I am anything but a motivational speaker. In fact, there are those that would say that I am quite depressing when I AM trying to motivate others.
So if you have read the title and thought that you have come to this place for me to fill you full of fancy saying and atta-boysâ¦ You will be sadly mistaken.
What I do hope to accomplish here is to share where I get my motivation from and what I do with it when I do find it. How I look to others to guide me to find a path that does motivate me into success and how I get through the low points when I cannot seem to find the spark in me to keep working on this task that is writing.
If you chose to get something out of this, then I encourage you to share that with me and let me know how I helped. If you read this and find out that you may be a kindred spirit, then please share that as well. Sometimes we all get to those points when our muses have decided to go on a vacation or just generally leave us high and dry and we have to either fend for ourselves or rely on a little push from those around us.
Image credit to Stuart Miles @ www.freedigitalphotos.net
What gets me going
I am not easily motivated by external sources. So the fact that watching an internet program today prompted me to write this, is a rarity. That it moved me enough to device to put this out within hours of seeing it simply because of one line in it.
I am sure that more than one of you reading this may have heard of him before, but while watching today's PDS (http://phillyd.tv) "The Philip DeFranco Show". And when he was talking about a little girl with Downs getting to be a model for Wet Seal, he made a comment that applies everyone who tends to let the work get them down.
...don't become the thing that gets you down.
I am not sure why that struck a chord with me. I have heard similar things before, and have listened to all the motivational yahoos out there preach thoughts along the same ilk. But while I sat there at work, on my 15 minute break and watched his show, as I do most afternoons, this stood out to me and I decided that I would take it and run with it.
Here I am being schooled by a person that is old enough to be my son, and it resonated with me. I need to stop being my own worst enemy. I need to stop being the cause of my own failures and the cause of my own disappointments.
We all find motivation in the oddest of places, and today just happened to be his turn. I watch his program all the time and even hooked my wife on it. He is a happy, positive and charismatic person and today, when watching him, that one line made me think more about who and what it is that is keeping me from getting off my rear-end and working on my success and not thinking about why I am not succeeding.
This is not to single Philip out as a motivational icon. There are many and each one of us will find several over the course of our lifetimes. I have watched Philip from when he started and no one really knew him, and now look at him. He is a success, is starting a new family, has surrounded himself with great people and still has his entire life ahead of him. If there were not a better candidate for motivation, then I am not sure who it would be.
We all have our muses and they all come from different events and places in our lives. Music and people motivate me. I listen to songs and the stories that they tell and then at people that I have met or listen to and absorb some of what they are or give off, to keep me going.
I guess you could say that we all share energy and what we give off may influence those around us. This includes the negative and the positive, so maybe we need to watch how much negative we produce.
Who Motivates you?
It's not a trick question.
I think that when we look at ourselves and who we have become, as adults, we might be surprised at why we are the person that we grew into and who helped us, directly or indirectly, get there.
I find that who I am is an amalgam of many of the people I have respected, trusted and loved over my almost fifty years of life. I see so many things in everything I do from so many people I have had both the pleasure, and sometime displeasure, of meeting throughout my life. Most of it good, some of it bad, but all of it is now part of me.
I see, in me, my Mother's compassion and love for science, cooking and reading. I see the discipline and understanding of the need for rules from my Mother's boyfriend and from my time in the Marine Corps. I see my passion for silly things and understanding that we all need a little craziness in our lives from my wife of 23 years (as of writing this.) I see my understanding of rights and wrongs from my own experience from the people I have both wronged and done right by and those whom I will never know either way.
I am a construct of all the people I have met, loved, lost, befriended, hated and loathed. And not matter who they were, how bad they were, what I did to them or they to me, they have made me up and they are the voices that speak to me when I ask myself, What keeps me going? What motivates me?
Keeping it going
Being and staying motivated is not just about you.
I have learned many things over the years, but the one that seems to stand out to me is that motivation and being driven to succeed is not just about me. It is about sharing that feeling with others and helping others out of their ruts or funks.
If you have read any of my previous work, you know that I suffer from depression. So you will understand that in addition to many of the things I have told you here, I also have that to contend with, and it does make it hard to stay on top. But what I find helps me out the most is to channel that depression into something good for others.
I have found that one of the best ways to keep me motivated and, subsequently, get me out of my own funk, is to help others. To try to get others to move on what they see in their dreams. I cannot tell you how many people I have known that I have talked into going back to school and getting a degree, or going to some school and getting their certifications or finding a trade school in some field that they like. Yet I, myself, have never even finished college.
But those lives that I have helped will go on and help others and motivate many more, or so I hope. So that in looking back, even though my life may not have been successful in the most obvious sense, it was to those whose life I may have touched.
And not to pick on or stroke Philip DeFranco's ego too much, that is something I see in him, now. He may talk about how he did not complete college and sometimes he talks about his failings and where he might have gone wrong. But when he is my age, he will have the pleasure of looking back on all the lives that he may have touched, including his twelve kids and thirty-four grandchildren, and see the fruits of his efforts.
So... Thanks for reading this and thank you, Philip, for being my muse for the day. Keep up the good work!
A Final thought...
One thing that I thought of just as I was about to publish this, is something that someone told me years ago... and it might be something that we all can work on... consider it your homework assignment from me.
Try to complement someone that needs it, each day. You will know who they are and when they need it, it is a gut feeling thing. Just try it, and not only see what it may do for them, but what it will also do for you!
Who motivates you or spurs you into action? Whether it is writing, acting, speaking, recording, whatever... Tell me about it and share your respective Muses.