For decades now, ever since the “hang in there” poster and its famously compromised kitten dangling from a tree branch gained popularity, office morale has largely been equated with what images can be found on the motivational posters with inspirational quotes that adorn the walls of our otherwise moribund workspaces. We stick them on our fridges, log them in notes on our phones, maybe even speak them into the mirror before a big presentation, but do they really make a difference? There’s something to be said about thinking ideas into existence and using the words of others to drive your own creativity or work ethic, but at a certain point we’re detached. We don’t own what we speak because we haven’t lived it ourselves. The only thing profound about most of the motivational quotes we see — whether on Facebook or the bathroom wall — is how “un-profound” they are.


As the master of your own domain, you’re the only one who can ultimately decide whether or not the placebo of inspirational quotes works for you. It doesn’t matter either way, but the advice may be more heartfelt if you find ways to write down something genuinely meaningful in your life. Try speaking plainly about something relevant to you, like, “You will do awesome at the sales pitch,” rather than parroting philosophical jargon like, “To trust is to factor in the feelings of the stars above,” that makes no sense to no one. Nonsense strings of words aren’t fuel for your motivation. If you take time to journal or otherwise display positive, personalized thoughts — as opposed to consuming the false motivation in some of the junk you see online — you will find that your confidence for yourself by yourself will be much higher.


Whether you’re doing something for intrinsic reasons — like practicing your PowerPoint skills so that you can move up the corporate ladder in a field you love — or for extrinsic reasons, such as practicing PowerPoint to fool your parents into thinking you really did learn something in school, you may find that cultural overstimulation to motivation has already dulled any effect it might have had. Because we’re so overexposed to it daily, it has lost luster, leaving us in a limbo akin to an autopilot for the soul. That’s no way to live. Whatever your ultimate goals are, you’ll feel better if you get there yourself. It’s your journey. Take time to motivate yourself today.

by: Charles Jackson,
AFEUSA President

Charles Jackson President AFEUSA