How Sweet is Your Motivation?
The quote above was taken from the recent essay “Not Busy, Focused” from The Minimalists. I stopped reading, closed my eyes, and repeated the statement a few times in my mind. It's not your typical motivational quotes but for me it was motivational. It's an affirmation that having the right priorities in our lives was good. If people accuse me of being busy, I now know what my response is. “I'm not busy, I'm focused.”
Motivation, in the form of quotes, is abundant especially now in the Internet age. Like entering a giant candy store filled with the best assortments of candies from around the world in every shelf and every corner, you will find motivational quotes on websites, blogs, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn. You can drown yourself in motivation or get a toothache sending you to an unplanned visit to the dentist.
Motivation is sweet. It gives us a surge of hopeful energy when we're in a slump or in despair. It's a supportive parent who just wants you to do your best in everything. It's a non-critical friend who believes in your talent and capability when you do not see it yourself. We all love motivation.
What kind of motivation buyer are you? Do you browse around the shop and pick the most colorful candy? Do you prefer getting one of each so you can try it all? Or do you love rock-looking chocolates, like I do?
You go into the store, browse the shelves and the aisles, see what you like, grab it, and pay for it at the cashier. For the lack of a better word, you are an occasional buyer.
With a plethora of motivational slogan and quotes out there, not everything suits us. We are all in different stages of our lives. You stumbled upon or sought a motivation that fitted you, read it, and digested the meaning. You might encounter something similar to that again and you read it. You might share it or not, either way it's okay. You like your motivation every now and then but it's not a staple of your diet. It's not your vice.
You go into the store, browse the shelves and the aisles eyeing each candy keenly, you finally know each of their names and flavors, you exclaim how sweet and yummy they must be, and you leave the store without buying anything. It's a candy window shopping; you are a poseur.
I'm sad to say I personally know people like this. They know a lot of motivational quotes and post it online - on Facebook, on Instagram, or on Twitter. They see something “cool” and share it to their friends. In the eyes of others, they seem to be doing something good (because hey, they're posting a Steve Job quote; they're so passionate). But it's all a facade. They're attracted to the colors of the wrappings and the candies only, but they don't go beyond that. They have no idea what motivation really tastes like. They know it's sweet but they haven't eaten any. Not a single bonbon, peppermint cane, gummi worm, or even a jawbreaker. I don't ever want to be categorized under this.
You go into the store, you've been there many times, you notice even the slightest rearrangements of the candies, you know each name, each flavor, each manufacturer, you also know the employees manning the cash register - you are a connoisseur!
I have a sweet tooth. You have a “sweet tooth”. We have something in “common”. (Yay!) Motivation connoisseurs are those who share motivational quotes and apply it in their lives. They don't just talk the talk. They also walk the walk. It is empowering to see someone live and practice what they preach. It's good to be surrounded by this type of people, or even follow them. They're justified in sharing motivational stuff because they can prove that it works. They're living examples of how a sentence or two can have that much of an impact in someone's life. It's safe to call them experts.
You go into the store, you've been there so many times, the employees greet you, your name is on the wrappings, and you know what they're called and their flavors because you made them. You are a creator! You are a candy maker!
What is better than sharing a motivational quote and living it? Being the source of it! You are more than just a connoisseur now. You say something and people quote you for it. You are a living example of greatness, of hard work, of hope, of determination, and of success. When you die, you're never really dead. People still mention your name. They remember your words of wisdom. They remember the flavors. They still buy your candies.
Wouldn't it be nice to make candies?
I am a creator - of that image above with the Millburn quote. After reading his essay, I browsed my smartphone for an image to use as background. I opened LetterGlow, loaded the image, and put the text on it. It is a fresh motivational quote; I haven't seen it shared by others yet. I'm no “motivation creator” or “candy maker” but someday I would like to be: Xeno Hemlock and the Chocolate Factory. Kidding! I think I'll go for a piece of jelly bean now.
Cover image: the candy man can. by Chris Van Dyck