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Motivated to bore

The plague is spreading, I tell you. This “motivational speaker” claptrap. It’s spreading.

Walked into this bookstore (above) in Harare a few days ago. Like most others, they too have a “motivation section”.

Open your internets, and you find an army of people who, for some reason, feel under pressure to say deep, profound stuff to others. On Monday, there’s even this “Monday Motivation” thing trending, and goblets of faux wisdom rain your timelines like randomly-aimed bird droppings.

A couple of years ago, colleagues of mine spent up to $300 in Harare to hear one motivational speaker, an apparently famous dude called John Maxwell, speak.  Worst waste of a few hundred bucks I ever saw.

Never was convinced by that lot. One year, by some stroke of sheer rotten luck, I found myself listening to one such dude in Joburg. Thick accent from the deep American south, not too much hair. Sweaty as hell. Unable to stand still. Stating the obvious and calling it rare, billable wisdom.

The “motivational quotes” that poured out of him. It’s like being caught in a flash storm of pigeon poop. When it’s over, and you have survived it all, you rake all the droppings into small piles, like you’re cleaning up the chicken coop in January after you’ve killed off the last of your Christmas broilers. Then you push all that out of mind and get back to real life because, dude, you really don’t want that nonsense in your life.

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Honestly, the guy is standing there asking you to “give yourself a high five”, and you don’t feel silly?

The plague is everywhere. In the US, the whole “self improvement” industry – from speakers, books, audiobooks, personal coaching etc – is worth $10-billion, according to one report I read recently. That’s more than twice Zim’s national budget, comrades. They have 40,000 paid speakers in the US, according to – and this is actually a thing – the “National Speakers Association”. Self-improvement books alone sell $500m a year, in America alone.

Top speakers charge like 50 grand to spout their mumbo jumbo for 30minutes, according to one New York Times report.

Bookshelves creak under the weight of “motivational literature”. That’s where you get “self-help” books with really genius titles like “The Five Toilet Habits of Successful People” or some such utterly pointless drivel. Self-help guides with covers far glossier than their mind-numbing content.

Every day an email drops into your mailbox inviting you to some “symposium” of some sort, where, says the guy in the email, you will leave “motivated and ready to take on the world”.

Oh, don’t even start with the signatures some of us append to work emails. Grown men out there pinning up motivational quotes so corny they make you want to kick puppies.

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Guys, enough motivation already.

Source: www.rangamberi.tumblr.com

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Nigel Mugamu is extremely passionate about the use of tech in Africa, travel, wine, Man Utd, current affairs and Zimbabwe.

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