Why Motivational Videos Are Ruining Your Life

“I don’t care about saving $1,000 because I’m manifesting millions of dollars in value with the universe.”
“I’m so motivated. You have to reach for the stars.”

The moment that you go on social media, you have motivational quotes and videos shoved down your throat. You’re supposed to be the hardest worker in the room. You’re supposed to be doing what sets your soul on fire.

I’m here to explain to you exactly why motivational videos and inspirational memes are ruining your life.

Why motivational quotes are ruining your life

“I can’t have too many drinks because I have work early in the morning.”

My buddy Vince was at his own surprise party for his 30th birthday and he announced that he had to stop drinking because he had to wake up early. He runs his own business so this naturally had people confused.

Couldn’t he just have his staff handle this for him? Don’t people making good money relax all day?

Guess what? Working for yourself and making the big bucks isn’t about sharing quotes on social media all day. This guy’s not even on any social media. I can’t even tag him in inappropriate memes.

There’s more to being successful than just talking about how you want to be successful.

You have people still living at home in their late-20s/30s who spend all day sharing motivational quotes on social media.

Why are motivational videos ruining your life?

“Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.” — Jim Rohn

Most of these quotes don’t actually mean anything.

  • “Be yourself.”
  • “Stick true to your heart.”
  • “Live the life that you imagined.”
  • “Work hard and be humble.”
  • “Don’t let others tell you that you’re not special.”

WHAT DO THESE MEAN?

These quotes and videos don’t really mean much. You nod your head as you’re watching, but you’re not really picking anything up.

You binge watch videos!

Do you know how many evenings I’ve spent on watching random inspirational videos?

I don’t play video games or follow sports. Entrepreneurship is my hobby.

It’s fun to watch these inspirational videos. The problem is that this become like Netflix. You consume without ever doing anything. There’s nothing wrong with hanging out in front of the TV after a long day. The problem with motivational videos is that you actually feel like you’re accomplishing something. You end up watching them for hours and then you go back to your regular routine. Sometimes you even share these videos. Your friends get all excited. Everyone’s all excited. All you’re doing is binge watching.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love to watch awesome videos in the morning. The trick is to get to work after being fired up by something. The issue is that most of us will begin to binge. Then we share. Then we discuss. Then we do nothing. This cycle repeats itself on a daily basis.

You don’t actually apply this advice.

I have friends who post these quotes as if they actually apply to their everyday lives. They don’t. I’ve seen these people in action first hand. They do nothing and then post about how awesome everything is.

You’re not going to apply any of the advice. So why bother pretending like you’re going to do something?

You have unrealistic expectations.

Your expectations become delusional. You want to go from zero dollars to one million dollars in the same morning just because a quote motivated you.

Here are some examples:

  • You don’t care about finding a freelancing client because you want to start the next Facebook.
  • You don’t want to start saving money because you think that you’re going to make millions in the future.
  • You feel like you’re above entry-level work because you want to change the world with the product that you haven’t created yet (or have done any word towards).

I see this on a daily basis. I’m not making this stuff up.

You have to make a $100 before you can make $1,000. Don’t stress about starting the next Tinder. Find something that works in your pocket of the world (you like that?).

You don’t do your own thing.

When you share these quotes and videos, you’re promoting the creator and not yourself. I shouldn’t say this because my podcast has awesome memes. The reason that we started an Instagram for our podcast was to promote these inspiring memes. It’s always better to do your own thing.

You don’t accept criticism.

“Stop hating on me.”

A friend asked me for feedback. I gave it to him. Then he got offended and called me a hater. So now when he asks me for advice I tell him that he’s the best because that’s obviously want he wants to hear.

Anyone that gives you any feedback is a hater in your eyes.

Seriously. There’s all these quotes about “haters” now. When I try to give real feedback to a friend they think that I’m hating on them for some reason.

Okay?

You have to listen to those who are successful at what you’re getting into. Don’t let your uncle or a random friend tell you how to be. Accept advice from those who have crushed it in a similar field.

I always tell my friends to seek out criticism from those they would love to switch places with.

The problem is that some folks will watch an inspirational video and then get offended when you tell them that they can’t make it to the NBA in their mid-30s without ever playing basketball.

“You can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.” – John Wooden

Your successful friends are too busy in the trenches.

You know how you complain about how your friend takes forever to respond? They’re likely busy working behind the scenes.

I see some friends posting the same empty rhetoric on a daily basis. They’re up at random hours sharing memes that don’t apply to them. My successful friends do their own thing. They don’t need to tell anyone about how hard they work.

HOW > WOW.

A friend of mine spent so much time posting inspirational stuff about working out that he never figured out how to actually train.

Try to focus on the how instead of the wow.

