Thursday, November 01, 2007
The Art of Demotivation
The 'Art of Demotivation' is a concept promoted by despair.com. They do a great take on those posters that hang on the walls of training centres, that are designed to 'pump' you full of enthusiasm and make you think that scaling Mount Everest is just a walk in the park if you are simply motivated enough. Despair.com claim to espouse the dangerous and disruptive ideas promoted by these courses through a tongue-in-cheek critique of the motivational industry (which is worth millions of dollars/pounds). Their posters are a hefty dose of reality to balance all the motivational courses out there that leave you pumped up, raring to go, and inevitably disappointed when placed back into a cynical real world outside the confines of the padded training room. Their premise is that motivation can be dangerous and can actually result in decreased enthusiasm IF your expectations are not met. And there is the rub. Often reality and everyday demands get in the way.
I find their posters, ironically motivating. They give me something to kick against when I want things to be better than they claim they can be, and they provide humour when they reflect what is going on. Rather like a Dilbert cartoon. I work in a very pressurised environment at times, where results are expected and if a senior manager shouts jump, we are expected to guess how high and then exceed it. I am sure you know what I mean. I work at my best under pressure, that is when I can shine like a diamond, but sometimes when it gets too much, we can all become a basket case. So, there is more truth in these demotivational slogans than just a quick laugh, and that of course is why they are funny.