The Duncan Banner

Opinion

March 3, 2013

Feeling demotivated today? Just enjoy it

DUNCAN — Well, zip-a-dee-doo-dah, y’all! It’s another glorious morning; time for all highly-motivated, self-starters to spring out of the sack and go blissfully into another day; ready to achieve great things, with a smile on your face; just happy to be alive and have another opportunity to take on the world and be a contributor to humanity!

Geez, that second sentence is one of the longest I’ve ever written! Worked so hard on it, I’m totally drained and am going to crawl back under the sheets.

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah? Bah! Humbug!

But despite my complete lack of motivation, The Duncan Banner expects me to fill up this space. So, having breached the subject of motivation, let’s continue.

How do you get motivated? What does it take?

A strong cup of coffee? Five Krispy Kremes and six Cokes? A dozen bottles of 5 Hour Energy?

Does a stirring pep talk from your boss fire you up? Is your office or cubicle festooned with pithy aphorisms about today being the first day of the rest of your life?

Yeah, I know, you’re sick of hearing all those cliché reasons to be productive — and so am I. But I think I’ve found an alternative.

While wallowing in pessimism and aimlessness, I discovered the website of a company called Despair Inc. and it’s worth a visit.

I mean, how can you keep from being inspired by a company that recommends “demotivation” as the solution to the rat race? Despair Inc.’s home page gets right to the point: “Motivational products don’t work. But our demotivational products don’t work ‘even better.’”

On the company’s “Products” page, you’ll find a catalog of what appear to be the colorful inspirational posters your boss or office manager has hung around the workplace. They’re emblazoned with words like Ambition, Motivation, Sacrifice, Effort and Teamwork.

But take a closer look — these aren’t the saccharine motivational slogans we’ve all come to know and gag over.

For instance, one poster features a magnificent picture of a silvery moon with “Shoot For The Moon” embossed below. The demotivational message reads: “Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. Of course, then your eyeballs will boil and your lungs explode from decompression. But that’s what you get for being a dang showoff.”

Most of the messages are geared toward business, where motivation is critical — and often elusive.

You gotta appreciate this poster on Meetings: “None of us is as dumb as all of us.” Or this warped wisdom on Team Building: “Sometimes, the most important lesson you can learn is that you’re not a very good team.”

Yes, gentle readers, this website has all the things you really want to say when the boss, a task force leader or your analyst try to coax you into going above and beyond, and all you want to do is give in to futility.

Among other topics and demotivated alternatives are:

Love: “Money can’t buy you love. But it can buy exotic cars and luxury yachts. Once you’ve got those covered, you’ll be fighting love off with a stick”

Worth: “Just because you’re necessary doesn’t mean you’re important.”

Consistency: “It’s only a virtue if you’re not a screwup.”

Mistakes: “It could be the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.””

Tradition: “Just because you’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean it’s not incredibly stupid.”

Who’s responsible for these demotivated parodies of uninspiring inspiration? Well, one culprit is a cat named E.L. Kersten, who co-founded Despair Inc. in 2005. According to the website, “After decades of the multi-billion dollar motivation industry unleashing untold suffering upon the workplaces, schools and civil institutions of the world in the insidious form of the motivational poster, one company dared to fight back.”

Given my advanced state of demotivation today, the messages from Despair Inc. bring a smile from the cynic inside me, and a knowing nod from the realist who shares my psyche.

I hope it’s done the same for others in the demotivated masses. And let me leave you with a final demotivated truism to guide you through the remainder of a demotivated day:

“When you wish upon a falling star, your dreams can come true. Unless it’s really a meteorite hurtling to the Earth, which will destroy all life. Then you’re pretty much hosed no matter what you wish for: Unless it’s death by meteor.”

Hey, have a nice day.

jeff.kaley@duncanbanner.com

580-255-5354, Ext. 172

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