Inspiration in a world of sound bites

A few days ago, I delivered a talk to the Irish Cancer Society at their annual event. There were approximately 600 people in the audience and I was speaking to them for thirty minutes. The audience mostly consisted of those struggling with cancer, cancer survivors and their families. A significant portion of the speech was to be about motivation and, as usual, the idea was to be as inspiring as possible. That was my problem: how could I possibly be inspiring in a room full of people who defined the term in ways that I couldn’t even imagine.

The people who sat and listened to me that day had faced one of the toughest enemies out there and they were battling it with courage and strength. Their families were dealing with something that terrifies me. Now, I have lost family members to cancer. I understand what it is like. But, to me, it brought up the whole notion of ‘inspiration’ as a concept. So, I wanted to talk about it here.

A few years ago, I hated inspirational quotes. I hated the very idea of them. I found the majority of them shallow and without substance. The idea of using them was abhorrent to me. After discussing it Gillian (a wonderful member of the OFI team), I decided I would change my perspective on this. The main reason is as follows:

I used to feel that most inspirational quotes were, for the most part, empty. But then I realised that for me, someone who has been in the field for almost 25 years, maybe they impacted me differently to others. My own self bias meant that I looked condescendingly at such quotes as being pointless and ineffectual.

I thus began to create a quote each week. Some are very basic and simple and some are more complex and thought provoking. I’m hoping though that all resonate with different people. For ‘inspiring’ others does not have to mean that you say something ridiculously profound. It only means that you have to say something that strikes a chord with someone and makes them feel like they can do something that they doubted themselves over.

I know there are many critics of inspirational quotes. Indeed, I am one too and still find myself shaking my head on social media when I see what I perceive to be an ‘empty’ quote. I understand that mindset. At the same time, I know that just because something does not connect with me does not mean it isn’t helpful to someone else. After all, quotes are not supposed to be solutions. They are just ideas that can help.

After the cancer talk a lot of people came up and thanked me for the talk. I had focused primarily on teaching them various strategies in the half hour. Nonetheless they told me it was inspiring and helpful and I realised, once again, that people find help in all sorts of things.

If you found this interesting, why not get a free video from me on the 7 Principles of a Game Changing Attitude as well as being the first to get access to more complimentary stuff as I release it by signing up here.

 

You may also like

THE MOST IMPORTANT PRINCIPLE IN SELF-IMPROVEMENT

Almost every single personal development approach I’ve studied over 30 years comes down to this solitary principle which I call the 4 and 2 principle. In this FREE PDF, I break down exactly what it is and how you can use it to transform your life.

Success! Check your email for details

HOW TO BUILD YOUR EXPERT BUSINESS - WHAT I WOULD DO TODAY!

You have the expertise but how do you put it together in such a way you can turn it into a business? For years now, I’ve been asked many times to reveal what I would do today if I was building my expert business from scratch. In this video training, I break it down step-by-step, in order, and walk you through exactly what I would do today if I was to start from the beginning.

Success! Check your email for details

THE 8 STEPS TO SUCCESS IN LIFE

This life changing video training explains the 8 steps that you need to take if you want to conquer adversity, handle change, manage your emotions and be at your best. I will explain some of the most important lessons I have learned from working with many thousands of people in more than 30 countries.

Success! Check your email for details