Popular Motivational Quotes That Need an Upgrade

Who doesn’t love a good motivational quote? Whether it comes from Twitter or Grandma, there is no shortage of this concise wisdom designed to inspire and encourage. These quotes often put a smile on our face and warmth in our hearts. I post a quote of the week in my fitness studio, use an app that gives me a quote of the day, and often tweet and retweet my favorites.

I don’t have a problem with most of these quotes; however…

There are a few popular quotes that I emphatically disagree with, especially as it relates to my clients who are doing their very best to create healthier lifestyles. Can you guess what gets me a bit perturbed about the following quotes?

1) Knowledge is Power!
2) When you know better, you do better!
3) Where there’s a WILL, there’s a WAY!

Did you catch it? These quotes suggest that what is in your heart or head will bring about your goals! As it relates to my business, these quotes suggest that health and fitness information and strong willpower will lead to success. Many of my clients come to me with low self-confidence saying, “I have zero willpower” or “I know what I’m supposed to do, I just don’t do it.” They feel incapable and incompetent at creating change in their lives. But it’s not their fault! What’s missing is the ACTION PLAN.

So let’s look at each of these quotes closer and create an upgraded version:

“KNOWLEDGE IS POWER”
Um, no it’s not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge advocate of education for sure! I wish I could be a full-time student or at the least, have a year to just read, because I really do have a love of learning. But there is zero power in knowing something. The power comes from putting that knowledge into action.

Upgrade: “Knowledge put into ACTION is power!”

“WHEN YOU KNOW BETTER, YOU DO BETTER”
Nowhere is this myth more evident than in the obesity rates and sedentary lifestyle of Americans. Despite the fact that there are more resources available to educate on and support a healthy lifestyle than ever before, the CDC reports that over 67% of Americans are overweight or obese and only 45% of adults engage in the minimum recommend levels of exercise. We do “better” when we outline specific action steps to put this information into practice.

Upgrade: “When you know better, you are responsible to ACT better!”

“WHERE THERE’S A WILL, THERE’S A WAY”
This quote suggest that if you have enough willpower, you can move mountains to create your dreams. In reality, willpower is a limited, fluctuating resource that is an unreliable source of “fuel”. Research shows that our willpower is highest in the morning and then diminishes as the day goes on due to all the tasks and choices we encounter (which is why late night snacking is so common). Instead, creating a clear objective and implementing specific action steps (the WAY) often leads to an increase in confidence and motivation (the WILL).

Upgrade: “Where there’s a WAY, there’s an increase in WILL!”

Now What…
If you’ve been following my blog you know that I now end all posts with “Now What” action steps because, as this post explains, reading the blog doesn’t do you any good if you don’t ACT on it. So, here’s your “Call to Action” this month:

Find a motivational quote that hits you in the heart…one that you feel was written just for you in this moment. Now move that quote from your heart to your head; fueled by the feeling the quote creates, decide on one specific ACTION STEP you can take this week to start to bring those words to life. For example, one of my favorites is “It’s in the giving that you receive.” I need to define exactly what specific “giving” I can do this week, to whom, and when. And then….do it!

So, keep reading and re-tweeting those motivational quotes as the world desperately needs encouragement and positivity. But then challenge yourself to “walk the talk”…

Be MORE,
Coach Lisa