Life is a Revelation…be encouraged



The relationship between visits to and Web conferences

Does this look familiar? I think we can all see ourselves in this graph. We are running low on motivation, then we go to a conference/seminar/retreat  and suddenly we are on inspiration steroids, without the nasty side effects, unless you count being slightly over-the-top annoying to your co-workers. Then the reality of the job/family/personal relationships start to encroach on our stimulating high and we begin a downward trend. At first, we tell ourselves it is alright. There is a reason nothing grows a mountain tops, it is unreasonable to believe we could be highly motivated all the time.

We slip a little more, but we are busy and it is difficult to keep track of this all the time.  We’ve got commitments, there are reports, job issues, kid’s soccer and dance, significant others who aren’t quite as supporting as we would like, and before long our motivation has sunk back to where it was before our big event.

This is one remedy:

Trying to maintain innovation motivation using constant Web conferences

The trouble with this concept is you end up going to every type of motivational seminar you hear about, you read the top motivational books, you subscribe to the motivational emails, and you end up driving yourself batty trying to stay on top of your game.

We need to stop the merry-go-round and get off. I believe there is a way to avoid the roller-coaster and still keep our drive and passion running high. I know there is a way to enjoy the benefits of inspiration and enthusiasm without it becoming another burden in life to deal with. The reason I am convinced of this is because I have utilized it in my own life. I have been able to eliminate the erratic up and down flow of emotions. I have discovered a method of smoothing out the rough patches and maintaining the energy and excitement.

I was asked one time by a slightly skeptical individual if I was a motivational speaker. When I replied I was he had a look on his face like I had fallen directly into his trap. With as much disdain as he could muster he said, “So motivate me?” I looked directly into his stare and said, “I can’t.” He looked like the cat when the mouse gets a way. He stammered back, “Whaddya mean?”

I ran through much the same scenario as I have outlined above and then said, “Only you can motivate you.” At that point he was intrigued enough to forsake the testosterone fueled attitude and we began to talk.

I told him how all the words and encouragement in the world don’t mean anything until the individual begins to act. There must be a decision. There must be action. There must be follow through. Only when we make a choice to change our ways can our circumstances change. Thinking all the right thoughts will help and reading the books by the most influential motivational speakers will assist, but nothing will happen until you make a decision.

I have gone from deceiver to achiever, dope to hope, and mess to success. I did not do it by reading or hearing or thinking, I did it by getting up off my sofa and acting on what I knew to be true. I added fuel to the fire and turned up the flame. Turning the criminal life I was leading into a life of benefit to others was no overnight sensation. It was hard, continual work. There was a lot of sweat and tears, and then more sweat and even more tears. When the going got tough (and it always will, at some point) I lowered my head and kept going. I was not about to give up no matter what. I knew what was behind me. I had no desire for my past to dictate my future. It was full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes. There was no exit ramp. There was no time out area. There was no alternative, except to move forward. The options list had been added to the fire. Now maybe you don’t have the drama I had or maybe you have more, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters except getting up and doing something. There are no excuses. There are no reasons. The only thing left to do, is do.

Is changing your thought pattern beneficial? Absolutely! Is reading inspiring books good? You bet it is, I’m reading inspirational material all the time. Is associating with others who share my desire alright? Yes it is, I have surrounded myself with people of integrity, who share my vision for changing the world. Isn’t all of that enough? No it isn’t. You’ve got to take action. All of those ideas will help, but until you take matters into your own hands and implement everything into your actions, your emotional state will remain flat, or worse, continue in a downward descent.

Will you have fears? Yes you will. Will you get scared? Yes you will. It will be so bad at times that your insides liquefy. You will get headaches. You will sweat profusely at times. You will think you can’t go on. You will want to quit. You will want to give up. You will cry. You will yell. You will curse. You will hate it at times with every ounce of your being. You will imagine death to be easier (it is not). It will be both mental and physical. But keep moving forward.

