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I hate platitudes!

Welcome to Action for Growth

One thing I discovered early in my life is that I hate platitudes. A platitude is a trite, overused, or clichéd statement that is often intended to sound wise or comforting but lacks depth, originality, or meaningful substance. Platitudes are often generalizations or conventional wisdom that offer little practical or insightful guidance and do not effectively address the complexity of a situation or provide meaningful solutions.


When it comes to personal growth, we often hear clichéd statements like "Believe in yourself," "Dream big," or "Stay positive". While these platitudes may sound wise and deep, they are usually empty and ineffective. True growth requires more than mere words—it demands action.

Now, this sounds like a platitude, right? Is this a circle going nowhere?

It will be if we do nothing about it. But if instead, we bring nuance and action into it, we can break away from the platitudes and transform them into something useful for our personal development and growth.

The Pitfalls of Platitudes

The first step in avoiding the trap of platitudes is to identify the pitfalls. Here are the most common.

1. Lack of Specificity:

One major pitfall of platitudes is their lack of specificity. Platitudes tend to offer generic advice that may sound appealing on the surface but fails to address the unique circumstances or challenges you are facing. This lack of specificity can make platitudes feel empty and detached from the realities of personal growth.

For example, saying, "Just believe in yourself" may sound encouraging, but it overlooks the struggles you may encounter in building self-confidence. Without practical guidance, the platitude becomes ineffective and fails to provide tangible support for personal growth.

2. Oversimplification:

Platitudes oversimplify complex issues by presenting them in a superficial or overly optimistic manner. While they may aim to provide comfort or motivation, this oversimplification undermines the depth of the challenges you will face in your personal growth journey.

For instance, the platitude "Stay positive, and everything will work out" can dismiss the legitimate difficulties and setbacks you will encounter. It fails to acknowledge that personal growth often involves facing and overcoming obstacles, making mistakes, and learning from failures. Oversimplification creates unrealistic expectations and leads to frustration when reality doesn't align with the overly optimistic platitude.

3. Lack of Actionable Guidance:

A final pitfall of platitudes is their tendency to lack actionable guidance. They may provide vague or general advice without offering concrete steps or strategies for you to follow. Platitudes like "Dream big" or "Think positive thoughts" can leave you wondering how to translate those sentiments into practical actions.

Without specific guidance, you may struggle to implement the advice or apply it to your unique circumstances. As a result, platitudes will feel hollow and fail to provide the necessary tools or direction for your personal growth.

Turning Empty Words into Meaningful Action.

When we understand the pitfalls of platitudes, we can turn to the power of intentional action to turns empty words into meaningful actions that can help us move forward.

Next time you feel inspired by a quote or a phrase, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Is this specific enough to be helpful?

  2. Is this discounting a broader context or complex issues?

  3. Is there an specific action that I can take to improve my situation?

Growth is Personal and Nuanced

For those of you on a personal development or growth path, it is important to understand that the road is paved with nuance and individual circumstances. This is one of the reasons behind the Optimal Growth Zone. A personalized program that considers your individual circumstances and orients you towards meaningful actions that align to your goals, needs and personality.

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