Do Motivational Messages Work?

I read a lot. Mostly I read books on resiliency, positive psychology and communications. It's part of my work so I have to keep up with contemporary research. The bonus is that I enjoy my work so it is not a chore doing so.

I also like to read short articles and posts, particularly those posted on LinkedIn. The messages vary, are helpful, and although they are one person’s opinion, I always learn something.

Then there are the motivational messages. I am guilty of making my own messages on occasion. This morning I was thinking, do these short motivational messages and words of wisdom actually work? Are they helpful, do they motivate me, do I feel better for reading them?

I came to the conclusion that, no, they don't really motivate me or change my opinion. I don't always find them informative or very helpful either. So why do I continue to read them and post my own? Because in some small way they keep my brain focussed on positive stuff, they make me smile, they leave me in awe at the intelligence of the message and at the simplicity they bring to a complicated world, and they make me feel that I am part of 'life'. 

When I read a message that says "When in doubt, just keep going", it doesn't make me immediately want to keep going. After all, I might be heading in the wrong direction! But the message does make me stop and ponder about the person who took the time to write the message. They had a reason for doing so. And maybe they are right, I should keep going.  Also, there is the fact that by posting my own messages maybe I am helping someone, encouraging them stop and ponder.  

I am sure that there is research that supports the use of motivational messages. It would probably say that the continued reading of positive motivational messages has a cumulative affect and is good for us. It changes our thought patterns.

Bottom line for me, I just enjoy reading them and I am sure others do so. Keep posting your messages and I am one who will read them.