‘Motivation’ is everywhere.
Snappy quotes super-imposed over majestic landscapes.
Soaring mountain vistas. Brooding athletes. Ferocious animals.
Motivation is a sea of clichés.
You reflect on the latest Facebook meme.
It is profound and moving.
Your humanity expands. A purposeless day is suddenly imbued with deep meaning and ambition. Your work ethic skyrockets. Overcome with joy, your life abruptly shifts into a new order of serendipity.
Except that this never happens.
After nothing more than a fleeting glance, cursory and regurgitated ‘wisdom’ is lost in the slew of information. It is impotent.
Motivational-style content is becoming more enfeebling with every post. I doubt if it ever actually motivates anyone to begin anything new or overcome genuine struggle.
The cult of motivation is firstly a marketeering phenomena. A way to use your emotions to better sell you more stuff.
Most often stripped of the original author’s full context, snapshots of motivational content are deeply patronising. The mindless recycling of ‘heroic’ quotes becomes quickly nauseating.
I am scornful of all this.
Generic motivation degrades that it should inspire;
the teeth grinding work of sustained toil necessary to accomplish anything great.
If unqualified motivation was all everyone required to achieve anything, we would all be doing it already.
True motivation is sincere because it asks you to pay the price of victory.
Commentators who preach a simplistic perspective of by the numbers happiness are dishonest. Where they lack skin-in-the-game, lack exposure to downsides and failure we can and should ignore them.
At times life is hard. It may ask too much of us.
We may even be momentarily defeated.
There are times when all we can do is endure.
The irrepressible 16th century French nobleman, master flaneur and sometime philosopher Michel De Montaigne said it best, words to the effect of;
‘Life does not have a duty to us, we have a duty to life.”
Happiness is a duty to be earned. It demands work.
Will you do it?