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The Only Way I Know How To Have Motivation All The Time

October 20, 2019

I was 19 at a hotel near the airport in Atlanta.

I was attending a 7-day Neuro-Linguistic Programming training. If you don't know what that is, think of it as a goal setting, success skills, and therapist training workshop.

I was loving it.

We were learning communication skills, visualization techniques, conversational hypnosis, and cutting-edge therapeutic methods.

I remember feeling so energized, thinking I was going to change the world with what I was learning.

A couple of days into the training, a few attendees and I crossed the busy street next to the hotel to grab lunch at a fast-food taco place.

We entered the restaurant carrying the enthusiasm and excitement that we had been experiencing at the seminar. The guy behind the counter, ready to take our order, noticed.

"Wow, you guys look like you're in a good mood. You must be doing a seminar over at the hotel across the street."

We said yes.

"What kind of seminar is it?"

I tried to explain: "It's about how to change ourselves, and then how to change others too so we can all be more successful."

He leaned back with a half-smile. "Oh." He paused. "That sounds like a motivational seminar. Our boss does those here for us at the restaurant. We get excited for like two days, and then you just forget all about it."\

Us: 😲

"No, no, no," my friend said back. "This is different. We're actually changing ourselves."

We were scrambling to explain to him how what we were doing wasn't just a motivational thing. We were so afraid to consider that this guy behind the counter was actually speaking the truth.

He gave a slow nod with a grimace. He knew something that we weren't ready to admit yet:

Motivation doesn't last that long.

We're all so busy. The thing we want more than anything is time to get more done AND the motivation to do it.

I was at that seminar looking for a way to change myself to feel motivated all the time.


So I could get more done and make my dreams a reality: Get in great physical shape. Make a ton of money. Travel the world. Etc., etc., etc.

Did it work?

I would say that that seminar, and others I've been to,addedto the information in my head. They exposed me to new ideas. And I did make some changes in myself. But...

No, I never found that way to change myself so that I was always motivated...


I realized...

All my reasons were for ego purposes.

They were so I could look good. So people would only think positive thoughts about me.

It was all about ME!

Check with yourself, think of an area of your life where you need more motivation. Maybe you'd like to eat healthier, or get up earlier, or do a better job of reaching out to clients or your network.

Take a look inside. You're focusing on yourself, aren't you?

It's a funny thing about human nature: certain things we just can't get ourselves to do...when we're doing it for ourselves.

Think now of that same area where you want more motivation, but this time imagine doing it as a way to uplift and inspire someone you care about. You're doing it for them, not for you.

Does your motivation increase?

In my experience it does.

It's that old idea that if someone had a gun, not to your head, but to someone's head that you love, you would do ANYTHING to save them.

This is not an insignificant point. Just by focusing on doing things for other people, we can tap into a seemingly endless supply of motivation, and make-it-happen attitude.

It's why PTSD treatments for military veterans can include adopting a dog. They'll have to focus on more than just themselves.

It's why having children can be such a transformative force in life. A new mother once told me that having a baby gave her life purpose. We start thinking beyond ourselves. I once overheard a heartwarming conversation between a bunch of teenagers and a business man, all on the train ride out of the city after a day of work.

The teenagers were asking the business man what it was like to commute to work everyday and what his job was like. Finally they asked, "How do you motivate yourself to get up so early and take the train into the city to work everyday?"

The business man didn't hesitate. He said, "My kids have to eat!"

In the genius design of the universe, the motivation we seek for ourselves is hidden in the desire to do good for others.

We can make use of this idea in two ways:

  1. Redirect our thinking so that we make our goals and dreams about helping others first.

    • Work out not because you'll look good at the beach, but because of how you'll inspire others to live more healthy.
    • Build your business not because of how much money you'll be able to die with, but because of all the lives you'll touch with the quality of your product and service.
  2. Go even further and let go of what makes you judge yourself and others.

There is a name for this. This is called love.

Remove the barriers in your life that prevent you from experiencing more love in your day-to-day life experience.

That is where the consistent all-day motivation lies.

That is where the power to permanently change ourselves has been hiding all along.

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