Some of you may have seen my Easter post, “Things I Stuff in My Kids’ Easter Eggs to Throw Them for a Loop.” In that post, I talk about nonsensical inspirational statements. These pseudo-philosophical sayings drive me nuts, mostly because they are ridiculous and contradictory to reality, and yet people still superimpose them on pictures of mountains and sunsets and space shuttles and people windsurfing. So, to expand my thoughts on the nonsensical inspirational statements that I included in my last post, here are my explanations of those particular sayings, for those who have never thought about them more than giving them a passing glance when they’re displayed as posters on the walls of your gym or office or kid’s school.
“Reach for the moon … if you miss at least you’ll be among the stars.”
Technically, no. The average distance of the moon’s elliptical orbit from the earth is 238,900 miles. The nearest star, aside from the sun, is 4.24 light years away, as in you’ll never reach it in your lifetime traveling in a conventional space vehicle that doesn’t have some sort of Star Wars-esque hyperdrive. So, yeah, if you reach for the moon and miss it, you still have a way to go, idiot.
“When your mind is full of indecision, try thinking with your heart.”
No. This is how I ended up betting on the Denver Broncos in this year’s Super Bowl. The heart is not to be trusted.
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”
Nope. Wrong again. I’m married, and I’m a guy, so I never get to be right.
“Always remember that you are unique. Just like everybody else.”
I actually use this statement a lot in a work context, though probably not in the inspirational way it was originally intended. “Yes, you are unique. And your project is totally unique. It’s nothing at all like the projects I’ve done for hundreds of other clients over the past 15 years. Let’s certainly re-invent the wheel for you. That seems like a good use of everyone’s time.
And my all-time favorite, which children of the ’80s might remember from Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 broadcasts: “Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.”
This seems like a waste of time, unless you’re 4.24 light years tall.