Look at yourself after watching this

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  • #2
Evo
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Awesome video.
 
  • #3
Dembadon
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Thank you for sharing. I need some perspective every once in a while. :smile:
 
  • #4
nismaratwork
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I have three thoughts (yes, just the three):

1.) That is one tough, resiliant, and impressive man.
2.) Evertime he hopped, my testicles ached.
3.) It's unfortunate that it requires somebody who's challenges are so obvious to make people reflect on the nature of their own lives and worth.

Finally, because I am who I am, remember that he is selling a DVD and while his view is very enlightened, some of those girls will still go home to abuse, neglect, and simple endogenous misery. There is some danger in the concept that we should all be happy regardless of circumstance. It's one thing to accept fundamental losses or limitation, and then try to overcome them, but it's another to try and smile through depression or misery. In fact, it's downright lethal to try and do that, so while I admire the man, the reality is that neurology is increasingly making it clear that "just smile" is not enough.
 
  • #5
FizixFreak
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neurology is increasingly making it clear that "just smile" is not enough.

What do you mean by that?
 
  • #6
JaredJames
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Well I honestly thought I was going to come out with a "so what" attitude, but I enjoyed that. Feel quite inspired.
1.) That is one tough, resiliant, and impressive man.

Agreed.
2.) Evertime he hopped, my testicles ached.

Hadn't thought about it until now. Damn you!
3.) It's unfortunate that it requires somebody who's challenges are so obvious to make people reflect on the nature of their own lives and worth.

Well in fairness, he has something of a 'niche' product. And without being harsh, it's not like he has a world of options available.

I think he does a damn good job at what he does.
There is some danger in the concept that we should all be happy regardless of circumstance. It's one thing to accept fundamental losses or limitation, and then try to overcome them, but it's another to try and smile through depression or misery. In fact, it's downright lethal to try and do that, so while I admire the man, the reality is that neurology is increasingly making it clear that "just smile" is not enough.

I don't believe he was trying to say "smile through everything". In his video he comments on why he smiles all the time and says "it's complicated" and that he explains it to people.

So I'm not sure if that's what he was trying to say. At least based on what I saw.
 
  • #7
JaredJames
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What do you mean by that?

You can't just smile through your problems. That doesn't solve anything, it just ignores them and can potentially make things worse.
 
  • #8
I looked at my self after having watched the video and then I realized I'm becoming a nudist :( Now if only I could find a beach with absolutely nobody to see my naked butt at.
 
  • #9
SolidGold
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You can't just smile through your problems. That doesn't solve anything, it just ignores them and can potentially make things worse.

Not true. Smiling doesn't necessarily constitute as an act of ignoring. There is a deeper meaning. We are controlled by our fears.

If you smile, your brain starts making positive connections, and associations, and you must focus on the positive of every situation. Because if you have all that garbage in your head, you may miss out on the journey, by focusing too much on the outcomes (FEAR).
 
  • #10
saniaa83
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nice sharing...
 
  • #11
FizixFreak
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You can't just smile through your problems. That doesn't solve anything, it just ignores them and can potentially make things worse.

You don't need neurology to tell that its just common sense but i though that nismaratwork had some neurological explanation to that.
 
  • #12
FizixFreak
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I looked at my self after having watched the video and then I realized I'm becoming a nudist :( Now if only I could find a beach with absolutely nobody to see my naked butt at.

Now cover your naked a** and try to appreciate that man's courage and by the way your post wasn't funny at all.
 
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  • #13
JaredJames
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Not true. Smiling doesn't necessarily constitute as an act of ignoring. There is a deeper meaning. We are controlled by our fears.

If you smile, your brain starts making positive connections, and associations, and you must focus on the positive of every situation. Because if you have all that garbage in your head, you may miss out on the journey, by focusing too much on the outcomes (FEAR).

No, it's very true. You can focus on what you like but it doesn't get rid of your problems.
 
  • #14
Astronuc
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Not true. Smiling doesn't necessarily constitute as an act of ignoring. There is a deeper meaning. We are controlled by our fears.

If you smile, your brain starts making positive connections, and associations, and you must focus on the positive of every situation. Because if you have all that garbage in your head, you may miss out on the journey, by focusing too much on the outcomes (FEAR).
I believe the comment about smiliing is Vujicic's way of telling folks to have a positive attitude (like Norman Vincent Peal) and not be overcome or overwhelmed by adversity. There are many people, the thalidomide babies, in his situation. He's a motivational speaker. At least he takes the time to address those people who need some positive feedback in their lives.

I don't agree with the statement that "girls will still go home to abuse, neglect, and simple endogenous misery." Their parents got them to that camp or engagement with Vujicic. Somebody cares about them.
 
