As a student, living in student accommodation, studying in a university crammed full of students, I come across quite a lot of students. One thing that seems to be a recurring theme among them is a constant need for motivation and/or inspiration (the words seem to be interchangeable as far as anyone aged 18-22 is concerned).
Everything that goes on in the world of a student seems like it is achieved at a slight push, or that every time anything is accomplished, it is done so expending just a little bit more effort than should have been required. This is really quite exhausting.
For instance, getting out of bed in the morning (or, more often than not, afternoon) always seems such a chore. “If I run extra fast to campus I can definitely have ten more minutes in bed.” Even though the food at [insert shop] may be nicer than the food at [insert shop], we students will inevitably plump for the shop that is fractionally nearer, for one reason and one reason only: it’s easier.
In order to overcome these painstakingly horrendous challenges that we face, we often pine for some sort of divine inspiration to motivate us.
My question is simple: why is inspiration from elsewhere always needed to deal with our own problems?
A quick Google search on the words “motivational quotes” returns approximately 18 million results. Flabbergasting. Now, it’s all very well the incredible feats of others being used as some sort of proof to us that we can also overcome this particular challenge. However, the sheer extent to which people rely on these quotes/stories/anecdotes in order to get by is ridiculous.
Recently I have witnessed a surge in the number of Twitter accounts who feel they are adding something to the world by recycling famous “inspirational” quotes. Internet memes combining a picture and a quote, or supposedly emotive message, are also intended to be a form of inspiration.
People have even started to get jobs and establish careers as inspirational speakers who travel internationally to give seminars which will apparently transform you into a “better” person. Don’t get me wrong, some people, for example Aron Ralston – the guy that the film 127 Hours is based on – have genuinely inspiring stories to share with us. They should be celebrated and embraced.
However, it seems to me that nowadays any chip off the old block who grew up in a dodgy council estate, only to use initiative, escape, and make a mild (relative) success of himself, is considered “inspiring” and can make money out of this by selling their story. Pathetic.
My gripe is that anyone with any sense of personal pride and sliver of initiative should be proactive enough to inspire themselves to success. Internet phenomena, potentially fabricated quotes, and exaggerated stories of human feats of people we don’t even know, should not be relied upon to stimulate us to achieve something.
Proactivity, diligence and conscientiousness should be more than enough to inspire and motivate us to be the best we can.
So, the next time you find yourself Googling “inspirational quotes” when in need of a lift, get off your arse and be proactive!