Dedicated to my Uncle Morris, the most motivated and successful man I know. 1931-2015
Anyone that knows me, knows that my favorite lane on the highway is the slow lane. Life rolls by at a much more comfortable speed. I feel safer, less anxious and much more in control. Oddly enough, I love fast cars, but I like to drive them slowly. On the highway, cars all the way to my left are zipping by at breakneck speed. Why is everyone always in such a hurry?
I have, however, spent the majority of my career in the fast lane. In business, I am a fast lane acting kind of guy. I want to go, go, go and once I get locked into a plan, don’t try to talk me out of it. Keep your hands and feet in the “vehicle” at all times because it’s about to get up to warp speed. I love the rush of adrenaline I get from starting a new project, discovering a new angle and pushing the wheels of progress forward.
When asked, what motivates and inspires me to work hard to strive for success, I think part of the answer is the simplicity of it all. I am inspired by TV commercials, sappy magazine advertisements and by thoughtful gestures. I see a store clerk helping an older woman load groceries into her car and I fall to pieces. Any television commercial with a horse or a puppy makes me cry and I am ok with that. I am also inspired by bad systems in need of repair, poorly laid out processes and a void of a product or service in the marketplace.
My motivation? I truly believe if someone can achieve success then why can’t I? If all it requires is effort and I can learn the skill, sign me up, find me a teacher and let’s go. To stay motivated, all I need to do is look at the path ahead, focus on getting there and stay true to myself. About failure? Hell, I’ve failed at many things in my life, but I have practiced getting up so many times as well. I am very good at rebounding and moving on.
Sure, there are days when I have to dig deep, but those days are few and far between when I am working on something very exciting. Whether you are writing a book, starting a new job or working on the next best widget, staying motivated is about being fresh, following your heart and working through the fear of failure. Some days I have awesome cheerleaders that put me back on my feet and inspire me, but many days, I have only myself to rely upon. On days like these, I feed my head with positive thoughts and inspiring self-talk. There is very little room for negativity in my life, but if it creeps in, I work to turn it into positive action.
Although puppies and bad systems can inspire and motivate you as well, nothing can beat feet on the street and practical application of a well thought out idea. There is only so long that a Budweiser horse and a yellow lab can keep you inspired after the 30 second TV spot is over. Here is my list of action items that help keep me motivated.
Set it - Write down your goals, dreams and plans. Visualize them daily.
Say it - Tell others what you are doing. Nothing like a little accountability to keep you motivated. Enlist others to be your cheerleaders. If you are a dreamer, in the beginning, you may have to convince others of your plans. Do not let anyone discourage you. Don’t argue with logic, prove to them with action what you are going to accomplish.
Feed it - Power up with positive motivation. Take time to feed your brain with positive words. There is a great book written by Shad Helmstetter, What To Say When You Talk To Yourself. The book is filled with great exercises and applications to turn your biggest critic, your brain, into a motivational, positive thinking machine.
Play it - Get busy doing what you set out to do. The conditions will never be perfect. Action is a great motivator as well. When you are able to notice progress, negativity will not be able to get hold of you.
Stay at it - Don’t give up. Don’t you realize it is impossible to fail if you don’t give up. Expect detours along the way. Stay in the game, review your goals and keep going.
Accept it - You deserve success in your life. Say goodbye to all the naysayers you meet along the way. No matter how old you are, how young you are, how educated you are not, you have within you the power to make it happen. Don’t let the voices in your head or in the next cubicle next to you make you feel like you are not worthy of success.
Success will come to you, count on it. Maintain a positive attitude. I will agree that sometimes that is not the easiest thing to do, but success does not find you when you are on the dark side. You need to stay on the light side. Once you get a taste of success, you will see what it does for your confidence, self-esteem and attitude. You will feel better about you and that has a whole new set of positive vibes as well. It’s time to get inspired, get motivated and get going.
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