My dad is pretty much the king motivational/inspirational quotes. Basically, since I could walk, my dad has used any and all forms of communication to express clichéd words of encouragement.
For a stretch of about 5 years, my dad would put motivational quote magnets in my Christmas stocking. Let’s pretend it’s endearing for a minute, and not annoying, that he ignored the fact that I asked for jewelry. Even though I do not possess some of the timeless pieces of jewelry I so wanted, my “inspirational” quote exposure knows no bounds.
As postgrads, we are inundated with these “inspirational” or “motivational” quotes. Whether it’s in the form of that kind of sad and random “We Love You” card you got from your parents with $20 in it, or the incessant drivel from “that girl” on Facebook, the quotes are everywhere. I guess a lot of people want to distract us from how shitty our lives can be at times? We get it. The economy sucks, we are poor, we don’t have our dream job yet, etc. Here are some quotes that need to be retired, and why.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Ghandi
I actually kind of like the sentiment behind this quote. It is kind of in the vein of that whole “do unto others” business. Seeing as this quote is usually the top choice for any wannabe activist or any type of social change organization (including your 7th grade recycling club, where it was emblazoned in word art on the 300 printed-in-color flyers), it’s time for this little guy to ride off into the sunset. RIP.
“Well behaved women rarely make history.” -Marilyn Monroe
LOL. This is probably one of the worst quotes of all time. I hate it so much. BECAUSE IT’S WRONG. First, Marilyn Monroe wasn’t the first person to say this. Also, y’all know that Marilyn Monroe was kind of a home-wrecker/she died of a drug overdose, right?? What a role model.
This quote is actually a product of now Pulitzer-Prize-Winner and Harvard professor, Lauren Thatcher Ulrich. This quote did not appear until 1976. Also, it should say “seldom” instead of “rarely.” I’m nothing if not a sucker for accuracy. This quote was taken from one of her academic papers about the “normal” New England women of the mid-1600s. Her paper explored the lives of everyday women during this time.
Fun Fact: this quote does not justify you making a fool out of yourself – drunken or otherwise. You aren’t going to make history being a disaster and dancing on tables. Actually, maybe you will if you film it and submit it to MTV’s The Real World.
“Shoot for the moon, and even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” -Les Brown
I’m not really into mediocrity. If I want to shoot the moon, I literally will not stop shooting for the moon until I accomplish my goal/die. Okay, so maybe I am seeing the intended effect of my dad’s inspirational quotes. Basically, I feel like this is a terrible “motivational” quote because it’s congratulating you for failing at your goal. But hey, you tried. Now, you’re excused from ever trying to do that again. This, apparently, makes you a star.
“Dance like no one’s watching.” -Author Unknown/maybe part of a Souza quote?
This is just poor advice. Someone is always watching, and they probably have a smart phone. #TaylorSwift
“Not all those who wander are lost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien
But aren’t you? Or did you just not ask for directions? Or are you too lazy to open a map? Do you just enjoy wasting my time and yours? Wait, why are we taking advice from the guy who wrote Lord of the Rings? I am unclear. And obviously, so are you because this quote is the justification for the LSD-induced “journey” of every “free spirit” at Burning Man.