Weekly Thought – April 12, 2022
Fred’s sense of humor oiled the gears of life. He appreciated the lubricating value of laughter. He also appreciated the use of motivation and inspiration. His dear friend Zig Ziglar was the preeminent influencer for generations of men and women. In this excerpt from a commencement address at Belmont University he challenges the graduates to maintain a high level of self-motivation.
Motivation is certainly tantamount, if not paramount, to education. Education may be the vehicle, but motivation (and self-discipline) is the driving fuel. Most people who fail do so because they lacked superior fuel, more than a superior vehicle.
May I suggest a few thoughts on self-motivation?
1) Access your strengths – In spite of the current popularity of “overcoming weaknesses.” I am convinced no one will get very far in life spending time trying to strengthen weaknesses, rather than identifying and focusing on strengths.
2) Discipline your associations – accept the challenge to associate with champions. Owning the biggest house in a neighborhood of modest ones or being the largest fish in a very small pond are two examples of setting the bar too low. Think about your associations. Are you the most able in your group or are you constantly learning from those around you? Always strive to be the smallest frog – you will grow by this challenge.
3) Recognize definite goals – The Apostle Paul said, “This one thing I do.” To many of us are like the steam pipe with a series of drilled holes. We have steam, but it is being blown off in too many different directions. We are intrigued with all the opportunities we forget we can only master a limited number of activities in this lifetime. This demands the discipline of choice. In this graduating class there will be a few who find they do not have a goal, but the goal has them. They dedicate themselves to its end. A study of great men and women usually expose a “magnificent obsession.”
4) Understand the cost – if you motivate yourself either by discipline or dedication you will find there are genuine prices to pay. Probably the biggest price will be loneliness. You cannot be a leader and avoid it. Out in front you will encounter tough decisions. Often you will have to keep your own counsel and exchange the warmth of belonging for the loneliness of leadership. Another cost is tension. You cannot have the functionality of a spring without tension. You cannot have the placidity of a mule and reap the winnings of a race horse. In my study of leaders, I always find the intensity of success. May I emphasize this isn’t being a hard worker -they are intense. There is a great difference. Tension is not to be feared; but to be managed.
5) Accept the reward – In reading the biographies of the twelve outstanding men of science and business I saw that almost every individual mentioned the reward as the joy of accomplishment. I am sure if I turned around and interviewed these leaders on this platform they would echo this same sentiment. And I am sure up and down these aisles are seated men and women who share the same goal of accomplishment.
6) Correctly define success – my personal definition: success is the ratio of talents used to talents received. Developing the discipline of self-motivation is a critical element in a successful life.
This week carefully consider: 1) How do I define success? 2) What would I say to a graduating class? 3) Which areas of my life demonstrate the greatest self-motivation?
Words of Wisdom: “You cannot have the placidity of a mule and expect the winnings of a race horse?”
Wisdom from the Word: “Whatever you are doing, work at it with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not for people.” (Colossians 3:23 NET Bible)