10 Terrible ‘Inspirational’ Quotes Which Don’t Mean Anything


Unfortunately David Brent did not represent the death knell of the middle management type who loves to spout inspirational quotes with no meaning or substance – so we still have to suffer through terrible ‘mantras’ and ‘life codes’ (often complete with air quotes) thrown at us in chain emails, LinkedIn shares and Monday morning meetings. Here are just 10 banal quotes which have been angering the Banc team this Monday morning.

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Whilst blacktip sharks, boa constrictors, stick insects and (depending who you believe) Godzilla are all capable of asexual reproduction of genetically-identical offspring – we, as a species, are woefully unable to create ourselves.  At most, we can create someone who might share a few features and unattractive traits with us – providing we get the help of a willing partner.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you fail, you’ll land among the stars.

Hopefully this phrase was not coined by someone who works for NASA, as it displays absolutely zero understanding of where the Earth’s moon position compared to the stars. The moon is 384,400km from the Earth, whereas the closest star (the Sun) to Earth is 149,785,000km away. That’s a pretty awful shot. And that’s not even taking into account the plurality of ‘stars’ – suggesting a mythical spot of stars hanging around under a moon for over-ambitions fools to come spinning into their bosom.

If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. 

The kind of quote used by teenage girls to justify their new found love for Green Day is more than just an awkward phase. Usually screamed at bemused parents who are too hasty to hide their own similarly awkward phases which involved more bucket hats and newly-learned Mancunian slang; the quote will precede a “you just don’t understand what it’s like to be young!”

The worst part of being strong is that no one asks if you’re okay.

The inspirational quote is usually accompanies by a picture of a lion stoically staring into space, presumably wishing someone would ask how he feels and if everything is okay. Generally rule of thumb: Lions are almost always okay – they sleep 20 hours a day and then eat whoever they want, pretty okay.

Passion is born when you catch a glimpse of your true potential.

Swap ‘Passion’ with ‘Ambition’ and this might just pass as a lazy but understandable quote. Passion can be born anytime – usually at the most inconvenient time for teenage boys with limited control over their new physical functions.

Why do we close our eyes when we PRAY, CRY, DREAM? Because the most beautiful things in life are not seen… but felt only by the heart.

Ignoring the obvious scientific explanation, this quote completely forgets that eyes and the heart don’t have mutually exclusive functionality – at this very moment both my eyes and my heart are working pretty well.

Life is like a flow river of opportunities, it’s up to you to stand up with a bucket or with a spoon.

What is even going on in this analogy? Are we collecting water for our village or washing our cutlery? One of the world’s deadliest natural disasters occurred when the Yangtze and Huai rivers overflowed in China in the 1930s and upwards of four million people died, swept up by the allegorical opportunities.

Follow your dreams. They know the way.

An inspirational quote you want to keep away from would-be murderers, burglars, sociopaths and psychopaths. This one definitely needs a few caveats.

That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

Except heart disease, strokes, being stabbed in the leg, smoking, and most other things. An accurate re-write of this famous quote would probably read something like “A glass of milk every day makes us stronger, unless you’re lactose intolerant in which case seek a suitable alternative.”

Impossible is a word found only in the dictionary of fools.

Napoleon misses the point on a few counts when he coined this famous phrase:

–          Said ‘Dictionary’, when he meant ‘Vocabulary’

–          Assumption of total dictionary knowledge.

–          He completely forgot double negatives: “I’m sorry Louis XVIII, but meeting cute girls is not impossible, you just need to be confident.

For meaningful content creation rather than vague banalities, give the Banc team a call on 0845 459 0558 to discuss a full content marketing plan.

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Chris Balme