Famous Quotes, Terrible Consequences

Famous Quotes, Terrible Consequences

August 17, 2018

I love quotes.

While I’m aware a good quote in the wrong hands can be nauseating, I’m a firm believer in the life-bettering potential of an enlightened quote.

But what qualifies as enlightened?

Enlightened will most often come to us in a unique, hard-hitting way. The quote’s beauty poetically takes our lives on a new course or is so hard-hitting that it shakes us out of our doldrums and on to better things.

Most of all, enlightened usually means not mainstream. The more people that spout it, the worse it usually gets. If there’s a lot of people saying it, we run the risk that this quote has been blindly regurgitated and is not life-changing at all.

Below are some examples of exactly that. These are quotes that you most likely have heard many times before. Hopefully, though, you never embraced them.

If you have, this is your wake-up call. Put the un-useful quote down and slowly back out of the room.

It’s for your own good.

Here are some famous quotes with terrible consequences:

“Dance like no one’s watching.” -Unknown

Like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, this seems like good advice. Dance like no one is watching! Be free and be happy!

Not so fast. Why do we have to pretend no one is watching? Are you saying we’re self-conscious? If we are, then you’ve just made me embrace what I wish I didn’t have. If we’re not self-conscious, you’ve just opened the door to doubt.

And why do I have to imagine I’m alone while dancing? Is this quote from the town in Footloose?

And my dance moves by myself can sometimes be weird and inappropriate. Is that what I should be doing all the time?

While it sounds nice at first blush, this quote makes us self-doubting, anti-social, oddly offensive worriers. Thanks for the tip, but no thanks. I’ll pass.

“A wise man gets more use from his enemies than a fool from his friends.” -Baltasar Gracian

It’s our enemies who will help us and we should embrace them. How noble. How deep.

How awful.

Our enemies are useful? Really. So we should scroll through our social media feeds and find some use in weirdobutt62 telling us to eat a bag of vomit and jump in a river? Or we should find some use in that mean guy at work making up blatantly false stories about us to try to sabotage our promotion?

That’s how we should spend our time? Wallowing in the petty hatred of our enemies?

At the same time, we shouldn’t be so foolish as to take our supportive friends’ kind words of advice? Because there’s no use in embracing the words of people who truly have our best interests at heart?

Embrace our enemies! What a horrible life that would be.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.” –Michael Scott 

Yeah! I’m not going to be scared anymore! I’m taking my shot!

Actually, please don’t do that.

While it seems inspirational, it leads to failure.

And the key word is “miss”. The big problem with this quote is the miss part. It says we miss if we don’t shoot; that leads us down a bad road.

If a tennis player embraced this quote, he would start trying to fire forehands on the run down the line at 100 mph.

Had to go for it, man! You miss 100% of the shots you don’t try!

No, you miss that stupid shot you just tried to hit. Every time.

By embracing the “I have to try something” ethos, bad decision after bad decision will follow.

You don’t miss something you don’t do. You don’t miss because you didn’t start a banana stand with no knowledge of bananas and insufficient capital. By waiting and NOT taking an ill-prepared shot, you actually miss nothing at all.

The true quote: You miss 100% of the shots you poorly take.

We can only imagine how well the Michael Scott Paper Company might have done had they ignored this famous quote.


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.