I don’t know where you found me. Maybe in a Courier font overlaid on an image of a hot cup of coffee and a book that you’ve never read? Papyrus over a sunset in a place you can't afford to visit? A strong Arial oddly placed on a runner’s backside even though you haven’t been on a run in over four years?
I don't know, and I really don't care.
All that matters is that I am an overworked inspirational quote, and I am submitting a formal request that you stop quoting me because, pal, you’re dragging us both down.
I know. I know. I’m short. I’m concise. And I give you that quick dopamine rush that makes you feel like your life is actually in your own control. But I don’t like it when you evoke my name to justify why you refuse to heed any life advice from concerned friends, family, and presumably, social workers.
Sure, you may want to shoot for the moon with a backup plan in landing among the stars. And you may think that process is more important than the pain. And you probably flaunt that the wolf doesn’t concern himself with the opinion of sheep. But let me break it down for you.
- There are millions of miles of black voidy nothingness between each moon and each star. You take that shot and you'll end up like George Clooney in Gravity just floating around forever—except without any of the charisma or tequila brand ownership;
- The pain of not being able to pay your bills will feel much more important than your process, which let’s be honest, has been pretty piss poor thus far; and finally,
- The commonality between you and a wolf begins and ends with the smell and the look of concern people give when they see you.
If you haven't gotten my point yet, I’m saying that I think you need to play it a little safer.
“Find a job and you can pay rent” doesn’t really have the same zing that I do, but neither does banking on holiday and birthday money to get you through the fiscal year.
But now, you're probably wondering: “Then what is it that you do here? What is your purpose?” Like the names of right-wing Super PACs, my name is intentionally misleading. I'm not here to actually inspire! I'm just window-dressing, baby!
For who? Capitalism. You know, that thing you refuse to keep participating in?
I’m supposed to be written on the walls in underfunded schools where I tell kids they can be anything they want, even though, statistically, most will be lucky to graduate at the appropriate reading level.
I need to be shoehorned into commencement speeches given by celebrities who never went to college, so the graduating students think that a lifetime of debt is just another obstacle, and, according to Henry Ford, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”
I live in commercial slogans that tantalize consumers into buying goods that promise to make them happy. And I thrive in corporate HR newsletters that boost morale for employees who are nothing more than faceless cogs in a machine—probably modeled after Ford’s own.
You ever wonder why you never see an inspirational quote that says, “Spend more time with your family before you die” or “Material possessions are virtually worthless” or “Sure seems like all those sheep can defeat that one little wolf!” No, of course you haven't, you naïve dullard!
I was never intended to be some kind of “go for it” slogan for a twenty-something college dropout who has fallen for at least three mid-level marketing schemes. You want to use me correctly? Get a job at Hertz—if you haven’t already been convicted of a DUI—and put me up in the break room where you’ll be spending thirty minutes a day scarfing down a fast-food sandwich while browsing crypto subreddits on your phone.
And after two years when you finally realize all your dreams never were, never will be, and never were going to be, just remember “the hardest climbs make for the prettiest views.”
I even give you full permission to quote that one in your suicide note.