Last year I got very annoyed with the constant fake positivity of a lot of books in the self help/motivational industry so I decided to write a satirical de-motivational book because there is clearly enough inspiration out there and someone needs to tell y’all to take it down a notch.
So with that tongue in cheek tone in mind, I present the introduction to Life Begins with L: A de-motivational book.
When searching the internet, bookstore or social media you can find millions of results related to motivation and inspiration.
You can find motivational speeches, and inspirational books or inspirational speeches and motivational books.
There are also inspirational and motivational memes, videos, and quotes. There is not a situation in life you can come across that the motivation/inspiration industrial complex doesn’t have a pithy slogan for.
The dream doesn’t work unless you do
Nothing is impossible
Dreamers dent the universe
You could easily spend the rest of your life trying to watch, listen or read 1/10th of the motivational material out there and not even get close to finishing it all.
Coincidentally never actually doing anything with all that motivation.
It’s also quite rare that that inspiration or motivation is put towards anything other than trying to look good in a swimsuit or make as much money as possible with as little work as possible.
But what has all this motivation actually gotten us?
We have a reality tv star in the white house.
Healthcare has collapsed.
No one has been punished from the last financial crisis as we barrel towards another one.
Iceland won’t be here in 200 years.
Schools are more segregated now and we are further behind in education than during the Jim Crow years.
We are working harder and longer and have less and less.
And Oh by the way, Nazis are back.
But what are we focused on?
Getting motivated and getting inspired.
Maybe motivation isn’t the answer.
When you search for demotivational books or speeches however, you just get 1 weird book about management. Which is really a motivational book masquerading as a demotivational book.
What you are reading is the world’s 1st REAL demotivational book.
Surely we’ve all seen a friend or family member or even ourselves at times who needed some de-motivation to stop wasting time, energy or money on that loser boyfriend, dead end job or terrible business idea.
This book seeks to provide that demotivation and convince you that everything is terrible the end.
There’s nothing intrinsiclly wrong with motivation or inspiration, but they have been co-opted by delusion, magical thinking and the blurring of the line between fantasy and reality.
Which is why as the world gets worse and worse more and more people believe they are going to be millionaires, or become famous on Youtube, or whatever other unrealistic dream they’ve convinced themselves they are only a few months away from achieving and you are just being a hater for doubting.
We have become distracted and delusional about the state of the world and human nature to the point where we keep doing the same things( and electing the same type of people) while expecting a different result.
Delusion has become our new language. Each person silently agreeing to not shatter the other’s illusions lest they do the same to them.
Facts no longer matter if they get in the way of what we want to believe or want others to believe about us.
And anyone who disagrees is a hater who needs to focus on their own dream instead of insulting someone else’s.
But this new chosen reality isn’t the truth.
The truth is; you are fat and stupid.
Probably racist too.
You lie. A lot.
You’re never going to be a millionaire
Your relationships both with your partner and family are a mess.
You’re not as smart or competent as you think you are.
And the World isn’t some magical land of love and light and opportunity, the world is a terrible unfair chaotic place where popularity matters more than merit and you don’t actually have much power to change anything.
Unless you’re rich.
I say these things not to insult you or make you feel bad, but to get you to open your eyes to what’s REALLY going on and what’s really going on is terrible.
That’s the bad news.
Ready for the good news?
So am I.
I too am a fat and stupid liar, which is what makes me so well qualified to write this book. I don’t have a million dollars, I didn’t build a company you’ve heard of, I don’t have the perfect relationship or inner peace.
And my credit is bad as hell.
In other words, I am the average American and somehow I rose about my stupidity to be able to live in reality.
And if I can accept that I am fat and stupid, so can you and so can America and maybe we can actually make some progress by dealing with things the way they are instead of the way we want them to be.
Spoiler alert- We can’t make any progress.
But at least if you read this book, you can stop being so goddamn delusional and start to understand what is actually going on instead of just accepting the facade of reality.
And that will make my life easier, because like all writers I wrote this book for me, not you.
I wrote this book because someone has to tell you the truth and not the “Truth.”
You don’t need to motivate yourself
You don’t need a vision
Or to follow your passion
And you can’t do or be anything just because you want to.
I mean unless you’re rich.
Once you accept that, you’re ready for my initial concept of this book which would simply be a cover with the words “What’s terrible?” and only 3 words inside.
I was once JUST like you.
I believed in the goodness of people, destiny, and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
I believed that you could achieve anything through hard work and relentless positivity.
In short I believed that I was in control of everything and was entitled to the best the world had to offer simply for showing up (yes, I am white and was raised middle class why do you ask?)
All I needed was inspiration for an idea and motivation to hustle and work hard.
But this simple explanation for the world- work hard, follow the rules, be a good person and you’ll be successful has one fatal flaw…
It assumes you can control what happens to you.
Control is an illusion.
It functions like a veil obscuring your view of reality until all you see is the white lace in front of your eyes.
This sort of selfish near sightedness is offered as a solution to all of the world’s problems.
“Focus on the positive” they say, as if ignoring disease, or war, or injustice just makes it go away.
“Be Grateful for what you have” is another piece of advice give, which is a nicer way of telling people (especially poor and black and brown skinned people) to stay in their place. Somehow the idea that it could be worse is supposed to provide solace in a cruel, brutal world.
“Everything Works out in the end” is another favored cliche which is just plain wrong. It doesn’t always work out in the end, because there is no grand plan. Life is chaotic and random but accepting that makes us feel bad so we do our best to push past that nasty thought and focus on ethereal concepts like “love” or “Unity”
The thing about positivity, motivation and inspiration is that you have to believe in it blindly, and almost brainwash yourself because if you start asking questions the facade quickly begins to reveal itself for what it is.
A shell game.
The cracks form and the dam eventually bursts.
Have you ever found yourself lying about how much fun you had on a night out or vacation?
Saying something like “it was cool.” because you didn’t want to be negative? Even though you know you didn’t really have a good time?
Or answering “good” out of habit when someone asks how you are?
Whenever I hear someone say “it was cool.” I instantly know that person cannot be honest with themselves. Because to acknowledge the reality of one situation is to invite reality into your mind.
People have become adept at building walls between themselves and reality. We ignore things that we don’t like or that don’t help us, we dive further and further into a virtual world full of fake realities, and we tell ourselves that damn it we’re trying and that’s what really matters right, when we fail.
You know deep down that most of the things you’ve been told are great or fulfilling, are actually terrible. This includes friends, family, sex, love and kids.
But we are liars and the person we lie to the most, is ourselves.
Motivation, inspiration, confidence, destiny, purpose, these are lies that we tell ourselves to distract ourselves from the real world.
Since most of you are not ready to accept the Terrible Truisms of Life by yourself, I must ride over the hills of your mind on horseback in order to destroy the delusions you harbor.
This book is my attempt to do that.
There is no happy ending, no 7 point plan to get over the terribleness of life, no checklists of ways you can make a difference.
Because this is not a self help book.
This is a demotivational book.
It’s not supposed to give you hope.
Or make you think things are going to be ok.
I’m not going to give you an uplifting message or tell you that you’re going to make it.
Or that things will get better.
You will not be inspired reading this book.
What this book will do is make it possible for you to live in reality instead of delusion.
I will do you the good turn of ripping the veil of positivity off of your eyes, exposing you to the harsh cold reality that life is a series of losses.
Which is why Life, begins with L.