If you’ve looked at my Instagram account recently, you probably noticed that it seems like I wear the same thing every day. And you’d be right; this isn’t some photographic editing trick. Monday – Friday, I wear the same ‘uniform’: jeans and a plain black t-shirt (don’t bash it – some of the best innovators in the world do the same).

But there was a time before I adopted minimalism where I literally owned more than 50 different t-shirts. It became an addiction.

My favorite kind of shirt? The ones with motivational quotes or slogans on them.

And I’m not alone. It’s almost impossible to go out in public without seeing someone sporting some version of “work hard”, “hustle”, or “never going to quit”.

And while the shirts themselves are often pretty cool, I can’t help but notice the glaring contradiction playing itself out.

Yesterday I mentioned an awesome quote by Viktor Frankl that a friend sent to me, and why I love quotes (and reading, in general) so much.

And, I mentioned how I’d share my thoughts in a later article about why quotes can sometimes be used the wrong way.

Today is that later article.

So here’s the deal.

Too many people are sharing motivational quotes (be it on their clothes or social media) and not embodying or living them.

We see people broadcasting some “keep going” kind of message, but then eating at a fast food restaurant.

Be all you can be” while smoking a cigarette.

Work hard, play hard” while scrolling through their news feed.

These are obviously just examples, but you get the idea.

The big problem is that people want to feel good about themselves, but don’t want the discomfort that comes from pushing outside your comfort zone, showing up consistently, and actually doing the work to create lasting change.

Quotes weren’t designed to look cool. They are pieces of wisdom based on lessons learned from people who took action.

Alright, rant over…

The next time you read a motivational quote, and before you mindlessly share it because it looks cool, ask yourself if you’re really embodying the message behind it. And if not, what small action can you take to make it a part of who you are?

Then, and only then, can you “be all you can be.


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