Social media is jam packed with motivational quotes to help us ride our rollercoaster of life. When I see them, some land. Some don’t.
Depending on how I am feeling they can propel me forward into a hive of happiness that makes me want to skip around and hug everyone. Some give me a ‘meh’ kinda reaction. And if I’ve got the flats or am struggling, they can make me want to stab the person who posted them in the eye.
I am one of those people that post them. I even use #motivationmonday, #highonlife and other annoying hashtags too. Don’t judge me. Actually, you are welcome. I deserve it.
Psychologist and motivation expert Jonathan Fader (PhD) has looked into the science behind inspirational quotes. There will be a group of people who are naturally drawn to these mantras and quotes. Beyond that Fader tells us that there are three reasons why one quote or mantra may resonate more with people over another.
- Someone you respect said it.
If your teacher, mentor or coach believes in you, then it lands louder for the individual. One of my favourite leaders and mentors, Tim Orton, once gave me some great advice; ‘Make a decision that suits the majority, not the loud minority’. I’ve held on to it ever since.
- The power of language.
The phrasing, melody and rhythm of words can increase their appeal too. Dr. Seuss was a master of this style of writing. ‘To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world’.
- Our biology plays a role.
We are primal beings so when someone we revere who is a recognised leader or an achiever, we can feel drawn to their mantas because of who they are and what they stand for. Like Martin Luther King’s; ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends’. That’s stood the test of time.
In the past few months I’ve really held on to one mantra in particular. Super tight. No matter how I’ve been feeling. Whether I’m happy, frustrated, anxious or just plain ‘meh’. It’s become more than a mantra. It’s formed my value and my attitude.
Every week is full of opportunities to treat others poorly. To tell someone what we really think of them. To ignore or bypass them. To crack it or crack down. And many times they might deserve it. But I try not to.
I keep coming back to my mantra that’s burning in my core.
How people treat you is a measure of their character. How you respond is a measure of yours.
I don’t always get it right. At all. But it’s a rudder for me.
What’s your mantra? I’d love to know.