An Inspiring Quote? Maybe Not.

I was perusing the web today trying to come up with something interesting to write about.  I was feeling, well…uninspired.  So I thought, hey, why not look up some inspirational quotes?  In my search I came across a Forbes article written by Kevin Kruse. In it, he lists 100 (actually 101) inspirational quotes from famous people.

Now there was nothing spectacular about these quotes. Most of them I had read before either on Pinterest or BrainyQuotes or some such place.  As I read through the list, though, I came to the realization that most of these quotes while at first glance seemed inspirational, really didn’t hold much substance when you really began to think about what they are saying.  The people who wrote these quotes are all well known.  Well, duh, you might be thinking.  Would you really be inspired by a quote from someone who never achieved success?  Maybe not, but it’s easy to spout inspirational quotes when you are already rich and famous.  Then consider the people who wrote these quotes.  Being famous is great, unless you’re someone like Jeffrey Dahmer or Charles Manson.

Still not sure what I mean?  Here are some of the quotes I’m talking about.

The very first quote on Kruse’s list is “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” –Napoleon Hill.  First of all, what does this really mean?  What is he really saying here?   I’m not quite sure.  Just because you believe something can happen doesn’t mean it will.  There are billions of other people standing in your way.  Then consider that Napoleon Hill was a man who became successful by writing a book telling people they can be successful.  Hmmm.

Another quote in his list is, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” –Amelia Earhart. Not that Amelia Earhart wasn’t an inspiring woman, but if I recollect correctly, it was her tenacity that got her killed, wasn’t it?  Just saying.

“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” –Vincent Van Gogh. Or, just cut off your ear.  Or better yet, if you are hearing voices…seek professional help!

“Happiness is not something readymade.  It comes from your own actions.” –Dalai Lama. This coming from a man who doesn’t have a day job.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” –Benjamin Franklin. I actually like this quote, but isn’t Ben Franklin the guy who flew a kite tied with a metal key out in a lightning storm to discover electricity?  I am not sure if he is sound enough to be giving advice.

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”–Woody Allen.  I don’t really want to debate incest in my blog, but hey, they put it out there.

“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”–Bob Dylan. I think we should tell that to the IRS!

“Education costs money.  But then so does ignorance.” –Sir Claus Moser. I don’t suppose he’d be willing to pay off my student loans, then?

Okay, to be fair, there were some quotes from inspirational people I did like on this list:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –George Eliot. I consider myself a late bloomer, so this fits me.

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.”–Bill Cosby. I LOVE Bill Cosby and this quote just makes sense. Of course, I AM an analyst and this fits mathematically, too.

“You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.” –Maya Angelou.  For me this is absolutely true.  I find the more I do something the more creative I get.

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” –Albert Einstein. This is great advice.  Let’s face it, we are not all cut out to be famous, successful people.  Sometimes just being useful is enough.  Success is relative.  What one person considers success can be totally different from the next person.

There are some other great quotes on this list.  Check out the link below and let me know which one is your favorite.  Or, feel free to share your own quotes.


2 thoughts on “An Inspiring Quote? Maybe Not.

  1. One of my favourites at the moment is, ‘hiking, is just walking where it’s ok to pee,’ not particularly inspirational but, as a walker/hiker very true and it made me laugh which is really all that matters in life 🙂

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