  • #15
DanP
114
1
Not true. Smiling doesn't necessarily constitute as an act of ignoring. There is a deeper meaning. We are controlled by our fears.

If you smile, your brain starts making positive connections, and associations, and you must focus on the positive of every situation. Because if you have all that garbage in your head, you may miss out on the journey, by focusing too much on the outcomes (FEAR).


Thats bull. Most of the "Positive psychologists" out there practice a form of voodoo. And no, fear has nothing to do with focusing on outcomes :P
 
  • #16
Jimmy Snyder
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If something bad happens to you and it makes you sad, then you have two problems instead of one.
 
  • #17
russ_watters
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You can't just smile through your problems. That doesn't solve anything, it just ignores them and can potentially make things worse.
While that's true, I think for most in his apparent target audience (teenage girls, possibly affluent), self-esteem itself is the problem.
 
  • #18
nismaratwork
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I believe the comment about smiliing is Vujicic's way of telling folks to have a positive attitude (like Norman Vincent Peal) and not be overcome or overwhelmed by adversity. There are many people, the thalidomide babies, in his situation. He's a motivational speaker. At least he takes the time to address those people who need some positive feedback in their lives.

I don't agree with the statement that "girls will still go home to abuse, neglect, and simple endogenous misery." Their parents got them to that camp or engagement with Vujicic. Somebody cares about them.

In the latter case, he's just a prop that parents are using to make a point, and those kids are already in a better situatino than most. I agree that Vujicic isn't telling people to smile through clinical depression, but unfortunately in the context of our history, it can be taken that way. When you speak to a vulnerable group and your message is powerful, like a drug it's going to have adverse effects on some. Unlike a doctor, he doesn't even have to be aware of that; after all he's (it seems quite genuinely) trying to share some perspective with people and show them that you can overcome seeming limitations.

More importantly, people who are clinically depressed (major depressive episodes) or suffer from (again) an anxiety disorder are simply not best served by motivational speaking alone. If you were suicidal going in, you may come out thinking that there's something really wrong with you... after all, as you say someone cares about you and you have arms and legs. His message is predicated on our shared understanding that it SUCKS not to have arms or legs, but that alone isn't reason to give up.

So, if you have body-image issues, great! If that's why you started down the bulemic path, evidence indicates you need more help than that. I would compare this to a rousing sermon: the people most effected will be those who could be most easily helped in simpler ways.

Finally, at the core this man's implicit message is: "I had it worse coming out of the womb than you, but it hasn't stopped me from enjoying and succeeding in life." That's very uplifting, but we already know that doesn't save depressed lives.

That's ONE example, and one that covers a contiuum that can include people helped by this man. Someone who has Bi-Polar Disorder may enjoy this, but they still need more than this. If you're miserably dirt-poor and your church or community or a relative sent you here... what are you going home to?

Medicaton works well, and so it gets a lot of attention, and after that, "therapy". What people tend to ignore is the concept of out-patient intervention that is more often necessary in the context of learning how to cope. This man doesn't explain how to cope with your issues, he makes them appear small by comparison. When you go home to whatever it is makes you unhappy, how long will that last?

How long does a course on basic anxiety-manament using CBT take? Answer: Not very long, but longer than a day at camp. How effective is it compared to medication used in the same scenario? It depends... which means I probably just lost you. There are studies which indicate that if you had GAD, it's IMMENSLY helpful, and can be for a lifetime. On the other hand, all anxiety disorders are not the same: http://soar.wichita.edu/dspace/bits...d=F00DFBDB3C084700A6AD801DF8265871?sequence=3

Now, I linked to that because in its conclusion you'll find a variation of a statement you'll OFTEN hear, and that is at the core of why motivational speaking should be something you're wary of... more wary the more severe the issues it purports to adress.

Powers & Quigley said:
This study concludes that the data available regarding
treatment of hoarding in OCD is inconclusive. More
research must be performed and data obtained from
Level 1 and 2 studies to search for the most effective
treatment of hoarding. Because this patient population
often does not recognize the seriousness of their illness
and the safety implications involved, they do not seek
medical attention. For the patients who do seek
medical attention for hoarding, they are often noncompliant
in treatment due to only seeking medical
treatment to appease family and friends who urge them
to be treated.
The individual and varying response to
treatment of individuals with OCD involving hoarding
disorder requires strict systematic study to conclude the
best possible treatment in this life-altering mental
illness.