Does this sound like the old coach revving up the players for the big game. Yes it does! Why? Because it works, pure and simple. Actions change our lives. It isn’t rocket science, thank God or I would never have gotten it. What it is, is plain old fashion hard work. I know that isn’t popular, there is a reason why there is a glut of “labor saving devices” in the market. But it can’t be avoided. An alcoholic must go through withdrawals. The same is true for any type of drug addiction.  The withdrawals are painful, uncomfortable, and sometimes feel like hell itself, but they work…and they are unavoidable.

Forging the life we want isn’t always sweet chimes, white fluffy clouds, and incense. More often it resembles a hard day of baling hay. The sweat stings your eyes. Your nostrils are clogged with the thick dust of hay. Your arms feel like they will fall off. Your mind goes into tunnel thought. Your back is made aware of a whole new level of searing pain, but at the end of the day, when you look up in the loft and see it full of stacked bales, the pride you feel is overwhelming. A sense of job well done. Nothing automatic about it. You worked for it and have the proof of your labors.

Forge a new life. Set yourself free. Work for it. Feel the sting, the ache, the desire. Know in your mind it is more important than your next breath. Feel it in everything within you. Unleash yourself. Cut the chain and run. Run until your lungs burn like hot fiery pokers have been shoved down your throat. Feel the exhaustion. Feel the power. Feel the freedom.

Live the life you want. Whatever that is. Is it being in the center of the road? Is it the road less traveled? Is it the road traveled by your friends, family, and loved ones? Is it not even a road? Is it a path? Is it just two points strung out on a distant map in your mind? Is it uncharted territory? Is it a deep and rolling sea? Is it a small babbling brook? Is it hunkered down in a home you love as much as anything else on earth? It doesn’t matter what it is…live the life you want.

Whatever it is, live it to the raw fullest. Be inflamed with your life. Let it consume your being and ooze from your pores. Don’t hold back and never give up. Have it stamped on your forehead. Burn it into your consciousness. Put it out front. Wear it on your sleeve. Brandish it like a double edge sword. Hold your banner high. Keep it up. Don’t give up. Keep adding fuel to the fire.

Action is the key…now get up and go for it!






Be encouraged! 

Be encouraged!

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16 thoughts on “Motivation?

  1. The people who work the hardest are rarely the ones complaining and moaning about how hard it is. They just do what needs to be done! So many of us want instant gratification and quick results. You’re so right about motivation requiring action and action takes self-discipline.

    • Thanks for the comment…I’ve reread this post a few dozen times and it kind of looks like I wrote it after a huge ingestion of caffeine, but actually I think what I see is just plain old passion in its rawest form.

      I believe this stuff.

      Be encouraged!

  2. There you go again being passionate and oh so smart. If this doesn’t stir people up then what will? haha! Thanks for another great post. This one is worth printing and keeping with me for a little pick me up. I have to constantly remind myself that life is a marathon not a sprint. My favorite self message has always been, “Slow and steady wins the race.” We live in a world of instant gratification. Some people want to arrive at their destination without any hard work. As you know that’s got return ticket marked all over it : )
    There’s a parable in the scriptures about the ten virgins having worked to collect oil for their lamps — they’re waiting for the bridegroom (The Savior). At the last minute the ones who foolishly didn’t accumulate any oil, whose lamps were dark, asked the others if they could share their oil. The answer was, “No.” I’m probably messing this up but I think the point was that they couldn’t share what they had earned – knowledge and wisdom through hard work, etc. Just like the point you were making about motivating someone. It’s an inside job. You can encourage them, love them and show them the way out of the deep, dark woods but ultimately they have to put one foot in front of the other.

    Lastly, I always think of The Wizard of Oz and Glinda the good witch.
    Glinda to Dorothy: “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.”
    Dorothy: “I have?”
    Scarecrow: Then why didn’t you tell her before?”
    Glinda: “Because she wouldn’t have believed me. She had to learn it for herself.”
    Scarecrow: “But that’s so easy! I should’ve thought of it for you.”
    Tin Man: I should have felt it in my heart.”
    Glinda: No, she had to find it out for herself.”

