Deconstructing Platitudes: Finding Something Useful in Inspirational Quotes

headPlatitudes and inspirational quotes crowd the Interweb in forms of memes, postings or life hacks. While all posted with good intention, from a usability perspective I’v always thought they were pretty useless.

I thought I would go off on just one I saw recently.

“Everything You’re Running Away from is in Your Head”

Here we go. Well, thanks. Yes, everything is in my head…

Wait. Stop. I can’t do this. Even for a few laughs I can’t bring myself to tear into this. I can’t let myself bathe in negativity. That’s too easy. Like I say, it’s so easy to hate. Why not try to be helpful instead? There is some truth is the quote, right?

Let’s instead try a dummies guide to finding value in this quote. Here’s 6 steps:

  1. Does this even apply to you? Everyone has problems, but not everyone‘s problem is running form them. If you’re got problems and you’re dealing with them best you can, even if poorly, this isn’t for you. If you feel you are running or maybe even hiding from your problems, you should go to the next step. (If you are actually running from something dangerous, stop reading now and find shelter or go to the authorities)
  2. What are you running from? This is the heart of the matter. Do you know what you are running from? If you know what you are running from, move on to step 4. If you don’t know what you are running from, you need to get down to the root cause in the next step.
  3. The heart of the matter. This is harder than it seems. You’re going to have to dig past the symptoms and the fears. You have to play the Why game.  I’m running from my family. Why? They don’t like my social views. Why? And so on. If this is hard and you’re stuck, might be time for some therapy, whether it’s a friend or a professional. This is the “it’s in your head part.” You may need to have some help you find it. You see you have to get it out of your head and make it real so you can strip away the fears surrounding it, the fears you’re running from.
  4. Make a commitment to stop running. Even if it will take time, you have to have desire.  Cheap talk will do you no good.
  5. Make a plan. I have no idea what that will be because God knows what you are running from. Sometimes the answer is to just walk away. Which sounds like running, but it really means to disengage from the problem.  You’ll have to exercise choice and that can be hard. But sometimes you need a real plan. Like if it’s money problems. You’re going to have to research options. None of which will probably be great in the short term.
  6. Recommit to the plan when you falter. We don’t like to falter but we do. If the problem keeps trying to hide in your mind, you have to keep pulling it out.

There. Now this quote is useful. Granted it will take some work if you want it to have meaning, but it is a start.

About joegergen

To evoke a smile. That's all. Author of "Methane Wars: A Fable" and "Lear's Fool" as well as various poems and some these painting things as well.
This entry was posted in Freedom, Personality and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Deconstructing Platitudes: Finding Something Useful in Inspirational Quotes

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    To be successful, one must have a goal, a plan to meet that goal, and know their priorities in order to make decisions that align with the goal and the plan … and part three is the toughest to achieve … which you elude to in point 6.

  2. I really appreciate this deconstruction. Gave me a good laugh. Well played!

  3. this was awesome! Couldn’t agree with you more. you have inspired me to think of my own platitude deconstructions I feel a blog post coming in the near future 🙂 thanks for the inspiration

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