The most annoying motivational quote


We all have 24 hours in a day, how are you going to use yours?

This quote, as normally interpreted, says great, famous and fabulously successful people reached their goals with the same limitations in a day as you — 24 hours — and you can reach your goals too with some perseverance, smarts, and a good attitude.

And would it surprise you to learn that I really dislike this quote?

I don’t find it inspiring at all.

I find it very annoying.

Now, before you start wondering if I’ve had a bad day or something, let me share my history with this quote.

I first heard this quote about a year into my business. I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired. My business wasn’t making any money and I was doing a lot of work for NO return.

And hearing this quote when at that place, instead of seeing the possibility for myself through the quote, I beat myself up with it.

I made everything I was doing and had been doing wrong and bad. Because while all those other people had created success with their 24 hours, I had put myself in debt, worn myself out, and didn’t feel successful at all.

I heard the quote and felt like I should be doing more. I felt guilty for any time that I wasn’t spending being productive.

And I compared everything I knew about myself to everything I knew about “those successful people.” And I always came up severely lacking.

Don’t compare everything that’s going on for you with what someone else is deciding to share with you. You don’t know everything that’s going on with them that you don’t see.

The problem was I didn’t know about the crappy, stressful, overwhelmed and self-doubt filled days that I’m sure all “those successful people” had — I only saw the success.

But I compared my crappy, stressful, overwhelmed, self-doubt filled days to the success I perceived them to have.

And it felt like someone above me said “catch this foundational tidbit I’m tossing down to you” and I looked up just in time to see a brick hit me in the forehead and knock me to the ground.

Ouch! Next time can I have a hug instead?

When I heard this quote all I could see was how I was failing to use my 24 hours — I was doing it wrong. Crap.

So, that’s why I don’t care for this quote, because when I first absorbed it I used it to knock myself down and not to build myself up.

This is also why you’ll never hear me repeat this quote.

It might be wonderfully uplifting and motivating to people who are feeling excitement and success, but to anyone who’s feeling overwhelmed and doubting themselves, they might hear this quote the way I did.

Final two thoughts:

  1. Hearing this quote, or any other motivational quote, and feeling beat up by it is okay. It could be an indicator that you’re a stressed or overwhelmed. That’s valuable to know. When you know or recognize stress or overwhelm, then you can do something about it.
  2. If you say this quote, or any other motivational quote, and the person hearing it doesn’t take it the way you intended don’t make them wrong about their interpretation. Do notice it. Do get curious. Ask how they interpreted the quote and talk about it.

And this has made me wonder: what uplifting quotes do you find annoying or have you beaten yourself up with in the past? Share in the comments below.

Some Inspiration to Start Your Day

I love quotes, as evidenced by the spreadsheet I have of them. It’s currently at 648 quotes. Today I thought I’d share a few of them.

There is nothing quite as intense as the moment of clarity when you suddenly see what’s really possible for you.
– Christine Kane

Its never too late and its rarely too soon to try to achieve your goals.
– Philip DeFranco ‏

Perfectionism is a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from taking flight.
– Brene Brown “The Gifts of Imperfection”

You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind.
– Darwin P. Kingsley

… a big idea will change you. Your friends may love you, but they may not want you to change. If you change, then their dynamic with you also changes. They might prefer things the way they are, that’s how they love you – the way you are, not the way you may become.
– Hugh McLeod “Ignore Everybody”

Success will never be a big step in the future, success is a small step taken just now.
– Jonatan Mårtensson

It was just one year ago that I realized that what I was doing was entrepreneurship. Just two weeks ago, I learned how to spell it.
– King Sidharth

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
– M. Scott Peck

Francois Rabelais. He was a poet. And his last words were “I go to seek a Great Perhaps.” That’s why I’m going. So I don’t have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps.
– John Green “Looking for Alaska”

A wish changes nothing. A decision changes everything.
– Unknown

Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.
– John Green

Which of the above quotes spoke to you? I’d love it if you shared below.

And Sometimes The Answers Are Simple

Figure Sitting In Question MarkOver the summer, I was in a program that had a monthly group question and answer time. Basically we all get on the conference line and then electronically lined up to ask our coach questions.

Well, the phone conference company was doing maintenance when one of our calls was scheduled and my coach wasn’t going to be able to have conversations with us. So, she changed things up. She asked us to write up our questions for her and email them to her team the day before the call. She’d go through and answer them during our normal Q&A time.

The interesting thing was the theme that developed to the questions she didn’t answer. You see, many people wrote in that they answered their own question while writing down their question in a way that was concise and clear. And some of them continued with a question that was hiding just under the surface.

I experienced the same thing when I wrote in my own question for her that day. And I experienced it again this week as I prepared for a call with a friend from a program I’m in currently. As I thought about the questions I wanted to ask, I arrived at a couple of answers before I even picked up the phone!

Sometimes the answer appears later. It might be in a book or article I’m reading, in something someone says, or in something I’m listening to.

Somehow, when you’re able to articulate the question clearly, you open yourself up to receive the answer.

It reminds me of a quote I shared on Facebook last week:

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. – Dr. Seuss

So, my question for you: What are your questions? What are you struggling with that you could ask a question about? Write out the question that you want answered. I’d love if you’d share it with me in the comments below!

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