I like reading all those motivational books and I agree with most of their practical advice on scheduling, staying focused, trying many times until you succeed, creating and setting goals, etc.
However, I think they have no business giving spiritual and metaphysical advice as if they were a religion and making unproven statements many of which do not make sense at all. Such as:
Statement # 1. Negative thoughts attract negative things/events and positive thoughts attract positive things/events.
Unproven. Thoughts are very weak electric signals and cannot attract things or events. You can’t even lift a speck of dust with your thought.
And are you going to tell me that such things as invasions, hurricanes, bombings are there because their victim’s negative thoughts attracted them? Can you prove it? This is victim blaming!
A more correct version: it’s very hard to take productive action if you have negative thoughts. But it’s not impossible, either.
Statement # 2. You can be anything you want, attain anything you want and have anything you want.
Oh really? Can I become Japanese ( by race)? Can you become President of the USA (as a non native born citizen?) Nonsense! There are serious limitations that you cannot overcome. You need to be aware of those.
A corrected version: You can have/ attain many more things that you think you can by trying your utmost and pushing the limits farther. You can also often have similar equivalents to what you wanted, not necessarily exactly the things you wanted.
Statement # 3. Everything in your life is the result of your choices.
Nope! I did not choose my sex, my race, my place of birth, my parents, etc. I also do not chose laws outside of me that the government passes. Nor do I choose the actions of the financial institutions on Wall St. that often destroy people’s wealth by causing financial crises.
A corrected version: many things in your life are the result of your choices, but not all things.
Statement # 4. You are never too old to (put something here)
Oh, yes, you can be too old for many things. Look at some international job ads. There are age limits. China will not issue you a work visa after age 60. Also, the military has age limits. And oh, there is such a thing as a menopause. A woman cannot have kids after a certain age.
A corrected version: even at a later age, there are many things that you thought you could no longer do, but which you can still do. But it’s not all things.
Statement # 5. Respect yourself and other people will respect you.
Not guaranteed. We do however, get more respect if we dress well and are better groomed and carry ourselves in a dignified manner. But not in all cases. There is such a thing as prejudice for one. You may respect yourself all you want, but if you are too short, wrong skin color, wrong race, etc, you may be scorned no matter how you feel about yourself inside.
A corrected version: dress and groom yourself better. You will often be treated better. But not in all cases.
Statement # 6. If you expect good things to happen, they will; if you expect bad things to happen, they will.
Unproven. Taken out of a hat. Again, the alleged power of thoughts to affect physical events outside- which they cannot in any great manner. I wonder if the dinosaurs expected that giant meteor to hit the Earth and destroy it, too. Which attracted the meteor? Nonsense!
A corrected version: plan good things and follow through and many will happen because you will make them happen with your actions. Prepare for unexpected bad things to happen as much as you can, and you will often be able to minimize their bad effect or avoid them altogether.
Statement #7. You are the cause of everything that happens to you.
No, I am not. Stop lying! An abused child which at his/her young age is too weak to defend itself from an abusive adult is the cause of the abuse? And a tsunami which unexpectedly hit and drowned thousands of people is also caused by these people. Just like a volcano eruption? Stop lying, please! You are spreading nonsense and making innocent people into victims.
A corrected version: you are the cause of many things that happen to you, but not of all things that happen to you.
Statement # 8. Wherever you go, there you are.
Meaning again, you are the problem, not the environment.
The truth: holds true for some things, but not other things. If you are an impatient person, or easily angered, then, you will most likely retain those characteristics if you change places. But if in one place, there are high taxes and low salaries-- and you cannot save money there, but you move to a place with higher salaries and lower taxes, you will most probably be able to save money now.
The same goes for opportunities: in some places you cannot find a job no matter how hard you try simply because there are not many jobs. By moving to a place with better opportunities, you will have a much greater chance of finding a job. This is why people migrate. They’ve been migrating since the days they left Africa. By moving to places with better soil and more food, they populated the world. So,
please stop spreading nonsense!
A corrected version: certain things will not change in your life by you moving to another place, but other things will. Move if you have to.
Also, some people like posting quotes by famous actors, presidents, and various other prominent people as instructions to live by. Especially, how not to care what other people say or think. Those quotes may hold true for such rich and powerful people in their time and place, but they may not hold true or be suitable for you in your time, place and social position.
Conclusion: please follow the practical advice of those books on the matters of setting goals and scheduling, following through, avoiding procrastination, etc. However, take everything spiritual and metaphysical in them with a grain of thought and analyze it logically. Do not believe those things just because some great ( or respectable-looking) person said them. Develop your own belief system based on what would be true for you in your time and place and create your own unique formula that works for you.
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1) Everything happens for a reason.
Truth: Some things happen for a reason, and some things happen for no reason. Just random, chaotic, accidental stuff happens all the time. Shit happens all the time. Reasonless, senseless shit.
You may try and find a reason, and sometimes you'll be able to, while sometimes you won't be able to.
2) If they don't like you, it's their problem ( usually said by some smiling famous actor or a millionaire and posted as a quote online)
Truth: if you are a rich and famous person and you get rejected, well, then, they won't get your money. And it's their problem. You will always find someone who will.
If you are an average person, however, then being rejected by people who had the ability to improve your life is not their problem; it's your problem. You will suffer, they won't.
3) Don't look for love, let love find you.
And softly alight on your shoulder when you least expect it.
Truth: it will happen to the young, good looking and well positioned people in a liberal country. The rest of average people will not have love happen to them. They need to look for it. Just like they need to look for a job. In many countries, religious, social and even legal rules control love and will not allow it to " happen". This is why, until now, billions of people around the world have arranged marriages. They seem to be doing just fine.
4) No one can humiliate you without your consent.
Truth: Says who?
Says Eleanore Roosevelt!
Oh, I see. Are you Eleanore Roosevelt or someone of her money and position in society? If not, being humiliated will leave lasting scars that may affect your entire future. Your " consent" or lack thereof may not make much difference when you hear repeated verbal abuse, especially when it's coming from people whom you are supposed to respect. Demeaning treatment hurts and hurts deep. But of course, it does not hurt Eleanore Roosevelt.
Conclusion: filter these quotes through your mind and see if they apply to the time, place and circumstances of your life now. Parts of them may fit your life, other parts may not. Better use your brain and create solutions based on what you personally must go through. We all have a unique formula that is up for us to find.
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