Five Inspirational Quotes That Are Not At All Inspirational

It’s pretty safe to say that any quote someone would suggest to me as being ‘inspirational,’ ‘motivational,’ or ‘uplifting’ would warrant an eye roll, but here are a few that absolutely make me cringe when they appear in my newsfeed as a Facebook status. My sincere apologies if you have one of these as a wall decal in your living room.

“Shoot for the moon. Even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars.” I think this one only really works in outer space for someone who is actually shooting for the moon because I’ve tried to come up with some normal, earthly applications and I just can’t. ‘Shoot for the hottest guy. Even if you fail, you can still go home with someone uglier.’ ‘Shoot for your dream job. Even if you fail, you can still be a barista.’ ‘Shoot for a liberal arts college. Even if you fail, you can still go to a shitty state school.’ ‘Shoot for New York City. Even if you fail, you can still live in Jersey.’ I don’t know; it just doesn’t seem to pan out.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” The changes I wish to see in the world? I wish people would not tell total strangers to ‘smile’ or ‘cheer up’ and I wish people wouldn’t make friendly hugs last longer than 5 seconds. Those are some changes I wish to see in the world, so I don’t do those things. But somehow people aren’t catching on. Haven’t they noticed that I don’t spread the love by saying ‘smile’ to someone who is sitting there with a pleasantly neutral expression on their face? Can’t they tell I’m trying to be the change I wish to see in the world when I engage in only a brief embrace with maybe a pat on the back? Why are strangers still telling me to smile? And what am I supposed to do when, after I take my arms down to indicate that I’m finished hugging, the other person continues the embrace? Do I stand my ground with my arms dangling limply at my sides and continue to be the change that I wish to see in the world while the other person violates my belief in brevity? Maybe I’m missing something.

Do one thing every day that scares you.” Does opening the shower curtain count? Does getting out of bed count? What about going outside? Gosh, I do TONS of things every day that scare me. Indeed, my life is pretty thrilling, but for those of you who require more than the act of making a phone call to get your heart racing, try this: Next time a wasp accidentally flies into your car, instead of trying to get it out, close all your windows, turn on some soft rock, and just enjoy your drive. Maybe take the long way to your destination. Now you can confront your fear of wasps and the wasp can confront its fear of soft rock. Do you feel uplifted? No? Why? Oh, is it because the things that scare you are scary for a reason and that is why you don’t do them?

“If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.” A quintessential favorite of 14-year-olds who have just discovered marijuana and thus are beginning to question all authority. This one is kind of circular because if you stand for something, you had to fall for it first, right? Right. Let’s go back to when you were 12 or 13 and the only political agenda you had at the time was thinking it’s stupid that you can’t wear shorter shorts to school. And then one day your friend’s cool older brother played The Sex Pistols in the car on the way to the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients for root beer floats. ‘Anarchy, anarchy…’ The word echoed in your mind and as soon as you got home you Google’d it. And suddenly you were an anarchist and that was what you stood for. Maybe you saw this quote because it was someone’s signature on an online forum for anarchists and you made it your AIM away message, who knows, but you fell for something! You fell for anarchy. This quote makes not being an idiot seem like some noble cause. You don’t have to go through the trouble of ‘standing for something’ just to question what you’ve been told.

“Do… or do not. There is no try.” Really? I’m going back to bed. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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