“Motivation gets you started. Perseverance keeps you going.”
– Author Unknown
“That guy really rocked the room,” he said. “Everyone was up and cheering.”
“He’s a good speaker,” I admitted. “But I wonder, did we learn anything new?”
My friend and I had just spent a couple of hours listening to a renowned author and motivational speaker expound the virtues of Intention Setting, Manifesting and Visualization.
“Say what you will,” replied my friend, “but I’m pumped and positive.”
I smiled. Years ago, I used to attend a lot of motivational seminars and for the same reason: I loved to feel pumped and positive. Unfortunately, the high never lasted for long and, over time, the whole exercise began to resemble a roller coaster ride. I knew other people shared the same up and down experience and I began to ponder the reasons why.
Some time later I came to a realization: while motivational speakers can certainly in-spire, inform and entertain us with success stories, insights and the living example they set, they don’t motivate. Here’s why: motivation must come from within, and no-one can do it to us or for us. I was looking for someone to hand me the keys to greatness. I was looking outside, and I should have been looking inside. You see, greatness could not occur until I accepted self-responsibility for my choices and took action. I had to be my own source of motivation.
I remember speaking with a motivator following his talk and telling him I felt “pumped.” He thanked me then said something unexpected. He told me that I should never depend on the words of a motivator. I should, instead, find my own words and use them for self-motivation.
I don’t know if you’ve ever listened to a motivational speaker, but if you have, perhaps you’ve had this experience: sitting there and thinking to yourself, “I know this stuff already.”
That was often my experience, and I began to wonder if I knew all these “powerful” concepts and had an awareness of these life-changing principles, why wasn’t my life a resounding success? Why wasn’t I on stage sharing my success stories and inspiring the masses?
In time, I did become a self-esteem author and speaker and always included an element of self-motivation in my talks. Initially, however, my lack of success was due to my lack of action. That and an ignorance of the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge on its own is only organized information and no more beneficial than an encyclopedia placed under a leg to level a table. For knowledge to become wisdom, it must be integrated into your life.
Knowledge is the gun, self-responsibility is the bullet, and action is the trigger. This statement is not original to me, but I think it summarizes well the knowledge VS wisdom concept.
If you “already know” much of what you’re reading and hearing, consider it a revelation. You’ve been collecting information long enough. The time is right to ignite the fire from within. The time to accept self-responsibility is here and the time to pull the trigger of action is now.
Perhaps Andrew Carnegie, the Scottish/American industrialist said it best when he declared, “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” What will you do and when will you start?
All great sages, teachers and motivators have taught that a powerful life is the result of two actions: first, embrace what makes you feel pumped and positive; second, re-leasing that which makes you feel weak and undeserving. How will you know? By putting your knowledge into action. With awareness comes knowledge and with action comes wisdom.
Murray Fuhrer is a self-esteem expert.