"Motivational speeches are like drugs. We listen and get intoxicated in the atmosphere and illusion created for a few hours."
Long back, one of the friends took me to the event citing that there is a great motivational speaker who is going to change our life. When I asked him how exactly he will do that? He told me that it is good to listen to the speaker. Of course, there was a ticket.
Those days were very hard, struggle was immense. What I wanted was good advice to do something different in life. So, I decided to join. The event was organised in a big hotel. When we entered the hall, the atmosphere was energetic and everybody was excited to listen to the speaker. Few people were roaming around and cheering the audience. They were asking to clap, to cheer. Yes, it was exciting. After half an hour, the anchor announced that the speaker was entering on the stage. He requested to stand up and clap for the speaker. It was a mesmerizing atmosphere there.
Speaker arrived on the stage. He shouted, “Hey guys, do you want to make the change in your life?
Audience responded, “Yesssssssssss”
Speaker started the speech. It was like one act play, moving and running from one corner of the stage to another corner. He was jumping and hollering while telling a few known stories. In between asking the response from the audience. Speech was full of inspirational stories, citations, Hindi Shayari, jokes and a lot of words like, extra mile, discipline, focus, conviction and so on. No doubt, it was a great speech.
Eventually, when we came out of the session, we were happy and everybody was speaking about the speaker, his style, his stories. After 2-3 days, my friend and I totally forgot his speech. For us, it was another entertaining event. I had attended a few more sessions of few more motivational speakers and it was not different from what I attended the earlier one.
There are 4 types of motivational speakers,
- Speakers who have achieved something in their life and they become motivational speakers, like Arunima Sinha or similar.
- Some CEOs, CXOs or great business leaders who are invited regularly on different forums after their retirement.
- Professionals who practiced hard to become speaker and became motivational speakers
- Professionals who were in sales of some insurance, FMCG or some multi-level marketing (MLM) company.
I like listening to the first 2 categories. They are authentic, genuine and they have their own experience to share.
However, we should understand that motivational speakers don’t change our life. It is upto us what message we take from them. If you follow everything they speak, you may get in trouble. Most of the time, they don’t motivate people to change the behaviour. Otherwise the world would have been different. We have a lot of speakers, spiritual leaders, mentors who deliver messages and still people have their own issues. It is pertinent to note that you have to fight your battles and face your own struggles. What others say may not be relevant to you. Inspirational speeches did not equal motivation to create real change for the audience hearing. It did not mean that three days after the event, when people were back in the office, that it had any impact on their behaviour one little bit.
Motivational speeches are like drugs. We listen and get intoxicated in the atmosphere and illusion created for a few hours. After that we are back to the normal and forget everything.
I am not against listening to motivational speakers; however, it is important to believe in your own competencies and ability to undertake tasks and achieve your goals. This is also called “Self-Efficacy”. Hearing one of these speakers does not build self-efficacy and belief that you can achieve something more – it may in fact do the opposite. Same is applicable to LinkedIn stories.
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(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organization)