Friday, 1 February 2013

Thoughts on Inspirational Videos

Here's the thing: my boss is big on "inspirational" videos. We watch them at meetings and he used to send them around to inspire us during sales competitions. I am not motivated by videos (I am also not motivated by competitions, but that's another story). Actually, the last time he sent a video during a competition, it was of some guy singing opera, one of those "who would expect such an amazing voice from this guy" things. I told him that I was suddenly motivated to become an opera singer. I'm sure it's just coincidence that he stopped sending around videos after that!

Now I get that there are people who are motivated by videos. These are the same people who got upset when some fast food restaurant had an ad making fun of vegetables and people who bring them to parties, because, as we know, everyone makes diet decisions based on commercials.

This is what actually bothers me: a lot of these inspirational videos have to do with people overcoming terrible odds to do even the normal things in life (also, Rick Hansen going bungee jumping). It seems wrong to use them to inspire me to be better at sales. I think that it cheapens them somehow. Use them to help inspire people who are undergoing life altering challenges of some sort. They need to be inspired to keep going when life seems to be too big to handle.

Inspirational videos, posters, talks...none of them work on me. There always seems to be a disconnect between the talk and the real world. That some guy can overcome great physical handicaps to do great things has nothing to do with my sales record and I can't make them fit. I always walk away thinking "what does that have to do with anything?" Plus, I always get the feeling that someone is trying to make me feel guilty about not doing something or being better at something. I don't like feeling that I (and my emotions) are being manipulated.

Which is not to say that I don't like to watch the occasional inspirational video. I just don't like to use them and I don't like people using them on me.

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