April 02, 2018

Do You Have A Dream To Understand The Appeal Of Inspiration?

Note: This post has been contributed.

Inspirational quotes are a marmite matter. Some people out there can’t get enough. They spam your Facebook feed with their best finds and even get tattoos of quotes which speak to them the most. Any hard situation they face, they have a set of quotes to hand which they know can see them through.

For others, though, this inspirational frenzy makes no sense. You’ll know you’re one of these people if you’re unaffected by those inspirational memes. You’ve never in your life looked out for the motivational words of someone else when you’re struggling. Instead, you face all your issues head on, and deal with things in the present rather than looking at words from the past.



via GIPHY

But, what if we were to tell you that inspirational quotes could serve you better than you think? In fact, people who don’t at least experience some boost from these have possibly just never found the right words. We can almost guarantee that there’s at least a few quotes out there which could help you deal with difficulties. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you need to post your inspiration for the world to see. But, having a private stash of motivation could be a huge help when you need it.

The first thing to bear in mind is that motivation is vastly varied. For proof of how much so, let’s look at the variety found in even the most famous choices

  • ‘I have a dream’ - Martin Luther King said this in his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, and it’s since gone on to be one of the most cited quotes of all time.
  • ‘And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.’ - Found in the Bible, this has since gone on to be an unofficial slogan for the CIA, and even appears on many a CIA challenge coin. Given its origins, it’s no wonder this gets the inspiration going.
  • ‘Be yourself; everyone else is taken’ - One of Oscar Wilde’s most famous quotes, though certainly not the only one worth your time.
  • ‘There is nothing permanent except change.’ - Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said this one way back when.
This is by no means an expansive collection, but it proves a pretty good point about the variety on offer. But, of course, throwing a few quotes you’ve likely already heard your way won’t sell you here. Instead, let’s look at a few of the reasons why many people find quotes so inspirational. You may find that a few of these reasons speak to you, too.


A guiding hand

It’s in our nature to look to role models and leaders. Predominantly, this is because there’s always been someone in charge. When we’re younger, our parents lead the way, and our teachers take their place. But, once we fly the nest, it can feel as though we’re in it on our own. That is, of course, until we look to the advice found in quotes from others. Through our readings, we can sometimes convince ourselves that these figures of history are leading the way. Given that the feeling of flying solo is so frightening, it’s easy to see why that would be so appealing. You won’t have to go it alone anymore if you take the lead of these inspirational figures.

It’s also fair to say that we often ascribe coach-like roles to those from whom these quotes originated. The fact that they aren’t actually in our lives doesn’t matter. While reading their words, we can still develop a sense of responsibility to them. And, that ensures we go out and be the best versions of ourselves possible. After reading something which speaks to you, you may feel driven to change those problems you’ve been putting off. You wouldn’t want to let your inspiration down, after all.

A moment of pause

Many of us have a habit of catastrophizing when things go wrong. We may lament ourselves with sentiments such as ‘why does it always happen to me?’. Sometimes, we even convince ourselves that there’s nothing we can do to fix things. And, with an attitude like this, you can be sure your situation will hit you that bit harder. But, having a backup of quotes to turn to can stop you from entering that downward spiral. Instead, you’ll absorb your situation, then have a moment of quiet in which you pick out a quote to make you feel better. You may even suspend thinking about that issue as you scroll through those words which mean so much to you. And, by the time you find the right quote, you should be in a much more peaceful and capable mental state. Instead of panicking, then, you can face the issue head-on and sort it much faster. Try this next time you get some bad news, and see how it serves you. You may find that taking that quiet time out becomes a little like meditation in the face of disaster. And, that’s got to help.


The pure power of words

Let’s not forget that sometimes, quotes find their strength purely through the power of words. It shouldn’t be news to you that many people turn to books and literature to make sense of themselves and the world. Reading can have a massive impact on who you are and how you perceive things. It’s a mind-altering experience for sure. In many ways, the same can be said for quotes which strike a chord with you. Only, these are like emergency shots for when you don’t have time to read a whole book. Still, those quotes have the power to impact how you move forward in your life. If you’ve never experienced that moment of recognition while reading before, you’re in for a treat. Nothing beats that moment when an author or famous figure finds the perfect words to describe how it is to be you. Experience this once, and you’ll fast see the appeal of those quotes.

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