“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.” ~Steve Jobs
Very motivating right? When we are working our way up trying to make an impact on the world, we tend to look up to the successful icons like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Steve Job, Mark Zuckerberg etc for inspirations.
It is one of the most efficient ways to “model their success” so we can save some efforts and time in detouring around our end goals.
However, there is a dark side in feeding ourselves with these bits and pieces inspirational advice and follow them as the “complete truth”.
A Note Of Caution to Inspirational Quotes Junkies
Don’t get me wrong; I’m a positive thinking junkie and always feed myself with all kinds of motivational affirmations wherever I can. And inspiring quotes are really helpful on an EMOTIONAL level. They have uplifting effect when you feel discouraged, and feel stuck in a rut of thinking.
But inspirational quotes are just “vitamins”. And most of the time they are OUT OF CONTEXT.
When what you need is PRACTICALITY on how to make things work in a nitty gritty level, nothing can replace taking real actions with consistency.
It is like someone who wishes to have great health and vitality by simply taking vitamins, without eating real food, exercising regularly and maintaining healthy life habits.
Take entrepreneurship as an example. It seems like a trendy thing to “quit your job and be your own boss”. But starting a business is like riding a roller-coaster; in fact, 90% of startups failed. You might not hear about these failure stories and their “fail factors” as often when compared to success stories, but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
As a proud practical idealist, I see the importance of separating emotional factor and analytical factor when making important decisions. One successful approach in A’s career might not work well in B’s. When taking general advice from thought leaders, bring with you a critical eye before making your judgement.
Moreover, genius and talents are very often overrated. I would love to see more young achievers to embrace GRIT (take the quiz here) and self-control, which are proven traits that predict achievement!