Motivational Posters: Ernest Hemingway Edition

by Brett & Kate McKay on August 27, 2009 · 34 comments

in A Man's Life, Motivational Posters


I admittedly didn’t know much about Ernest Hemingway beyond his fine works of literature until I read Chris Hutcheson’s article, “The Hemingway You Didn’t Know: Papa’s Adventures.” Despite Hemingway’s flaws, he spent his life engaging in all manner of bad assery. I was so inspired by Chris’ article that I decided to put together some Papa-themed motivational posters. Enjoy.
















Check out all the motivational posters from AoM: 

Theodore Roosevelt Edition
George S. Patton Edition
Ernest Hemingway Edition
Winston Churchill Edition (Part I)
Winston Churchill Edition (Part II)
Black History Month Edition
Bear Bryant Edition
Founding Fathers Edition
Band of Brothers Edition
Business Posters from the 1920s and 1930s

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dan August 27, 2009 at 11:42 pm


2 Dan August 28, 2009 at 12:58 am

I really liked some of these, especially the mentor one…are we allowed to use them?

3 Jeremy August 28, 2009 at 1:21 am

Great stuff :D you don’t mind if I spread these across the internet?

4 Kevin August 28, 2009 at 1:30 am

Consistency is my favorite. So very true.

5 Zoltán Cserei August 28, 2009 at 4:45 am

I like these a lot :)
Do you have some larger resolutions of them, so I could print them actually? The headline made me hope I will get real printable posters :)

6 nathan miller August 28, 2009 at 8:12 am

Hemingway’s the man.

7 chris August 28, 2009 at 8:24 am

good job :-) keep it up

8 Dan August 28, 2009 at 9:42 am

This motivational poster series is great. Where do you find the photos for them all?

9 K Stuart Currens August 28, 2009 at 10:07 am

These Hemingway pearls of wisdom should touch deeply with all men and should inspire as well as teach, somone once told me the truest man knows why, while the lying men ask why.

10 A.A. JOSE August 28, 2009 at 10:31 am

These Pearls of wisdom speak loud of what a great person was Hemingway. I salute this great personality from far away INDIA.

11 Wayne Key August 28, 2009 at 10:31 am

Wow there are some great ones here!!… can those of us with blogs or sites copy one or two (with attribution and the links you might want) and use them on our sites? I have two or three article ideas each spinning off the posters above.

Thanks for the cool work!

12 Playstead August 28, 2009 at 11:05 am

These are awesome, I’ve always loved: A man can be destroyed, but not defeated.

13 Alex Chebykin August 28, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Amazing motivational posters. Did you make them yourself? I especially like the Moderation, Authenticity, and Execution ones.

14 Mike August 28, 2009 at 5:36 pm

Which one explains his suicide? I mean if we’re to follow this man’s thinking process…

15 Jeff August 28, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Mike, you can’t take one tragic episode of this man’s life and apply it to all he’s done and said before. Do you really think all this led up to his suicide?

16 Jay Archibald August 28, 2009 at 9:05 pm


17 Brett McKay August 28, 2009 at 11:43 pm

I’m glad many of you enjoyed the posters! To answer some of the queries made:

Yes we made these posters.
Yes you can spread them around the internet, provided you cite us as the source and link back here.
No we do not have high resolution versions available.
We find the pictures by spending many hours searching the internet looking for just the right photo.
And yes, hardihood is a word. A great word, in fact!

18 jonny | August 29, 2009 at 7:33 am

Thanks for the spending the considerable time it must have taken to create these posters.

19 Micheal Hall August 30, 2009 at 1:54 am

“Which one explains his suicide? I mean if we’re to follow this man’s thinking process…”

His suicide is easily explained.

He allowed himself to be “treated” by psychiatrists. He agreed to ECT (electro convulsive therapy) after being told it would help him. Instead, the treatment left him with severe memory problems and his ability to write was destroyed.

Shortly after that, he took his life.

A very big lesson to be learned there …


20 Nik August 30, 2009 at 12:32 pm

@Michael Hall,

What precisely is the big lesson here? That psychiatrists are all quacks not to be trusted? I hope that’s not the message you’re sending because that is some irresponsible logic. However, if you’re saying not to trust fad treatments and/or some of the flawed human science of the mid-century, then you’re absolutely correct.

Let me just say that I trust no one who does not trust therapy; that mentality often conceals a large ego that cannot admit the need for growth or outside perspective. Very few people have all the answers, and sometimes just having a professional question your assumptions is enough to start a healing/growing process. Electroshock therapy, on the other hand, is a good way to destroy your brain, and I tend to assume that most treatments dealing with past-lives and/or “repressed emotions” are dishonest and largely unhelpful.

21 Micheal Hall August 31, 2009 at 1:39 am


I don’t suggest avoiding therapy … however the word therapy connotes a cure.

