While the art of motivational speaking is excellent, the populace should be aware that human beings have innate idiosyncrasies which require isolated approaches and can only be bestirred given personal experiences.
George Orwell’s fabled novel Animal Farm rehashes the rhythms of Karl Marx’s revolutionary ethos in a new key using a group of animals on a farm owned by Mr. Jones. The lives of the animals, generally defined by tradeoffs and exploitation, take a dramatic turn around after the motivational speech by Old Major, the twelve-year-old pig. In the speech, Old Major highlights the plight of the animals and blames it on man. Therefore, he rouses the other animals out of their fatalistic lethargy and apparent docility, urging them to dislodge man’s exploitative superstructure. Although Old Major dies three nights after his famous motivational speech, the radical seed of rebellion was already sown. The animals eventually overthrow Mr. Jones and assert their self-rule on the farm.
The above scenario captures the power that resides in motivational speaking especially when the audience is caught in a stranglehold of despair, hopelessness, and exploitation. However, it can be argued that Old Major’s speech lacks the all-inclusiveness that such radical speeches require which is the reason why after Mr. Jones is deposed, the animals enthrone a more corrupt and despicable regime.
This is because while Old Major concentrates on the plight of the animals on a superficial level, he fails to address the innate wickedness that resides in the heart of the animals conveniently concealed by a façade of suffering. Old Major fails to see the traits of manifest treachery and inordinate ambition which are dormant in the hearts of some of the animals. He fails to identify the personal idiosyncrasies of the animals at the individual level which could not accommodate a revolutionary consciousness.
Indeed, the 21st Century, largely characterized by multiple absurdities, has witnessed a high level of depression which in turn has led many people to imbibe abominable creed as a way of finding self-fulfillment. Given the foregoing, some people, out of genuine desire to save humanity, some out of joblessness and some out of an obscene desire to make money, have plunged into the art of motivational speaking. With little or no idea of what motivation entails, these people pronounce stale maxims which in their warped minds will help to shape the lives of other people in a positive way. Over the radio and on TV, even on social media one reads things like “Seven rules of success”, “Five steps to a successful marriage”, “Ten ways of becoming rich”, “Five attitudes of successful people”, and many more.
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The orchestrators of these motivational schemes go on to organize seminars and people are requested to pay various sums of money where they are again fed with harvested scripts from the internet delivered by someone in a remote part of the world, principles that are inimical to our culture and circumstances.
The result is that when people listen to such sophistry, it deludes them to act in a manner that is inconsistent with their immediate reality and at the end, what we have are people who manifest neurotic tendencies of frustration as a result of borrowed, incompatible principles.
While the art of motivational speaking is excellent, the populace should be aware that human beings have innate idiosyncrasies which require isolated approaches and can only be bestirred given personal experiences. As many as human beings are, no two faces are the same, no two people have made the same journey through life and no two people require the same elemental byways to succeed. It is deceptive therefore to feed people with such hollowness as
“Seven Rules of Success”. Besides being restrictive and absolute, it is unfair to summarize the millions of ways of success to only seven. Within the stated number, it is possible that people may not succeed even if they apply each of the seven ways in their daily engagements for the rest of their lives. The principle that Mr. A has applied and attained success if applied by Mr. B can lead to utter failure. It is therefore instructive for those who claim to be motivational speakers to pay attention to diverse personal traits inherent in human nature.
If we concede that marriage, the family is the foundation of any society, then we will realize the challenge that faces the larger society given the preponderance of marriage breakups across the land. Some marriages have collapsed today because the couples’ understanding of marriage was based on borrowed ideas from one motivational journal or another without paying attention to their personal traits and its corresponding compatibility with their partners. While one principle can work perfectly in one marriage, it will be a composite tragedy in another marriage.
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While one set of rules will promote a conjugal union and continually lubricate its machinery, it will totally lead to a lockdown in another marriage. Those inclined to marry or in marriage should not deceive themselves with these laws that are at cross-purposes with their personal traits. No two marriages are the same. Therefore, those who attempt to model their marriages after other people’s marriages are in obvious error.
I am at pains to come to terms with those who lay down a certain number of rules of making money. It is bizarre to delude the populace that there are set rules of becoming rich. Motivational speakers and writers who engage in such acts are like Old Major in Orwell’s Animal Farm who motivated the animals to rebellion without paying attention to the inner workings of the minds of some of the animals. It is possible for one to exhaust the ten ways of making money and still remain poor. Attitudes are very important for the positive application of any principle. When people restrict their minds to some of these rules, they are ultimately divested of their abilities, talents, and ingenuity. Is wealth a natural consequence of hard work? To answer this question, we may have to collectively agree on the exact definition of hard work. I know of workaholics who are poor, I also know of workaholics who are very rich. In the same way, I know of rich people who apply minimal efforts, yet are very rich. So those who teach a certain number of ways and rules of becoming rich must indeed go deeper to understand the underlying principles that undergird individual lives and the intricate behaviour of money. Most self-styled motivational speakers and writers are ill-equipped for the job. In the long run, they misguide a gullible populace into all kinds of misdirection.
There are those who study a particular course at the university because someone close to them studied the same course and is successful. They, therefore, study such courses without paying attention to their personal abilities. In this way, they burden the polity with unemployment and redundancy.
This explains why we have lawyers, medical doctors, engineers, lecturers and bankers who are failures. Certainly, God and the government cannot be blamed for all the woes of man. Let all motivational speakers go back to the drawing board and retool themselves in order to motivate properly or they will motivate the populace to guaranteed misadventure.