The Purpose & Power of Motivation in Attaining Success
Do you sometimes feel more discouraged than hopeful? Do you have more confusion about your future than clarity? Ever have feelings of dread that are stronger than any dreams you have about what is possible for you?
Given our current economic conditions, and increasing social unrest, feelings of concern and even consternation are certainly understandable. Huge numbers of good people are hurting and afraid; and we are in real danger of losing even what we think is secure. But the world doesn't determine our path, and external influences do not decide our future. We do. You and I.
The Book of Jeremiah tells us what God has in mind for those who believe. In this timeless wisdom it is written, "I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jer. 29:11 NIV). Is this something you believe? Is it something with which you agree?
When I was the executive director of the Marin Interfaith Council, I lead multi-faith conversation groups. These started as Jewish-Christian dialogue groups, and I extended the invitation and expanded the circle to include Muslims, Buddhists, and folks from other faith traditions. One of the ground rules was that each of us needed to agree to disagree, and to do so respectfully. I was blessed to be part of some truly heady, devout and enlivening discussions. Unlike many situations in life, where we are seeking absolute accord and assent, agreement wasn't the goal of our dialogues, understanding was. We always found meaningful common ground; and we discovered there was more on balance which joined us together, than that which separated us.
Fast forward to present day: Get Motivated Business Seminar
The Coliseum was filled with 8,000 people. We were there to hear from about a dozen world-class speakers. Giants of our time. Truly accomplished leaders. Men and women chosen to share their wisdom, vast experience and lessons about their respective and tremendous success. We heard from individuals who have excelled in the areas of business, civil and military service, teamwork, motivation, and management. These speakers are acclaimed, legendary, and very inspirational.
We were blessed to hear from America's Mayor, Rudy Giuliani; the former President of Microsoft, Rick Belluzzo; CEO of Southwest Airlines, Howard Putnam; former First Lady, Laura Bush; NFL's great Quarterback, Terry Bradshaw; renowned Notre Dame Coach, Lou Holtz; Statesman and Soldier, Gen. Colin Powell; best-selling author and founder of these seminars, Tamara Lowe; and the gifted and deeply moving Krish Dhanam, among others.
Despite the divergent fields of expertise, there were thematic threads woven throughout the long day. It was both heart-warming and resolutely affirming to hear from so many stellar leaders and find the common ground, the kindred spiritedness in their stories, the accord in their messages.
Mayor Giuliani emphasized many things, among them the importance of reading books, listening to other people (and having mentors), loving people, being truly present for others when things go wrong. He talked about the massive amounts of information bombarding us, the pace of life, and the power the Internet. He spoke about the value of slowing down and taking some time each day to relax, reflect and think for ourselves.
There were so many nuggets, so much good stuff. For me the big take-aways were the power of one's faith, the absolute importance of honesty, integrity, accountability, responsibility, passion, vision, authenticity, empathy and trust. There is also the absolute necessity of having a dream. Without vision, passion and a dream, we don't aspire to or truly achieve anything. We must choose well and take action. The key to success is knowing what you really desire, and where you want to go, and then moving forward with the qualities mentioned above.
Deep down, we all need something meaningful to do, someone to love, something to believe in, and something to hope for. Coach Holtz said, "Strategic plans don't inspire us, dreams do."
There is a critical aspect of life and relationships upon which I believe everyone can agree, regardless of one's faith, or political affiliation or the type of work we do. In order to be successful in just about anything at all in life, we need to take action. In order to accomplish or achieve anything worthwhile, we need to do something to bring it about. The abovementioned take-aways mean nothing if we simply nod our heads and agree. Real take-aways lead to taking action.
While there are numerous approaches, strategies, schools of thought, and game plans with which to achieve all manner of success, in order to be effective any decision or method must involve taking action, doing something. It includes forethought, choice and follow through. It takes having dreams, having clarity, and requires sustained motivation.
Our dreams enable us to define our goals and direction. The purpose of motivation is to spur us on, to reach our goals effectively, to succeed and thereby to make our dreams a living reality. The power of motivation is that it propels us forward, to achieve success.
It has been said that there are those who make things happen; those who watch things happen; and those who wonder what happened. Which are you? Which do you want to be? What's your dream?
Danny Allen explained that success entails taking risks, failing sometimes, getting back on board and taking further action. He said that everyone needs multiple streams of income and reminded us that while a ship is safe in the harbor, that is not the purpose for which ships are built. Are you playing it too safe? Is your dream too small or timid?
Among the possibilities for those seeking to secure or further their financial strength, home-based business was mentioned as a great option, as well as leveraging the power of the Internet. While not for everyone, for those who are clear about what they want, and where they are going, being an entrepreneur can be not only life-changing, but life-saving.
There are so many opportunities available to us. We have a future and a hope. There are plans and purposes personally designed for each of us. For you and for me. But we must discern and then seize them. We must dream dreams and take effective action. And as Terry Bradshaw said, "If you allow anyone to steal your dream, shame on you."
By design, we were not put on this earth to fail; or to live in fear or lack, but to prosper and to flourish. What's your dream?
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