Is there a quote
that most everyone finds super uplifting
or motivational, but it just does NOT do that for you? It might even annoy the
heck out of you.
I’d love it if you
left me a comment with the quote and why it bugs you.
“We all have
the same 24 hours in a day. How are you spending yours?”
Or sometimes it’s written as: You have the same number of hours in the day as Einstein/Mother Teresa/Steve Jobs/Beyoncé/etc.
get that I’m supposed to hear that and
think something like “YES! I can do anything I put my mind too!”
transported back in time.
Back to when I was
about a year in my business and heard this for the very first time.
I was overwhelmed,
frustrated, and tired. My business was making negative money while I was doing
A LOT of work.
I heard this quote
and wanted to cry or scream.
All those other people had created success with their 24 hours, but I had put myself in debt, worn myself out, saw NO path out, and deeply felt whatever the opposite of success is.
I felt guilty that I hadn’t figured something fundamental out that they seemed to know and I compared everything I knew about myself to everything I knew about “successful people.”
And boy, oh boy, I
judged myself harshly under that light.
Here’s the problem:
I didn’t think about all the overwhelmed, frustrated, tired, self-doubt filled
days that those “successful people” had.
I only saw their
But I compared my
worst days to their best.
And I couldn’t help
but feel like someone ahead of me on the path said “catch this great
tidbit of knowledge that I’m tossing to you” and I looked up just in time
for a brick to hit me in the forehead and knock me to the ground.
Next time can I have
a hug instead?
What would have been
helpful, had I had the ears to hear it, was a gentle reminder that I was
comparing the messy day-to-day that I felt I was slogging through to the
perfectly lit and cropped picture that someone else was sharing.
Which reminds me of a couple of other quotes:
Don’t compare your inside to someone else’s outside.
Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.
If a motivational quote really bothers you, it’s okay. And it could be an indicator that you’re stressed or overwhelmed, which is valuable knowledge. Once you recognize it, you can do something about it.
If you share a motivational quote and the other person doesn’t hear it the way you do, don’t make them wrong about their interpretation. But do notice it and get curious. You might ask how they interpreted the quote and have a nice discussion about it. And they might leave feeling a bit better!
All this talk about
my frustration with this quote has made me wonder if there’s a quote that
you’ve beaten yourself up with in the past OR if there’s one that transports
you back in time, in a positive or negative way.
I’d love it if you’d share it in the comments below.
PRODUCTIVITY FOR SOLOPRENEURS: INSIGHTS TO GETTING THINGS DONE #119
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.
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:
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.
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.