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Inspirational Quotes from a Realist

Cause the sunshine bullshit doesn’t always bring it home

Do you get a sinking feeling in your stomach when you read the standard array of inspirational quotes? Things like: “The only way to grow is to immerse yourself in both sunshine and rain and believe in your dreams, believe in your dreams, believe in your dreams.”

Do you want to punch a flower after reading that? Are you the human manifestation of angry panda?

Perhaps it’s because you know relentless optimism is just a tool of capitalism to keep you emptying your pockets. Perhaps it’s because you know inspiration is just a carrot dangling in front of your donkey nostrils. This article is for you! I’ve adjusted a few popular quotes to balance them out and make them more reflective of the world we live in.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Until the day we fall and decide it isn’t worth rising over and over again if we’re just going to keep falling and bruising ourselves. On that day our greatest glory becomes eating all the doritos in the house while we lie on the floor.”

-Confucious (and Sarah)


“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. Even if our dreams are things like robbing a taco bell, or racing small children against each other for money. The only dream that can’t be accomplished via courage is getting first place on Rainbow Road when we play against the computer at 200cc. So try not to make that your dream.”

-Walt Disney (and Sarah)

Walt Disney was a wise man. Just not wise enough to complete this quote. Even geniuses need a little help.

“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine. Unless you are a narcissist. In which case, you ain’t all that.”

-Roy T. Bennet (and Sarah)

What? Everyone who has run into a narcissist knows this is true. Inspirational quotes should always have caveats. It makes them less inspiring, but more accurate!

“Hard times don’t create heroes. It is during the hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed. How does this occur? Your skin folds back around your mid region, exposing your innards, and the hero living inside of you leaps out with a flaming sword. This will kill you.”

-Bob Riley (and Sarah)

Fortunately my life hasn’t been that hard, so I haven’t had to undergo this process. Please send money so I can remain content in my cowardace.

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change. Your life will also change if you join my team and start selling these mystical beans I’ve developed. The starter pack is only $600 and you can easily make that up in one week, because these babies sell themselves, let me tell you.”

-Unknown (and Sarah)

Also, if you have leadership skills, you can make even more money by recruiting other, like-minded individuals to be a part of your team. You have a lot of natural charisma. I can tell you’re going to be really good at this.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Unless they die. Then it will belong to those who are motivated through fear of their nightmares. My nightmares are about fuzzy clowns and I will do anything to prevent them from coming true.”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt (and Sarah)

Inspirational figures forget that fear can be tremendously motivating. They go on and on about dreams and courage, but forget to mention that most of us are scared stiff all the time and THAT IS OKAY. Scared people can build the future, too. Especially if they kill all the people who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. And those have been terrible.”

-Stephen Covey (and Sarah)


Alright! I bet you’re feeling extremely motivated right now! Take all that energy and do something incredible! Like not hiding under your blankets for the rest of the day. Or, go ahead and hide under your blankets for the rest of the day! The world is scary and that is okay.

Thanks for reading! Sarah is a freelancer who exists on twitter and instagram and redbubble.

Written by

Engaged in inadvisable wordsmitheries and other creative acts.

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