Inspirational Messages For LIfe

Hypeless Messages To Show Life Is Not Hopeless

Words of Motivation: Don’t Be A Pollyanna

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For twenty years or more I have been a student and advocate of positive thinking, always looking for words of motivation wherever I can find them. Yet somehow it has never quite worked and I think this is the case of most people reading these words.

I have thought long and hard about this, wondering why words of motivation do not work with so many. There are two reasons I have found so far (and there may be more).

Firstly, too many teachers of positive thinking are too upfront in their messages. Apologies for anyone from that country, but this tends to be an American trait primarily. I personally find what I call ‘ra-ra’ and over enthusiastic presentations to be off-putting. It’s like the inspiration messages are too intense and bounce off me.

Secondly, the purveyors of words of motivation are often Pollyannas.

The original book, ‘Pollyanna,’ was written in 1913 by Eleanor H. Porter and portrayed a delightful little girl who finds good in everything she sees. In the book she comes across people who do not think the same way and inevitably has trouble with other people who do not have the same outlook. The book is a delightful tale but the term ‘Pollyanna’ has subsequently come to be understood as someone who has a naive and innocently positive view of the world.

In a way it is sad that we see positivity in such a way and it is partly the responsibility of the bearers of inspiration messages.

Far too many proponents of positive thinking are in reality two-faced. I know of one person who publishes entirely positive thoughts online and yet also has shown prejudices and looks for sympathy for any problems she has. It is like the singer who sings about eternal love and is on her third marriage. So many see positive thinking as a way to deny the tough situations in the world and to dismiss unbelievers as ‘negative’ people.

It is difficult to strike the right balance, I know, but the most successful positive attitude has its roots in the real world. It accepts we have problems, understands them and then deals with them in a positive manner.

We don’t need to skip along saying, ‘Hello trees, hello grass – isn’t it a lovely day?’ We don’t need to refer to problems as challenges or to ‘share’ a message. We do need to say words of motivation such as ‘I can do this’ or ‘I am much greater than this’ or ‘isn’t the world amazing, aren’t we amazing as people?’ But quietly to ourselves when it will do the most good.

Believe there is a power to our lives and to us as people. Be quietly confident we can overcome problems and that the greater the problem, the greater the reward at the end. The inspiration needs to be internal; we need to internalize the beliefs to get the most power. We need to live the right attitude though our actions.

To be fair there are an increasing number of teachers who are recognizing this and who are passing on words of motivation in a practical and down-to-earth way. We need a lot more.

We need fewer mantras, less razzamatazz and more sober ‘you can do it and this is how.’ We need less waving the hands in the air and more ‘ah, that’s interesting.’

We urgently need words of motivation that will get into the hearts of people.


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