Psychiatry is a pseudo science – a school of thought wherein the disorders are based on opinion and majority vote gets them included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Disorders – the psychiatric “billing bible”. If a condition isn’t in there, health insurance won’t pay for it. Psychiatry has no objective measure of any condition, no repeatable biological test to indicate any disorder. And they are not afraid to admit that they cannot reliably diagnose or cure any person that comes to them. The current “answer” is mind altering drugs … for life.

If you want to avoid “fad” treatments, examining the treatments in use throughout the history of the “science” … one would come to the conclusion you should avoid all therapies put forward by psychiatry as they are all fads and are universally harmful. You have the aforementioned ECT, as well as deep sleep therapy, insulin shock therapy, prefrontal labotomy, transorbital leukotomy, restraint theraphy, avoidance therapy. LSD and cocaine were once psychiatric wonder drugs, as was thorazine – the “chemical straight jacket”. It was put into wide use when the fad of slicing up of the prefrontal lobes of the brain in the labotomy waned because it resulted in much the same type of patient – one who is docile and easy to control – but with a lower mortality rate (many of the patients undergoing the prefrontal lobotomy died on the table or shortly after the operation). Of course, extended use of thorazine causes kinesthia (an inability to sit still – evidenced by continual muscle twitching throughout the body) and permanent swelling of the tongue which causes a lifetime of slurred speech, in addition to memory problems. These are results of the drug that are permanent and uncurable. This is “treatment”.

Current fad “treatments” are centered around the “serotonin re-uptake inhibitor” class of drug … which is intended to correct an untestable, undemonstrable “chemical imbalance” of the brain. Of course, in the end, introducing these substances causes the imbalance they purport to correct. With their “side-effects” come prescriptions for more drugs, which in turn have their side-effects as well. It’s not uncommon to patients on cocktails of three to five heavy, mind altering drugs – each one chasing the tail of the drug whose side effects it was prescribed to counteract. Direct marketing to the public of drugs has caused a massive upsurge in their prescription. The black box warning of these drugs indicates that they can cause suicidality and thoughts of violence – even in previously non-violent individuals.

If you want a “fad” treatment, you’ve got plenty of them.

On the other hand, there are 29 MEDICAL (and treatable!) causes for schizophrenia. You’ve also got thyroid conditions that manifest as common psychiatric disorders such as depression. Thyroid conditions can be treated and cured. You’ve got dietary conditions, food allergies, and other medical body conditions that result in a person feeling in a way which they do not like … Yet American society at large is bombarded by commercials which tell them that drugs are the answers to what they are feeling. Drugs which offer addiction, no cure, harmful side-effects and a lifetime of use … but big money the Big Pharma and large payments to the psychiatrists that prescribe them.

I’m not averse to therapy, no one makes it through life without someone’s help. But I strongly object to harmful mistreatment in the guise of therapy.

22 Lance August 31, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Dude, I love Hem, and these are awesome. How can I get an actual copy mailed to me??

23 mechthild August 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Excellent idea — would recommend providing sources for the quotations, though. (e.g., “man can be destroyed but not defeated” is from Old Man and the Sea.)

24 Eric D Lehman August 31, 2009 at 3:53 pm

These are absolutely great. Just reread Green Hills of Africa and there’s a lot in there about what a man is.

25 p51mustang September 1, 2009 at 4:53 am

I read Hemingway in high school and still can recall his stories and his unique style of writing. I knew about his suicide and that suicide has continued in his progeny, so there could be something genetic there. My family has a tendency towards depression and I started on Prozac in 1990 and remember vividly how it brought me back to “myself” within two weeks. I have since been on various other SSRIs and used to be able to cycle on and off, but I can’t any more. I switched to Wellbutrin from Effexor last year to ameliorate the sexual side effects but started having anxiety attacks, so my psychiatrist added Luvox. He said Wellbutrin can cause anxiety, and I’ve been fine since- more content but generally less motivated. I suppose less sex is a trade-off for more contentment.

26 Ariel September 1, 2009 at 9:00 pm

Great job there. I took the liberty to print a couple of them and pin them to the corkboard. That’s fair use, I suppose.

Thanks, Brett.

27 Gaurav September 2, 2009 at 2:01 am


28 Sharon Henry September 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm

My favorite author. These are wonderful!

29 About Poster Printing September 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Interesting website. It should be fairly easy to print posters from these images. Just right click and save them to your computer as a .jpg file. You can easily upload them to an online printing company. I imagine a smaller poster size will be best with the low resolution of the images.

30 Yavor October 1, 2009 at 3:52 am

Those were really well made posters, Brett. Twittered!



31 Jeff S. January 4, 2010 at 10:46 am

One I like to live by is this, which was said by an ex-WWII British fighter pilot when he was discussing how the smaller, outgunned RAF won over Hitler’s Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain: “When you believe in what you are doing, you are twice as strong.”. VERY well put.

32 Bojan Domazet July 27, 2010 at 8:42 pm

hardihood… i think i read that’s what F.S.Fitzgerald wrote in “The Great Gatsby”

33 Sam D August 27, 2013 at 12:29 am

Any way to buy any of these?

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