But her efforts to inspire the masses have sometimes backfired because the senior adviser to the president tends to have an extraordinary lack of self-awareness. On Tuesday, Trump posted on Twitter: "The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." She incorrectly attributed the quote to Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher.
But she was quickly corrected by other eagle-eyed Twitter users, who accurately pointed out that the quote is actually said by a fictional character in Dan Millman’s fictionalized memoir Way Of The Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives. The character in this 1980 book is a gas attendant who also happens to be named Socrates.
Trump deleted the post after it was up for about 30 minutes and shared the quote again, this time writing the attribution as "Socrates (note: a fictional character not the philosopher)." She didn't acknowledge she had made a mistake.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) October 16, 2018
-Socrates (note: a fictional character not the philosopher)
It's not the first time Trump's love for inspirational quotes has backfired. In the summer, she celebrated her father's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un by posting on Twitter the saying, "Those who say it can not be done, should not interrupt those doing it" and calling it a "Chinese proverb." The saying, however, is not Chinese at all.
Her book Women Who Work was also called a "strawberry milkshake of inspirational quotes," many of which were taken out of context. One of the most egregious examples was using a quote from the book Beloved, by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, in which the novelist outlines the devastating psychological impact of slavery. "Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another," Morrison wrote. Trump chose to appropriate the quote and use it for her chapter about "working smarter." Going off the topic of time management, Trump wrote: "Are you a slave to your time or the master of it? Despite your best intentions, it's easy to be reactive and get caught up in returning calls, attending meetings, answering e-mails."
Maybe Trump should chill out with the #inspo quotes for a while.