OCD-Hoarding is just one popular example, but it's apt, and the conclusion applies broadly. Well meaning people like this man can be good people with a good message, and still do harm.
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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I don't agree with the statement that "girls will still go home to abuse, neglect, and simple endogenous misery." Their parents got them to that camp or engagement with Vujicic. Somebody cares about them.
It looked more like a school to me than a camp, but in either case it doesn't necessarily follow.
 
  • #20
nismaratwork
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While that's true, I think for most in his apparent target audience (rich teenage girls), self-esteem itself is the problem.

EXACTLY!

We'd probably also agree that for a smaller subset, we have self-esteem which presents, but in reality there is an underlying endogenous cause. (Ignorng abuse, neglect, unhappy home, poor education, poverty, mental illness...etc)

If you leave with a crowd that's moved and has fresh perspective, and you understand what this man says and even accept it... and you still feel the same... it's going to HURT. It's going to hurt a group of people who are extremely vulnerable, and who will now think there's even MORE wrong with them because so many others are moved.
 
  • #21
Jimmy Snyder
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So where does this leave us? Don't try to motivate anyone because some might take it the wrong way?
 
  • #22
Pythagorean
Gold Member
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I don't think there's any reason why a quadriplegic should be less happy than someone who is not given that we synthesize happiness ourselves, and further that the more choices people have, the less happier they are (assuming your choices are dramatically reduced by not having limbs, which still leaves a lot to do)

Dan Gilbert sums up his research in a ted talk:

http://blog.ted.com/2006/09/26/happiness_exper/
 
  • #23
FizixFreak
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One thing i don't like about the internet is the endless debates with no results i mean an argument relating to physics or math can lead to somewhere but these type of things are just hypothetical everyone has his own thoughts about life just accept that and you will save a lot of time on these pointless arguments and this particular video you might find inspiration instead of a reason to argue:smile:
 
  • #24
nismaratwork
353
0
So where does this leave us? Don't try to motivate anyone because some might take it the wrong way?

Heck, no! Some people need motivation, and this man seems quite sincere. That doesn't mean he's RIGHT, or that his message is useful. I think that he's saying many of the right things, but sloganeering is not substitute for coping mechanisms and REAL perspective.

You should feel free to motivate people, but that's not the same as being "A motivational speaker", selling DVDs, and purporting to somehow improve the lives of others. It's very much like selling guides on how to "get rich", and the secret is: sell guides.

So, do I appreciate that this man has overcome what many of us would see as incredible adversity, but the implication is that YOU should too. I don't particularly like people selling emotional experiences posing as something more.

In a SUBSTANTIVE way... your argument then applies to all pseudoscience, Deepak Chopra, and anything that makes people feel good... or report that they do. Note that all of the love in the world isn't going to get you off a highly addictive drug, cure a mental illness, or change your circumstances. It's the gap between this man's experience and the superficial sympathy he elicits, and the needs of the people who see him. I'd add, I learned to play the trumpet from a teacher who had lost his left arm just below the elbow. I got the point: you can play the trumpet with a (really cheap) prosthetic pincer, and losing an arm isn't the end of the world.

He did this by simple example... AFAIK I'm one of the few people who got the real story of how he lost his arm, because to him it wasn't relevant. Kids would ask how it happened, and he'd make an array of jokes including, "I was picking my nose, REALLY deep..." If you're inspiring, be inspiring in your life, not as a profession.

Evangelizing is evangelizing, and that goes for people who claim that reading a book about (for example) CBT is the same as a fully trained and certified psychiatrist or psychologist apply those methods. Is there so much difference between, "I have no arms and legs, but I'm happy!" and "Release the beast, walk on coals!"?

@JarednJames: He must have one hell of a cup, or he doesn't have testicles. Either way, OW.

@Astronuc: Beyond inspiration for those already primed to appreciate it, and therefore those who least need it, what value do you see in this kind of motivational speaking? I'm not saying that the guy is doing something terrible, and I'm sure that like most he remembers the "hits", and forgets the "misses". You however, are a man who's life must revolve to some degree around empirical evidence... where is it here?

I get it, I'm a p***k for not being moved, and more of one for saying so when I could have said nothing. Someone has to be that person... and I'm naturally dispassionate in this situation. Still, I see this as a secular sermon, and we've all seen how well "motivational" sermons work. GREAT 'optics' during and after... now I'd like to see follow-through.

WHERE is the skepticism here? Being born without limbs doesn't make you a good or honest person; this should be greeted with skepticism just as everything else is. Not CYNICISM, but unquestioning acceptance of someone's goodness? No thank you.
 
  • #25
lisab
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Yeah, I'm with Nismar on this one. I think this guy could be a big help to some people, and if he helps you well that's *great*. Just keep in mind he's selling something...ain't nothing wrong with capitalism, as long as both parties (the seller and the buyer) are happy and aware of the transaction.
 
