John DeMato - NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photographer

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NYC Branded Lifestyle Portrait Photography Blog | Hi, I'm John DeMato, and I collaborate with thought leaders to create powerful, purposeful and authentic images. This is my blog where I talk all about the magic behind the portraits we create.

"Grind" certain words of affirmation to a halt


Who doesn't love some positive words of affirmation?



But, can some of these words of affirmation do more harm than good?

The words in which we use on a daily basis have a very profound effect on our mindset.

Words create worlds, folks.

This was a concept I learned when I was enrolled in a positive psychology course, and it has really stuck with me since.

It’s also opened my eyes and raised a huge awareness in the way I communicate not only with myself, but, with others in person, as well as online, on one of the social media platforms.

It’s also sensitized me to what others are posting, too, so, I’m constantly having the alerts go off in my mind.

For example, the most ubiquitous phrases I see every morning shared by various entrepreneurs and thought leaders on social is some variation of the “rise and grind” mantra.

I just typed that keyword phrase into Instagram and 24 variations were suggested to me.

It’s everywhere, it’s everyday, it’s catchy - I get it.

But, I think these supposed words of affirmation do more damage subconsciously than it does good.

The definition of grind is to “reduce (something) to small particles or powder by crushing it” or “rub or cause to rub together gratingly.”  

If we take a trip over to the Urban dictionary, they define it as “when an individual pushes his/herself to attain a goal. Similar to gears grinding when they are worked beyond their capacity.”

In either case, both the traditional and colloquial definitions present “grind” in a less-than-positive light.

It’s presented as labor intensive, grating and “beyond your capacity.”


If we’re talking about motivating someone first thing in the morning, is this the way to do it? Through a negative connotation like two coarse plates rubbing up on each other?

Dunno about that one.

Now, although to some, it may seem to be an innocuous occurence, when people see the phrase “rise and grind” and any and all of its variations, that mentally primes people for an arduous, uphill climb of a day.

Every single time you see it, say it or share it online, that acts as a constant reinforcement of this negative, behind-the-8-ball, attitude towards the day’s work, which is ironic since those who post these sentiments are looking to pump you up and motivate, not discourage and pile on.

Recently, I had a conversation with a client, and as we were in the middle of talking about his day job, he threw out out the “grind” reference, and I immediately stopped him in his tracks and took the opportunity to wax poetic on that, :)  

After I shared with him the thoughts I just shared with you, I offered up an alternative:

Rather than say “rise and grind,” how bout we opt for more positive words of affirmation - something like “Rise and Thrive?”

He nodded in agreement, and I realized I now have a new phrase that motivates and is positive, through and through.

So everytime I come across a post that promotes a variation of the “rise and grind” theme, I will offer them my sunshiney, happy and positive alternative.

After all, isn’t “thriving” what they ultimately mean to say?

What is your take on the phrase “rise and grind?” Do you feel that it is positive words of affirmtion?

Please “grind” your opinion into the comments section below, :)


PS - For those of you who aren’t in the know, I mail out these blogs 3x a week, and lemme tell you, they’re a real party, so, if you’d like to get in on this, sign up for it here and I’ll throw in a free gift for you...because I care, :)