Seeing Most Inspirational/Motivational Quotes and Messages as Spam

Being fooled into thinking there’s truth in many of the “inspirational”/motivational messages we’re inundated with on an hourly basis will fuck. you. up. Beware of most of those kinds of messages. Most of it doesn’t really come from an enlightened place; they’re just shiny concepts/memes that the purveyors are attracted to for the same reasons you are (shiny as in “not all that glitters is gold”). For the most part, the purveyors of the messages don’t really know something you don’t, and the concepts are often misleading, as in not actually wise (especially when it’s advice that’s supposed to be categorical. Reality/life isn’t really that simple).

I think the tendency to disseminate “inspirational” tweets comes mostly from three places: 1. the desire to gain psychic energy from people believing what one says, following one’s advice, etc.; 2. the desire to gain adulation (or validation?) for appearing wise or enlightened or maybe even “above” the receiver of the message; and 3. hypocrisy, as in one knows, or at least believes, that they should be doing X (for example, to live life to their fullest or escape stagnation, to be a good person, to heal their wounds, or whatever), but they’re not doing X, so they figure they might as well convince others to do X instead.

An example of this would be any of the myriad variations on the theme “follow your dreams”, “don’t let your dreams just be dreams”, etc. The result is just to make people feel guilty for not following their dreams just like the purveyor of the message didn’t. Life is complicated, and for many reasons it’s just not practical for most people to achieve their dreams. Who would clean the toilets, pick up the garbage and man the cash registers? And what if your dream is something only few people can achieve? That gives you pretty bad odds, and you can lose a lot by going out on a limb, quitting your day job, spending lots of money and putting in lots of effort pursue your dreams if you don’t happen to succeed.

And even if if you have a job that matches your passion/interests, it can still become a nightmare because it’s constrained to the capitalistic workforce where a person’s life’s work is just a part of the exploitation of the employee by the employer, the person must show up at work at a certain time and stay until a certain time every day or be fired, they don’t have much freedom of self-direction because the system is set up so that most people take all orders from someone “above” them, etc. (There are people who are their own bosses, but not everybody can be their own boss; society would collapse or magically turn into something completely different overnight. And many practical realities limit what even most entrepreneurs are able to do, and most business owners have to work 80+-hour weeks to maintain their businesses..)

Another random example of misguided inspiration is the idea that our challenges and traumas are blessings in disguise because they make us stronger, make us who we are now, or whatever. Challenge can actually be a good thing, but ideally it’s issued at the behest of the person accepting the challenge, not so ungracefully thrust upon us. And trauma is never a beneficial thing. It’s purely destructive and tragic and only exists in a fucked up, barbaric world such as ours. And trying to appreciate trauma for what it supposedly did for us only serves to distract one from the pouring in of self-compassion that’s needed to fully emotionally address the evil that’s been done to us (or sometimes even to temporarily bring it all back to the surface) and thus to heal from it.

So, as you can see, for the most part, “inspirational” and motivational messages on Twitter, Facebook, and everywhere else are actually predatory in nature. Your best defense against the chronic inundation of wise one-liners is probably just to ignore them. Actually, reading the same things hundreds of times has an effect on the subconscious either way, so maybe the best bet is to make a habit of actively debunking them, or at least briefly deriding them in your mind, as they come up.

No doubt some people will feel reflexively angry upon reading about how inspirational quotes and messages are predatory or about the three classes of people who tend to spread them.. if that’s you, you may want to consider that chances are it makes you irate because it’s the truth and it applies to you. 😛

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