  • #26
Evo
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Strange how two people can watch the same video and come away with two completely different takes. I disagree with nismar. The message I got was that you shouldn't give up when faced with adversity. Don't allow yourself to be held back by what others consider obstacles. Have a positive image of yourself. I didn't see any of what nismar saw.

And yes, he's turned his disability into a job, good for him! He comes across as absolutely sincere, he has actually accomplished what he talks about.

I hate motivational speakers because they are so gimmicky and fake. This wasn't anything like those people.
 
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  • #27
Jimmy Snyder
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I still don't see how he, or anyone else who faces difficulties, can benefit by being sad. And I didn't get paid to say that.

Edit: I get it now. It's not the message, it's the messenger. He's only faking happiness for a buck. Perhaps, but I doubt it.
 
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  • #28
JaredJames
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Strange how two people can watch the same video and come away with two completely different takes. I disagree with nismar. The message I got was that you shouldn't give up when faced with adversity. Don't allow yourself to be held back by what others consider obstacles. Have a positive image of yourself. I didn't see any of what nismar saw.

And yes, he's turned his disability into a job, good for him! He comes across as absolutely sincere, he has actually accomplished what he talks about.

I hate motivational speakers because they are so gimmicky and fake. This wasn't anything like those people.

+1 on that.

I like the fact he's doing something and not just sitting around with an endless supply of self pity like some people. The fact he's making money with it is a massive plus.

These days there's very little to stop you doing something with your life, regardless of physical disability (mental is a little more complicated).

I didn't see anything in the video that didn't appear like he was disconnected from what he's doing. He looked like he really cared, and that's not something you get a lot of these days.

Of course, there's always that nagging issue that he is actually trying to sell me something - but I think the fact that people react exactly the same as when any other Joe Bloggs does it is brilliant. Again, it's what we need more of - to see people as equals. Something I think PF does really well, but unfortunately not something you see too often in everyday life.
 
  • #29
nismaratwork
353
0
Strange how two people can watch the same video and come away with two completely different takes. I disagree with nismar. The message I got was that you shouldn't give up when faced with adversity. Don't allow yourself to be held back by what others consider obstacles. Have a positive image of yourself. I didn't see any of what nismar saw.

And yes, he's turned his disability into a job, good for him! He comes across as absolutely sincere, he has actually accomplished what he talks about.

I hate motivational speakers because they are so gimmicky and fake. This wasn't anything like those people.

I think you got the message that he was sending overtly, and otherwise. I don't see anything wrong with that in principle, but as a product to be sold to those who are the most vulnerable members of our society... no, I don't like that.

You're also right that he's turned his disability into a job... or I'd say he's turned his methods of adapting to them into a job. Here is where I'm really going to lose you, and probably anyone else (Lisab not included... very practical pixie!): He does have a gimmick: he has no arms or legs. He plays sports like golf, and opens with soccer... it's a GOOD gimmick because it immidiately raises anxiety in the audience, then he rapidly defuses it.

How is that substantially different from walking on hot coals? His disability and means of coping with it are very real, and speaking from the heart is valuable, but he's talking about eating disorders and other issues that are not so simple.

There is also the implication that he's experienced, presumably, one of the most crippling situations a human being can; no arms and legs. In reality however, being utterly neglected, sexually/physically abused, born addicted to crack, meth, heroin etc... is one hell of a challenge too. Of course, unless we're taking about FAS and you know what to look for, those aren't visible like having no arms and legs. Hence the gimmick, and the possiblitiy to make people with problems they cannot solve through positive thinking feeling even greater despair.

He is after all, talking to KIDS.
 
  • #30
Jimmy Snyder
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Is the message "positive thinking will solve your problems" or is it "negative thinking will add to your problems"?
 
  • #31
JaredJames
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Nismar, I've watched it three times now and I don't see where you get half of that from.

He tells you what his DVD is about - how he got through, how he coped and how you can try to use that to help you. I didn't see where he's actively discussing anybody else's problems outside of quick mention (I watched some of the other related videos), especially "discussing eating disorders" etc in any detail.

He just sounds like someone trying to raise some peoples self esteem.

I'm honestly curious about where in his video you pulled all that stuff from? Perhaps you've bought one of his DVDs and have a deeper knowledge of what he's actually about? Because that video doesn't tell you much about what he speaks about outside of what I've put above.
 
  • #32
nismaratwork
353
0
Nismar, I've watched it three times now and I don't see where you get half of that from.

