Friday, April 18, 2008

Ace hates motivational speakers (unless they're Chris Farley)

We had a motivational speaker come to work today. Now I will admit before I start ranting, I didn’t go in with the best attitude. I was questioning, in general, motivational speakers’ credibility. Do they get where they are because they have done something extraordinary, or is it just because they know the right words to say to the right people? Regardless, I reflected afterwards and still determined that motivational speakers must be stopped.

First of all, in these 2.5 hours of my life, I didn’t learn a thing. It’s called common sense people! Wait, if you want to get someone to like you, you’re supposed to ask them about themselves!? People actually like talking about themselves? That’s an incredible observation. Oh yeah, now I remember . . . I used that in junior high to talk to girls. The speaker then preached about being genuine when getting to know others, then proceeded to give us a recipe of questions to ask in order to do be genuine. I usually refer to my “How to be Genuine Handbook” when I need answers, but I guess this will work just as well. What ever happened to just asking questions from the heart if you really are interested in getting to know the person? Instead he gives us a formula to get to know everyone and then, according to the speaker, they will want to help you all the time once they like you. Yeah that sounds genuine and not devious at all. Oh, and just to prove his point, (I kid you not) he brought about 30-40 people on stage to ask them these 5 questions. No, seriously, go right ahead. I don’t mind sitting here for 45 minutes while you interview these people that I have no interest in getting to know and will probably never see again.

A few minutes later, he gets everyone (~1,000 people) to stand up and shake hands with someone near you and tell them, “I’m happy that you’re here.” Positive thinking he calls it. I only wish Cy was there with me to bring the total protesters sitting down to 2.

Later, he discusses how to make pain go away with positive thinking. He brings a volunteer up on stage that has back pain. After walking though a ridiculous mental scenario, the girl magically says her back hurts less. This guy’s like Jesus! It should probably be noted that it seemed like the girl was just appeasing him to get off stage. Regardless, what he’s basically telling me is that if I imagine the pain to go away or distract myself enough to forget about it, all is well. It seems to me like he’s forgetting one little thing . . . I can’t quite place it . . . wait, that’s right, pain is our body’s way to tell us something is wrong. If I follow this guy’s technique with my shoulder/knee injuries, ignore them and keep pushing myself to workout and run and play ultimate, well I think I may just be crippled down the road. Is that what you want Mr. Motivational speaker? TAKE SOME TIME TO REEVALUATE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

I could keep going, but I won’t. I’ve made my point . . . and that point is that motivational speakers must be stopped! (unless it’s Chris Farley)


anna said...

oh wow. amazing. i didn't know that motivational speakers actually exist/are hired to speak in legitimate centers of employment. maybe this guy's problem is that he doesn't live in a van down by the river?

Candice said...

yeah we get them all the time. there's this one guy who's specialty is talking REALLY loudly (him talking out loud is the internet equivalent of AlTeRnAtInG CaPs I tHiNk.. real loud and in your face) and calling on random people in the audience so you can't fall asleep. i've already seen him 3 times in 2 years... then again - i'd rather have him than some other motivational speaker types (i'm thinking the guy in Little Miss Sunshine), because at least he's loud, which automatically makes him mildly entertaining.

Janelle said...

HAHAHAHAHA. Ace, you made my day. You should become a motivational speaker.