Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Motivational Quote Mindlessness - Or Not

What is it with our seeming obsession with motivational quotes?

Have a look at your Instagram profiles. If you have anything like the experience I have, you post a photo and a pile of almost instantaneous “likes” follow. Now, have a look at their content. My bet is many are full of little more than what we call motivational quotes.

I too went through a period of collecting such quotes. I would see one I liked and save it to my phone, laptop, tablet.

The more quotes I read, the more I liked and the more I saved.

After a while, it struck me that having saved them, I never actually looked at them again, read them or received any inspiration or motivation, but, I felt good because I now owned something special.

I am not sure why, but Pinterest e-mail me a couple of times a week suggesting quotes or inspirations I might like.

I have been meaning to unsubscribe.

So, why do we find these so compelling?

My thinking is, we like, save or share a quote because we feel it casts a good reflection on who we are, or who we want others to think we are.

By sharing a quote, we reflect a spiritual connection with the “whatever” and are representing ourselves as a new age, connected, caring human being capable of inspiring others, because that is how I want to be viewed, even if nothing else represents this image.

I have landed on a happy “quote” compromise.

I only keep a quote I am prepared to print and display for all to see. I display my inspirational quote in a way that invites discussion I can authentically participate in. This practice also exposes me to analysis of my behaviours in accordance with such a quote and therefore potentially also exposes me to criticism. Or to put it another way, am I being authentic to the quote.

I may also share via social media etc a quote I will print and display, but only those I will print and display.

Am I being a quote “gringe”?
Do I have a case of quote fatigue?

What is your “quote” practice?

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