Disclaimer: i don’t like motivational speakers – at least not in the traditional sense. That said, here is a video that explains a pretty simple concept: if you overcome your fear of something, you can actually get pretty god at it.

The guy is a good story-teller, for sure, and he says some stuff that I agree with (specially at the end of the video). However I have my reservations about some stuff there (learning to dance and getting to the semi-finals of  a professional competition in less than a year? That creates a problem, you see: either that is very very improbable – I would call it simply untrue –  or my previous post about 10.000 hours needed to become a master is a lie. You decide).

And that gets me back to the whole motivational speaker thing. A very American phenomenon, that inspires a lot of people, sure. But we are talking about people who chose Forrest Gump as the best movie of the year in 1994, against the (in my humble opinion) vast superior Pulp Fiction (it was a great year for movies, as Shawshank Redemption – also a much better movie than Forrest Gump – was also nominated). What does this tell us? People like feel-good, motivational stuff. As for me, I like raw reality, and I don’t believe that telling people simple stories is that effective in changing anything. But then again I’m not American, and I don’t buy cereal because it appears on tv commercials.

That’s not to say that I do not enjoy some speakers – I do love a great speaker. But I like them for the rhetoric itself, for the beauty of the language, for the pure brilliance of their speech or their ideas. That’s what motivates me – great ideas – not just uplifting stories.


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