Inspiration has never been more accessible. With Instagram and Pinterest, we are flooded with inspirational quotes juxtaposed with a selfie or an epic sunset 🌅. This trend spilled over into YouTube, where armies of pretty people are ready to inspire and life-coach you to achieve new heights in life. We are in a Golden Age of Inspiration. All this inspiration is so lovely, yet so useless.
There are some fundamental problems with today’s wave of inspiration:
1. Today’s inspiration is about emotion.
This wins the retweets, the hearts, the likes. So inspirational quotes that give you *the feels* are most popular (example here.) But actually improving your life has nothing to do with feelings, and everything to do with discipline.
2. Today’s inspiration lacks grit.
If you are inspired but not challenged, then what do you have? You have a quick rush of optimism. Everyone feels great. But true inspiration should upset your reality. It should be difficult to hear. It’s encouraging, yes, but it’s confrontational.
3. Today’s inspiration can misguide you.
4. Today’s inspiration leaves you wanting more.
Nothing gets done, so you go back for more inspiration. It’s more wasted time reading quotes on Instagram. It’s another self-help book, another seminar, another pricey session with a life coach.
We are in a new era. You owe it to yourself to be skeptical of today’s inspiration when it rushes to greet you. Demand that inspiration holds up amidst the realities around you.
Make no mistake. I’m not out to defeat inspiration. We all need a boost in life, so let’s never stop encouraging one another in real life. 🙌