Real results are obtained through BORING work.

This is what everyone hates to hear. We all know the story about the guy who put in the work and got the results. Do you think that they were telling the whole world how motivated they were?

I’ll tell you a secret that you already know. All successful people had to go through hell to get to where they’re at right now. I have some pretty awesome people on my social media. When they post an inspiring quote everyone gets all excited. When they’re training on a Sunday night, nobody seems to care.

I’ve gotten the best results from things that are too boring to even post about. Someone bought a side blog, I found a new freelancing client, or my rental property went up in value. There’s no epic meme for these events.

[Check out this article where I crushed all Instagram weirdos who rant about passive income.]

You become annoying.

I know that you’re motivated about putting butter in your coffee while you look up vegan recipes. Nobody else cares.

People want to know how you can help them. To make money you have to solve problems.

Personal finance is often about systems.

Do you have systems in place? Are you saving money? Have you optimized your spending?

I’m usually not that motivated about saving money. I have a certain amount come out of my checking account on a weekly basis. I then put this money away until there’s enough to make some serious moves (invest in the business, buy a rental property, etc.).

What can you do right now?

Decide on your actual business plans.

Will you start freelancing? Will you go into YouTube? What will you actually do?

You have to know what your business will be and how it’s going to generate money. At some point you have to stop talking about how you want to make money and figure out a plan for how to get there.

Take some action.

Look, you have to stop posting videos and do something. You need some results. You need to get into the habit of taking action.

I try to write 1,000 words daily. I force myself to attend at least three BJJ classes a week. I set mini goals for myself so that I’m always making some progress.

What are examples of action you can take?

FOCUS and try to eliminate the distractions.

I’m horrible at this. I need to apply this more often to my own life.

Delete those apps off your phone. Turn off notifications. Your friends can wait for your response. You don’t have to respond to everything. You also don’t need instant updates.

Try a social media fast. Try to disconnect. Focus on the work instead of talking about the work.

Everything will be fine. I promise you. You won’t miss out on any colossal news. If anyone absolutely needs to contact you, they can call you.

Our biggest setback is that we can’t focus. It took me weeks to write this post because my Instagram kept sending me notifications.

Have a bold yet realistic goal.

It’s important that you have a bold goal that forces you to change a few things around.

Would you enter a half-marathon or an obstacle course if you didn’t know where the finish line was?

Obviously not.

This is why it’s important to set a goal that’s bold yet attainable.

What are examples of bold realistic goals?

You get the point.

The sooner that you start focusing on your goals, the better off you’ll be. I try to get off social media when I have work to do. Talking about what I plan on doing never helps anything.

Consume motivational content when you’re down.

When I’m feeling lazy there’s nothing like a Gary Vee video or a meme to fire me up. I try to watch one and then I get back to work. The issue is that most people will consume inspirational porn all day without ever doing anything. Try not to let that happen to you.

You don’t need another meme. I’m tempted to finish up with a motivational quote, but you need to get to work.

13 thoughts on “Why Motivational Videos Are Ruining Your Life”

  1. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich

    “Work hard and be humble.” – aw, I think that one’s actually legit. Assuming you then go work hard.

    You’re right about success being in all the little things. A lot of months I scrounge to get my monthly goal amount in my IRA. There’s literally nothing sexy about shoving $459 in a retirement fund every month.

    BUT I got hit left and right with bills and expenses this fall, still scrounged to make those IRA payments and was pleasantly shocked to see I’ve reached a point where all those non-sexy, small, and regular payments now equal a base amount that keeps my net worth growing, even when my checking account and monthly bills make me feel like I’m broke.

    People who just expect magic windfalls and success to appear overnight baffle me.

  2. Wow I’m so glad I stumbled upon your blog. I didn’t think reading an article about how motivational videos ruin your life would motivate me so much!

    This definitely hits home with me: a beginner freelance writer and website owner trying to start up two pretty daunting career elements.

    Your no nonsense, straight-to-the-pointness (Can you believe I’m trying to be a writer? My God…)
    really resonates with me.

    Well, off to get stuff done!

    Cheers,
    Thomas

  3. The point of inspiration isn’t to be inspired. It’s that sometimes we need a spark, a catalyst to propel us into action. If quotes on Twitter aren’t moving you towards action and instead just move you towards looking at more quotes, then maybe it’s time to make a change.

  4. “How>wow” amazing. Motivation is like caffiene…when used properly it’s awesome but when used with zero plans after it becomes useless.

    Ppl will feel motivated and then turn on netflix.

  5. awesome post. I am too much addicted to motivation videos. I am always in search of a best source of motivation. Everyday I have a aim to get such a motivation that will definitely change my life but I am always same. I never take actions I only love watching motivational videos

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