(Un)Inspirational Phrases

The powers that be have some explaining to do.

All our lives, we’re fed a bunch of inspirational phrases and sayings to help us make sense of the complicated world we live in. These sayings always seem like helpful advice, but I’m not so sure.

Sometimes we just need a good dose of reality.

Variety is the spice of life.

Maybe. But it can also be completely overwhelming.

Like standing in a closet overflowing with clothes and saying, “I have nothing to wear.” Or going to Cheesecake Factory and trying to pick an entree from the 27-page menu. Or figuring out which of the nine million “life hacks” and “morning routines” will “optimize” our day.

Sometimes less is more.

Less Cheesecake Factory is definitely more.

And “pumpkin” is the real spice of life.

The early bird catches the worm.

He also catches the pellets from the hunter’s first shotgun blast. I hope that worm was worth it.

Confession: I’m not a hunter. I had to Google the “best time of day for quail hunting.”

And come to think of it, I don’t really know if quail even eat worms.

Follow your passion.

I’m passionate about family, friends, reading, traveling, exercise, music, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I’ll gladly follow those things, but they don’t pay the bills.

Let’s switch that phrase around a bit: Passion follow your.

What does that even mean? I have no idea.

I just know we end up loving things that we’re good at. When we do something well, we get positive feedback. So we keep doing that thing — we practice. Maybe we get even more positive feedback, and we keep improving. We continue the cycle because it makes us happy. And that is passion.

At least that’s how I understand it. I even tried to write about it. But all the psychology and business books start to run together at some point.

Dress for the job you want.

I want to get paid to lay in a hammock and read all day. Do I have to wear a shirt?

Live each day like it’s your last.

If I knew today was my last day, I wouldn’t be writing this article. I’d be frantically running around trying to figure out how to outsmart the grim reaper. I’d increase my life insurance policy.

Actually, I’d probably be laying on the floor balling my eyes out.

That sounds exhausting. I’d rather just not worry about it and keep following those passions I talked about earlier.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Oh, really? Have you ever been called “pizza face” or heard the words, “You can play the next game?”

We’ve all heard words that hurt enough to make us want to pick up some sticks and stones and break someone’s bones.

And I’m not a ginger. I’m a day-walker.

Good things come to those who wait.

Perfect. In the meantime, I’m just going to lay here in my hammock and continue reading.

Your network is your net worth.

Cool. I’ll just reach out to my network and see who wants to give me work/money/mentoring/anything-else-to-increase-my-net-worth.

Our network is only worth something if we are worth something. So maybe we should build things. Improve our skills. Do something worth sharing and talking about. Then maybe our network will beat our door down trying to get to us.

Our 900 random connections on LinkedIn are worthless without a body of work to share with them.

Money can’t buy happiness.

Maybe not.

But it can buy peanut butter cups. And that makes me happy.

If at first you don’t succeed: try, try again.

Well, that definitely sounds motivating. Persistence pays. Get up, dust yourself off and give it another shot.

But there has to be a limit on the number of tries, right? We can’t all be good at everything we do. Is it that bad to just admit we aren’t cut out for something, so we can move onto something else?

Otherwise, we end up with Keanu Reeves. Or ska music. Or clips of Charles Barkley playing golf.

Take the road less traveled.

I don’t know. Maybe the road is “less traveled” for a reason. Maybe it’s full of potholes and leads to a dead end.

We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel. To “be different” just to be different. To forge a new path into uncharted territory.

Sometimes it’s fine to follow a route that’s tested and proven. A path that works — sticking to the rivers and streams that we’re used to.

Treat others the way you want to be treated.

I want every driver on the road to get out of my way. I want people to usher me to the front of the line at the grocery store. Basically, I want everyone to go out of their way to make my life as comfortable as possible. What would happen if everyone acted that way?

Wait. Maybe that would make the world a better place.

We can keep that one.

I'm Brandon.

I’m a dad who writes about being a dad. When I can find the time between wiping butts and breaking up fights and chauferring and working. 

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