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A Simple Strategy to Defeat Destructive Platitudes

Destructive platitudes work at the beginning of the day and sting at the end. “Do what makes you happy,” is my favorite. Feel free to include two other winners. “Do what feels good,” and, “If it feels good do it.”

Eating Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups makes me happy until it makes me sick.

If I knew what made me happy, I’d do it. The trouble is I’m not smart enough to know what makes me happy. Compound the issue with deceptive emotions and I’m doomed.

“Things that feel good end in sadness and things that feel sad end in happiness,” is better than, “Do what feels good.”

How to defeat destructive platitudes:

Do what feels good at the end of the day.

In the morning junk food feels good. In the evening a balanced diet feels good. Choose to feel good at the end of the day, not the beginning.

Destructive platitudes promise happiness and deliver sadness.

7 Things that feel good now and feel bad later:

  1. Sleeping in.
  2. Driving to the donut shop instead of the gym.
  3. Avoiding tough conversations with toxic employees.
  4. More butter.
  5. Yelling at the boss. Emotional outbursts feel good in the morning and embarrassing at the end of the day.
  6. Lying.
  7. An extra beer or three.

Doing the right thing feels good at the end of the day.

  1. Speak the truth with kindness. It might make you feel sick at first. Do it anyway.
  2. Work hard. Drifting insults your talent.
  3. Avoid procrastination. Action feels better than avoidance.
  4. Ask hard questions with openness. Vulnerability pays dividends.
  5. Practice humility. Arrogance feels good in the morning and stinks at the end of the day.

What destructive platitudes seduce leaders into destructive patterns?

How can leaders live with the end of the day in mind?

Still curious:

10 Stupid Things Smart Leaders Do

12 Things Smart Leaders Don’t Say

Why Really Smart Executives Do Really Stupid Things (WSJ)

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