What motivates you? How do you motivate others? Is it even possible to motivate others?
Motivation is an interesting phenomenon. Here at the beginning of a new school year, we teachers try to think of ways to motivate some of our less enthusiastic students to try harder in our classes. Not necessarily an easy thing to do. If you read the "experts" in the field, you find a wide range of ideas and suggestions — instructor's enthusiasm, reasonable expectations and goals, showing relevance of the material, asking engaging questions, active involvement and participation of students, building self-confidence, variety, rewards and privileges, rapport between teacher and students, and on and on it goes.
There's a whole industry out there whose goal is to help motivate people. One of their products is the motivational poster. You've undoubtedly seen them. They generally have a symbolic picture, a keyword, and an inspiring or motivating saying or quotation. Here's an example…
Here's one on persistence…
There's another whole industry that is a spin-off of the motivational posters. They call their products demotivational posters. Here's their version of persistence…
Their whole premise is that "motivational products create unrealistic expectations, raising hopes only to dash them." They go on to say, "…we created our soul-crushingly depressing Demotivators® designs, so you can skip the delusions that motivational products induce and head straight for the disappointments that follow!"
This poster of theirs pretty well sums up their philosophy…
Some of their posters are quite cynical, but many are downright hilarious. Sometimes the picture is indispensable and other times their wording is enough. Here are a my absolute favorites…
Blame - The Secret to Success is Knowing Who to Blame for Your Failures.
Challenges - I expected times like this - but I never thought they'd be so bad, so long, and so frequent.
Defeat - For Every Winner, There are Dozens of Losers. Odds are You're One of Them.
Dysfunction - The Only Consistent Feature of All of your Dissatisfying Relationships is You.
Failure - When Your Best Just Isn't Good Enough.
Futility - You'll Always Miss 100% of the Shots you Don't Take, and, Statistically Speaking, 99% of the Shots You Do.
Ineptitude - If You Cant' Learn to Do Something Well, Learn to Enjoy Doing It Poorly.
Mistakes - It Could Be that the Purpose of Your Life Is Only to Serve as a Warning to Others.
Pessimism - Every Dark Cloud Has a Silver Lining, but Lightning Kill Hundreds of People Each Year Who are Trying to Find it.
Trouble - Luck Can't Last a Lifetime Unless You Die Young.
Underachievement - The Tallest Blade of Grass is the First to be Cut by the Lawnmower.
Wishes - When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it's really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth which will destroy all life. Then you're pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for. Unless it's death by meteor.
You can see the whole Demotivators® collection on their website despair.com and maybe even decide to buy some of their funny products.
Before leaving despair.com behind, I'd like to highlight a couple more of their posters. Here's one that goes to the very heart of this French teacher…
I wonder if anyone has shown these two demotivational posters to Obama…
Ever since I first found the Demotivators® website, I have been saving things that others have put together, following the same basic template, satirizing a number of areas of life. Here are some of the ones I've collected…
I found one that I altered — I thought that the blank image with nothing but the word Alzheimer's was over the edge, so here's my softened version of it…
I hope that you were more amused than demotivated by the preceding posters!
Anyway, back to motivation… What motivates you? If you are in a position to try to motivate others, what works for you? Like those posters above, what has demotivated you at times?
As cute as it may be, would the following "motivational" poster be enough for you or those around you?
I fear that that is what is happening in many classrooms today — teachers telling their students how great they are in an effort to motivate them.
I'm really looking forward to getting some reader input on this whole area of motivation.
"When I choose to sin, it's like taking a spoonful of death because sin and death go together." - Dr. Drew Conley
In the world of political correctness, people aren't lazy, they're only selectively motivated.
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