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What motivates you?

April 9, 2012

Years ago, I asked myself the question, “What would motivate me to do what I need to do?” I remember asking myself that question a LOT. At the time, I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find the motivation to take the next step. I didn’t have that fire in me.

Since then, I have learned that there is ONE THING that motivates time and time again, and that is your WHY. Why do you want what you want? If your why isn’t big enough, you just don’t do everything you need to do to achieve it. You just DON’T. As Les Brown says, “You’ve got to be HUNGRY!” and he is right.

For most of my adult life, I worked a full time job. At the end of 2008, due to a number of reasons, the company I worked for had to downsize, and my position of ten years was rightfully eliminated under the circumstances. As CFO, I could see the writing on the wall.

I also saw the shimmering star far in the distance on the road to my future, and I knew that this time, I had to do it. THIS time, I had to find a way to make it on my own; not in a J.O.B, but as an entrepreneur. I was confident I could do it.

However, I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and the learning curve was MUCH steeper than I ever expected. I thought that my weakest link was the ONE thing that will make or break any company, and that was MARKETING. Although I had taken courses in it, and even done some moderate marketing, I had no idea how to pinpoint my target market and direct my efforts to them alone. As a result, I frittered away both energy and resources, working by trial and error, most of which resulted in error, and left me financially bereft.

It’s been a tough three years. There have been times when we have relied on food banks to eat. A year ago I had to sell my car because I couldn’t make the payments. On and on the list goes of the hardships I have faced in the name of this dream. THIS dream. This dream that won’t be denied. It beckons me onward through the worst storms and greatest challenges. It beckons, beckons, beckons, ever assuring me that I can make it.

And I know I can. I KNOW I can.

And finally, I am seeing the first glimmering of the results of my efforts. The first real tangible evidence that I am the right person in the right place at the right time. I realized that the REAL weakest link was ME; my mindsets, my beliefs, my own idea of what is possible.

Do you think I have had a stroll in the park these past few years? Heck, no. It has NOT been a walk in the park. It has been fraught with sharp stones, and fallen trees, and detours, and sometimes, I have had to climb mountains that were almost vertical in their steepness, with nary a ledge to lodge my foot. And through it all, I learned. I learned and I learned and I learned, and I continue to learn to this day.

And now I have a plethora of knowledge and yes, hard-earned wisdom, to share with others. I KNOW what it takes. I KNOW from first hand experience that the mountains CAN be climbed, that the challenges CAN be surmounted, that every twist and turn has a gift that leads me onward.

And mostly, I have learned that, more than anything, it’s the WHY that matters.

Why haven’t I given up? Why haven’t I gone back out into the workforce? I was making close to six-figures. I have 35+ years of work experience behind me. Most people would say I am nuts for putting myself in this position, but I believe that my soul knew what it would take…. the discomfort I had to experience to be calm in the face of adversity, to be vigilant in my efforts, to be sure of my WHY.

You see, it’s not about the money. It’s never about the money. People have said that to me time and time again, and when I am feeling destitute, I want to punch them in the face, because it sure FEELS like the money. But honestly, it is NOT about the money, ever. It’s about my calling. It’s about that shimmering star I see in the distance on the road to my future… that star that is closer now, larger now, brighter now, and beginning to light my way. That star is no longer just a pipedream, but something achievable.

And what makes it achievable? It’s knowing that what I am doing is for a greater cause.

Since I was very young, I knew that I had a reason for being. I knew that I had something wonderful to share with the world. I knew that I would make a difference in the lives of thousands of other people. Over the years, I have placated myself with the idea that I have helped others who could make a difference in the lives of others. And I can honestly say that I have helped some true leaders come into their own.

But that’s not enough. It’s not enough. It’s MY voice that must be heard. It’s MY story that yearns to be told. It’s MY words that must be read. And it’s MY path that will be an inspiration and a roadmap to others.

People think they can take a shortcut, but every shortcut means that you didn’t develop a part of you that needs developing. Do you know what happens to a butterfly that is cut out of its cocoon before it is ready? It dies. It isn’t strong enough to fly and take care of itself and it dies.

Every challenge is a stepping stone to your future. Don’t skip any of them, or you won’t get there.

I am not there yet. I am not standing on the top of the mountain laughing at the road behind me. There is still a way to go. But I am far enough up that path that I catch glimpses of the horizons spread down around me, and high enough that I see with a different perspective where I have been and where I am going.

I already KNOW that I can help change the lives of countless others who are on the path behind me. And I can think of nothing more noble, and nothing more inspiring than that. It’s what I live for. It’s my WHY.

Do you know what motivates me? YOU do! YOU motivate me to assist you in being the best you that you can be. YOU motivate me to show you ways that you can be whole and happy, living an abundant life of joy. But there are no shortcuts. I can guide you and show you the way, but I can’t walk the path for you. And if I did, I’d be doing you a disservice.

So in parting, I have one question for you….. what is YOUR why? What motivates YOU to follow along? What will guide you through thick and thin? What will pull you when you have no more faith to go on? WHAT IS YOUR WHY?

When you begin to realize that there is no separation, there is no you and I, then you will see that we are all in this together, we are all interconnected, and it is our duty and our highest privilege to help lift each other up into our greatest potential.

And that, my friend, is called LOVE.

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