Tip: Stop Being Needy and Self-Obsessed

Your need to inspire others is lame, ego-driven, and delusional. Here's why, snowflake.

Look At Me. Look! At! Me!

"I just want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say, 'Because of you, I didn't give up."

Barf! That corny phrase has been popping up everywhere, from memes to tacky T shirts. "I just want someone to look at me..." is the telling bit here. This just exposes a person's overblown sense of self-importance and a deep need for validation.

Even if it's posted innocently, it smacks of self-centeredness or delusions of grandeur. People who say this are often folks trying desperately to justify their own specialness because, deep down, they don't feel very special at all.

Inspirational Crotches?

Women seem to fall for this crap most often. The worst offenders will post something about how they "just want to inspire other women" along with a photo of their butts perked into the air, or the old "showing my abs and also (oops!) my under-boob."

The only thing you're inspiring is blood flow to lonely penises and "send nudes" direct messages. I just don't think many women are inspired to work out or eat better because you took a progress photo of your crotch. Just admit that you need the attention. Psychologically, that's healthier than pretending you're someone's "inspiration."

Be honest. Like this: "I'm really proud of my body! I worked hard and I want to show off my results. Moreover, I want YOU to notice my body and comment on it! Ideally, I want my ex to see it too. (You'll never get to see me naked again, Stanley!) But mainly, I just want other people to tell me I'm sexy, strong, or awesome."

The snowflakes must have their unique and beautiful status confirmed by external sources. Otherwise they'd have to do something actually worthy of admiration rather than just being pretty and going to the gym.

Actually Inspiring People

People who accomplish great things aren't doing it to inspire others. They're doing it for themselves. They're internally driven to do what they do, and that's why they succeed.

There are, of course, plenty of people in the gym who ARE inspiring. That 75 year old guy overhead pressing? Inspiring. That woman with her arm in a sling finding a way to do squats? Inspiring. That guy kicking as much ass as possible in the gym and getting a chemo treatment that afternoon? Inspiring.

And none of these actually-inspiring people would ever think to post a meme about how they want to inspire people. They're just doing what needs to be done, like self-actualized adults.

But the guy or gal who's managed to build a slightly better than average body with the "Aspire to Inspire!" shirt on? Now that's just sad.

Listen, any inspiration you may give others is incidental. It's not a good goal, but rather a nice side effect when you get it. It's cool. It feels good. But you shouldn't need it to drive you.

Chris Shugart is T Nation's Chief Content Officer and the creator of the Velocity Diet. As part of his investigative journalism for T Nation, Chris was featured on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumble." Follow on Instagram