Worming out of Motivation
So, it has been established that we don’t trust motivational speakers! Mainly this is because we had been exposed to too many situations where we overheard people saying sceptically, “Ag these motivational guys! These teambuilding guys! They come in and a week later I can’t remember what they said!” This was something that we never wanted to have said about MOVERS & SHAKERS and we guarded ourselves carefully against this in the way that we designed our corporate team building activities.
Why did motivation get such a bad rap? The reputation of the average motivational speaker has been tarnished over the years by the amount of cliché and rhetoric that has been spewed off a stage onto an unsuspecting audience by an exuberant and entertaining Motivator. Cliché after cliché has been piled upon us in such a way that most corporate seminar attenders have become immune to the pointless stimulant-free phrase-vomiting acts that the latest whizz-kid speaker has managed to come up with. Again we repeat, no-one can motivate you. You have to want to motivate yourself!
And so the clichés would come. With a slick suit and tie pin even Joe Jackson would not have envisaged the sharp-dressed man commanding the stage trying to get his fragile point across. “The early bird catches the worm!” I once heard promoted. “What!” the sceptic in me could not hold back an exclamation. Biting my lip, my mind was racing, daring me to shout out, “Who the hell wants WORMS!” I mean really, how could real people dealing with real issues both at home and at the office be expected to digest this offering of modern corporate wisdom. Was this supposed to be a life skill that we were supposed to seriously take on? It seemed that for every cliché there was an equal and opposite reaction. “The early bird catches the worm BUT, the second mouse gets the cheese!” (Think about it for a minute).
Another conundrum was the old classic, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life!” That was just confusing. What did that make yesterday? It made no real point although we could probably imagine what kind of tenuous theme Mr. YesYes (author of numerous books), was trying to get across.
It gets closer to home, though. Almost every office these days has the motivational preacher spouting the world’s no.1 most popular inspirational phrase, “If you fail to plan, You plan to fail!” I know you can feel the goose bumps rise as you realise that you too have been a victim of this misguided intention. Knowing that I’m right, you can hear it still ringing in your ears and see the face involved in the delivery. How did I respond? Well, by this stage I just started getting difficult. I was the self-appointed devil’s advocate. Sorry, but this is history, not fabrication. After years of torturous submission to this company bombardment marketed to the minions as a ‘treat’, just because you were away from your desk, we had started to form a corp., a small select group of black ops cynics. Mainly so that we could share our negative but albeit witty comebacks at these company soirees. “What if I wanted to fail at something.... and I did.” Which did I do? Fail or succeed? Granted, even the comebacks were becoming questionable now. It just became a “chicken or the egg” thing.
More recently however as a broker of these motivational concepts I was asked to attend a client motivational conference where the company had decided to treat their team to a number of inspirational presenters. Why? Possibly in the hope that something would work on their team, the organisers were as disillusioned as the rest. Somehow I had managed to get the last slot of the day and most likely purely by chance. I’d like to think they were saving the best for last but in truth I guess it was purely by chance. The one wise thing that I did that no other speaker did that day was that I attended the entire day listening to each and every speaker along the way. At the time I did not realise it was as wise as it was. Maybe I was a little intimidated to follow some well known names. I justified it by convincing myself that I would listen and learn and build on the message foundation that the others had made. But one thing happened that I have never forgotten was that two speakers at different times of the day made exactly opposite points. One started convincing the crowd to “act in the moment and there is no time like the present, don’t put off until tomorrow...Just do it,” whilst a few hours later with a different voice exactly the opposite point was made. “Procrastination can be your best friend. A fool rushes in. Hold back until you have the big picture. There is a wisdom in a multitude of councillors.” I was embarrassed for all of us.
With that, I think it is understandable how the Motivational industry got a bad rap.
So how are we going to recover from the first cynical portion of this article? Well we’ll give it our best shot. We still feel that things need to be kept simple and it is not a complicated thing.
Recently I went on a diet. Having tried numerous times before, the difference this time was that it worked and continues to work because I worked out how to motivate myself to do it. The fad diets don’t work, the milkshakes don’t work, eating only bananas and herrings for a week does not work, even exercise alone didn’t work for me. I needed to make a lifestyle change that I would be able to sustain. The formula was simple in reality – If you ate fewer calories than you used, you had to lose weight. All I did was logged what I ate! That did need some discipline but with some great websites and smartphone applications available, it’s really not that hard! It was a simple formula. Eat less than you use. I can have a chocolate bar for lunch if I want, but then there’s nothing left in my allocation for dinner.
What is the point I’m trying to make? Well, here it is. People are driven by one of 2 things: reward or punishment. Just like a donkey, we are driven by either the carrot or the stick. Usually the carrot is far more effective, but hey, you have to work out what works for you. In our lives, I suppose you could say these elements are made up of our failures or fears, or our dreams. You have to just make sure that your dreams are bigger than your fears. What most people won’t tell you however is that the dream takes work!
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By: Willard F. Harley, Jr.
In the classic bestseller His Needs, Her Needs, Willard F. Harley, Jr., identifies the ten most vital needs of men and women and shows husbands and wives how to satisfy those needs in their spouses. He provides guidance for becoming irresistible to your spouse and for loving more creatively and sensitively, thereby eliminating the problems that often lead to extramarital affairs. This revised and expanded edition has been updated throughout and includes new writing that highlights the special significance of intimate emotional needs in marriage.
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A young boy asks his Dad: "What is the difference between confident and confidential?
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Boyz II Men
“A Song for Mama”
“A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavour by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
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