Monday moan: Why I hate motivational speakers

I ONCE SAT IN a seminar where the motivational speaker kept saying: “Accept yourself as you really are.” Fine with me, but the colleagues who were at my side all had serial killer personalities.

I tried to warn the speaker but she didn't pick up on my discreet pointing and head-shaking gestures.


People in certain professions, such as journalism, law and stockbroking, can be "rough diamonds" (minus the diamond part).

One reporter colleague made so many enemies he ended up renaming half the contacts in his phone book “Do Not Answer”.

Nobody wants these people to be themselves. We want them to be other people.


But here’s the thing: touchy feely spiritual types are storming the world of work, creating absurdity.

Example: In front of me is a Financial Times report that says UK accountants are now calculating the cash value of the workings of NATURE.

“The National Audit Office estimated the value of bees' service to the British economy at 200 million pounds.”

Of course, everyone's thrilled that the hard work of bees has finally been recognized (equal pay for equal work, right?), but what would bugs do with pay packets? (I suggest the money be diverted to other low-level, insect-like toilers, such as me.)


The new corporate buzz-phrase is “non-tangible costs”. The Centre for Science and the Environment in India said a single hamburger “with non- tangible costs” would be US$200.

I think everyone was supposed to be amazed by this, but it just reminded me of the cost of meat at my overpriced local supermarket, which I shall call ParknRob.


Then the US Center for Investigative Reporting said that if you included all the associated costs of getting gasoline to your car, gas should cost US$15 a gallon.

But I'm sure they failed to include US wars, in which case the true cost should be US$15 billion a gallon.

Which reminds me of the cost of cartons of milk or juice at ParknRob.


Enough! What humanity needs to do is remember the 1963 line from sociologist William Bruce Cameron: “Not everything that counts can be counted.”

Now before you correct me, I know full well that the internet attributes this quote to Einstein.

But you should NEVER BELIEVE ANYTHING you read on the internet, unless you are reading this, in which case, this sentence is the SOLE EXCEPTION.


The seminar ended with the motivational speaker telling us that the most important thing in life is to “ignore what other people say and be yourself”.

My serial-killer colleagues smiled and nodded.


That was worrying, but still, in other cases, business types SHOULD listen to creative individuals for their useful perspectives.

Case in point: comedian Stephen Wright asked: “If all the nations in the world are in debt, where did all the money go?”

Good question, right? I have no idea about the answer, but suspect it is something to do with my daughters.

Total world debt is currently US$233 trillion. That's quite a lot of money.

And it reminds me: must get cash for weekly ParknRob visit.