    Great post, stephen. I needed this today.

    • “Just like the point you were making about motivating someone. It’s an inside job.” I stealing that line! is awesome!

      Thanks for all the kind words…I am especially grateful you found something there that you can use for those moments when the earth tilts on her axis and everything becomes uphill, no matter which way you turn.

      The Parable of the Ten Virgins (sometimes called the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins) is an accurate analogy. We are in the habit of wanting something for nothing. We don’t want to lay the ground work, we don’t want to lift the heavy weight, we don’t have the patience to wait, we just want the results and we want them now.

      Glad you enjoyed it.

      Be encouraged!

  3. What a fantastic post, coach! Keep up the excellent work.

  4. Good post, so many people look to the external for motivation rather than the internal. What I often see is that the majority of people are not self aware. They rarely sit down and just think and ask questions about themselves. Until we are self aware how can it be possible to know that what we are trying to do is actually really what we need to do, we need to be motivated on the subconscious level as well or we will never follow through.

    Also many people have the view that if they reach a certain goal they will be happy, when the goal is reached they are happy for a short while but find it is a not the deep happiness they were looking for and so decide that it will be the attainment of the next goal that will bring them joy. What is forgotten is to simply learn to be happy in the moment.

    • Good point Russell. When I was first investigating the Eastern Orthodox Church, one of concepts I kept hearing repeatedly was, “Know your self.” I wasn’t to fond of this advice, mainly because I didn’t think I was worth knowing and secondly because I felt it concentrated the attention on me and I had enough of that. It took me several years to understand what they meant and to see, know, and realize the benefits.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your ideas always provoke thought on my end…and I enjoy that immensely.

      Be encouraged!

  5. Laina on said:

    Excellent post. I think I tend to go the other direction on this one. Like you, I’ve realized that I can’t motivate anybody to do anything they aren’t ready to do, so my reaction is to just put out there what I’ve done and figure if they want it bad enough they’ll ask questions. And then I’ll piledrive ’em with detail and encouragement! POW!
    I admire your ability to blow past resistance and inspire people anyway, despite the attitude and futility that some days seems insurmountable.

    • “And then I’ll piledrive ‘em with detail and encouragement! POW!” Excellent! I love the concept of piledriving. It sounds so much better than “beat them ’til they bleed.”

      BTW…a HUGE congrats on what you have accomplished…talk about “blowing past resistance”…you are simply awesome and I deeply admire what you have accomplished.

      Also BTW…my calves got so huge as a bodybuilder that I could no longer wear blue jeans…not that it was the end of the world, because there were other aspects of bodybuilding that more than made up for this slight inconvenience, but as the mind works I was constantly lamenting this genetic defect. I no longer bodybuild, so hence my calves are no longer the size of bulls, but alas, my mind has gone on to find other things to lament. 🙂

      Be encouraged!

  6. I can quote this line to others:
    “deceiver to achiever, dope to hope, and mess to success”.
    I believe that whether our goals are worth achieving or not, whether they can give us satisfaction, contentment and happiness, we can only find out by achieving them.Even if they don’t reward us the way we wanted, they sure give us experience,and ‘10000 ways which don’t work’ as Thomas Edison said.
    It’s one step, but a giant leap for many.Some have the courage to do it, some need time to develop that courage, realization, and commitment to do so.

    • On the one hand I am sorrowful that my tag line applies to you as well, but then on the other hand it is wonderful that it applies to you as well. 🙂

      I am overwhelmingly glad you made the leap.

      Be encouraged!

  7. livvy1234 on said:

    We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.

  8. livvy1234 on said:

    I took the road less traveled. I have no regrets. My path is not about any particular material achievement, job, or health goal. It is about living one day at a time in peace and serenity. Living slowly, staying off the roller coaster, accepting what is in this moment. Very nice blog post.

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