I engaged in (another) conversation last week that reminded me (again) of the damage we have collectively wrought on the brain-body connection.

The endless messages that that our bodies “should” be under the control of our brains (“find your motivation!”) comes from the underlying military history of America. And with that, the notion that if you can just control your thoughts (such as “I hate running” or “I love potato chips”), you can just control your body.

The pervasive repetition of the pre-approved “these-thoughts-are-ok” mantras such as “no matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyone on the couch”, implies that your dream body awaits when you just get over your brain.

And maybe it does.

But I’m talking to the Type A folks here and I think James Fell is right: this crap needs to die.

Mantras and motivational sayings can be useful, but they need to be really, really true – FOR YOU – not true on instagram, not true for your BeachBody Coach, and not true for your yoga teacher. We jump like cockroaches from one pile of garbage to the other and hope to land on a stash of candy.

They probably were true for whoever wrote them.

They might have been written by a former athlete. They might also have been written by an Wieden + Kennedy at a boardroom table.

So unless you wrote them? Find your real words, and authentically mean what you say. Like legitimately mean them. And when you actually do, you also probably won’t be whipping over to Canva or spreading it on Instagram because that statement is so very achingly true that it feels pretty vulnerable to share.

RIP: empty words.

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