our collective tendency to over simplify and thus overcomplicate our lives. A fuel can filled with happy thoughts will burn out fast.
There is something about the motivational outlook that is too excusing of our forgetfulness toward the struggle of others. There is something sad about having ritualistic reminders implore us to be good to ourselves. There is something downright depressing about how often motivational sayings occur without the context of motivational doings. Why are we so apathetic?
Do motivational sayings increase our fortitude or do they more reinforce a sense of where we are - and where we are not - within societal norms of proper living, regardless of whether or not such norms find sustenance in the truth? I don't know the answer to this, but waiting on the generic pick-me-up doesn't make one more interesting.
Motivational sloganeering can often be boiled down to how we buy things and sell things, which is kind of disgusting, particularly when our appraisal of self and others are wrapped up in it. It's important to find healing. It's more important to understand the root cause of pain. Be an example of dignity, integrity, human kindness... Save the happy harmony for the hamster wheel.

Leave a comment

Add comment