He tells you what his DVD is about - how he got through, how he coped and how you can try to use that to help you. I didn't see where he's actively discussing anybody else's problems outside of quick mention (I watched some of the other related videos), especially "discussing eating disorders" etc in any detail.

He just sounds like someone trying to raise some peoples self esteem.

I'm honestly curious about where in his video you pulled all that stuff from? Perhaps you've bought one of his DVDs and have a deeper knowledge of what he's actually about? Because that video doesn't tell you much about what he speaks about outside of what I've put above.

All I've watched of his was the link in this thread. At one point during a melange of his he adresses "girls with eating disorders", telling them that they are, "beautiful". I believe he tells guys that they are, "the man". How sad then, when they return to real life where not only is that contrary to how they'll be treated, but in fact contrary to how they're viewed.

Self esteem comes from a knowledge of what you can do, can't do, and are willing to try anyway... it comes from experience. You can't get it from a speech... just a temporary boost.

Beyond that, I wasn't claiming that he's trying to cure anyone of anything... he's openly selling "good feelings". If he were saying the same things, but justifying it because that's, "god's plan for you", I don't think it would have made this forum... unless he still didn't have arms and legs.

Look, my point is abdundantly clear here, whether or not you agree with it. I don't know that me repeating that point is useful now; it is GD, not Philosophy. At some stage I'm no longer making a point, and simply defeating the point of the thread, which is not my intent. (should be clear from my first post).
 
  • #33
Evo
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I just watched it again to see if I missed where he tells girls to give up and accept their situation. Nope, not there.

He said "it's a lie to think you are not good enough, it's a lie to think you are not worthy". He also mentioned things like eating disorders, or being angry at life

He said "it's scary to know how many people actually feel like they're worth nothing". He talks about the "strength to conquer all that comes before me". It's about overcoming physical and emotional challenges, nowhere does he say to accept them.

Nismar, we usually think alike, I feel like we watched different videos. But that's what makes the world unique, different people get different messages. :smile:
 
  • #34
nismaratwork
353
0
I just watched it again to see if I missed where he tells girls to give up and accept their situation. Nope, not there.

He said "it's a lie to think you are not good enough, it's a lie to think you are not worthy". He also mentioned things like eating disorders, or being angry at life

He said "it's scary to know how many people actually feel like they're worth nothing". He talks about the "strength to conquer all that comes before me". It's about overcoming physical and emotional challenges, nowhere does he say to accept them.

Nismar, we usually think alike, I feel like we watched different videos. But that's what makes the world unique, different people get different messages. :smile:

I didn't miss the message, I just looked at how as many people that I could imagine would take it. In my view there is an implicit element of acceptance in his condition, by necessity and quite healthy too I'd add.

Messages in what he said:
Everyone is special
Everyone is beautiful
Everyone has something unique that makes them worthwhile
Don't give into despair
Don't despair when there is truly nothing to despair over
Accept the hand you've been dealt, but don't assume that you know what that hand is
Stop doubting yourself as a result of how others perceive you
Don't be sure that you can't alter the perceptions of others by your attitude and life
It is possible to be mobile using the power of superball-eque testicles
You can make money as a "freak"
[he] has answers that are valid, not because of the thinking behind them, but the source
Take what you see as a disability and market it, emphasize it, overcome it if you can
Love yourself so that you can love each other
Look at [him], are you worse off?
All sadness is equal, all pain is equal, not in the experience, but in our ability to overcome it. (a very dangerous message)
Look at the people [He] moved, if you're not moved, what's wrong with you?
...If you still feel terrible, maybe something is really wrong with you?
...If you still can't change your life and circumstances (and some won't), you need to try harder. (practical, but not always realistic)


ABOVE ALL: "I can help you." Can he? That's just a smattering of the messages you could take away, or that are made explicit or implicitly. If he told you that accepting the love of god was the key to all of that... would you still feel positively about him? How much of this is the quality of the message, and not the circumstances of the messenger?

You can't be a Skeptic and turn that on or off... you either critically examine things as a habit and way of thinking, or you don't. It's easy to be skeptical when someone claims to have seen something or experiences something you don't believe in, or something incredible... it's harder to be skeptical of a seemingly good man without arms or legs. Both have value, and without both, it's just preference, not skepticism.
 
  • #35
Pythagorean
Gold Member
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I agree with nismarak that he's pretty much selling feel-goodness. There's nothing really informative about motivational speeches. I do believe he's genuine, I just haven't ever seen evidence of such speeches really changing a demographic. On a personal level, motivated people may motivate from his words, but I believe the rest of society, their family life, and their genetics are going to heavily dilute the influence of a short-term feel good moment.
 

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