Chapter Eighteen

What Is Motivation?


If you hear a voice in your head that says you cannot paint, then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

                                    —Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)

                                                                        Dutch painter


Many people secretly wish to be more motivated about many things. Some of us wish to re-motivate ourselves about many facets of our lives. But what is motivation, really?

In the fabulous book Success through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill and W. Clement Stone, the authors define motivation as “that which induces action or determines choice. It is that which provides a motive. A motive is the ‘inner urge’ only within the individual which incites him to action, such as an instinct, passion, emotion, habit, mood, impulse, desire, or idea. It is the hope or other force which starts an action in an attempt to produce specific results.”

Nothing in life happens by mistake. To be motivated for a long period you must work on it. For an athlete to be prepared to play Major League Baseball each year, he must attend and work hard through spring training. Spring training can last a good six weeks. All during that preparation time a baseball player makes many mistakes. His body hurts from the exercise needed to get in shape. Without the proper practice period of six weeks, the professional player could not play up to the standards expected of a Major League player.

A Major League Baseball player realizes that if he is not at the top of his game for an extended period of time, he can easily be replaced by a new and upcoming rookie hotshot player who is desperately seeking an opportunity to break into the big leagues.

Talk about pressure! That is why the salaries of Major Leaguers are so high. Maybe we should act like someone is standing close by, waiting for us to fail so we can be replaced. Maybe then we would be at the top of our own game on a more consistent basis.


Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

                                    —Thomas Edison (1847-1931)

                                                                        American inventor


So, then, how do we keep ourselves motivated for an extended period? How can we rise above the mediocre and average worker? How can we excel so we may earn that promotion? How can we land that better job, or finish college and earn that long-awaited degree which will enable our growth and higher income levels?

You already know you are capable of greatness. We all are. The amazing thing is that we were each born to be great. It is only our thinking that has infected our mind with roadblocks.

Oh, sure, you may be successful, happy, well-off financially. But you also may have settled into a comfort zone that many people accept in life. We each have the capability of being outstanding, not only in one area, but in many. Are you settling? Are you merely content? Do you know in your heart that you can do far better, or do something else you have always dreamed of doing?

When I was a teen, the boy who lived next door played the guitar. He was great—very talented. He was even able to write songs. For some reason, I couldn’t learn the guitar, though I tried to teach myself. So I stopped trying. It wasn’t my thing.

Still, I desperately wanted to write songs. But how do you write songs without playing an instrument for the music? Well, no one ever told me that I couldn’t write songs. And if my neighbor could write songs, so could I! So I wrote the words to tunes I created in my mind. Then I would sing the songs out and record them on a small tape recorder. The year was 1968. I have been writing songs ever since, singing unknown musical notes and words into tape recorders and, now, directly onto computer hard drives.

You see, my burning desire to write songs was so powerful that I overcame the obstacles before me. Over the years, I have had professional musicians listen to and decipher the tunes I was singing, and have had some of my songs recorded professionally, mostly for my own enjoyment. To this day, if inspired, I can write an entire song in less than ten minutes. My goal is to have more of them transcribed, deciphered, and made into professionally sung songs.

I will point out that my first songs were not fantastic. And some along the way were not great. But over the years I have accumulated over four hundred songs, and they have improved with every new one written.

Nothing is impossible. I can guarantee that if someone offered me one million dollars if I could only play ten full songs on the guitar by two months from now, I would be able to do it. I am sure most of us would be able to learn the new instrument and play ten songs for one million dollars. Desire is the key. I know I would be so motivated to complete that task that nothing would stop me from receiving that money.


Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.         

—David Beckham (b. 1975)

English footballer

Using Your Mind to Change Your Life

Your mind can change your life, but like a powerful locomotive, it must be harnessed, controlled, and maximized. Let’s look deeper into the mind.

Joseph Murphy, in his book The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, says, “The conscious and subconscious mind: An excellent way to get acquainted with the two functions of your mind is to look upon your own mind as a garden. You are a gardener, and you are planting seeds (thoughts) in your subconscious mind all day long, based on your habitual thinking. As you sow in your subconscious mind, shall you reap in your body and environment. Begin now to sow thoughts of peace, happiness, right action, good will, and prosperity.”

The human mind thinks about 3,600 thoughts per hour, 60,000 thoughts per day. It is a proven fact that most talk around us is negative. Most news we read and hear is negative. If we have sixty thousand thoughts per day, as estimated, then how can we possibly control what seeps into our brains?


Blinders to Protect Your Brain

There are so many negatives all around us that sometimes it may feel like it is impossible to forge ahead and stay positive. But there are some real fixes you can practice in your everyday living. A few things to put into practice immediately are these:

1)      Put it all in perspective.

2)      Take life one day at a time.

3)      Use self-suggestion statements.

4)      Exercise regularly to control any extra stress.

5)      Be thankful for everything that is right in your life.

6)      Each morning, noon, and night, visualize what you plan to accomplish, what your long-term goal or dream is.

7)      Apply mental blinders to protect and shield your subconscious.


We Are Each Born into This World Destined for Greatness!


Jim Carrey is a true “rags to riches” story. He grew up in Canada, living in a camper-van with his family. The family was poor, so Jim worked eight-hour shifts at a tire factory to contribute to the family income. He became a high school dropout and moved to Los Angeles to try and make it in comedy.

Jim worked as a regular at the Comedy Store in the 1980s and soon became Rodney Dangerfield’s opening act. He later landed on the television show In Living Color.

Jim Carrey, the poor boy who once lived in a camper-van, now earns about $30 million per year in movie salaries. Was there a certain drive, a certain hunger for success? Don’t ever think that Jim does not remember where he came from; perhaps that is the burning desire deep inside his heart.

I love success stories. But I especially love the rags-to-riches success stories that remind all of us that we, too, can become whatever we truly desire.

You, too, have now arrived at your new road to success, a road filled with motivation and inspiring thoughts that will lift you and carry you over the various hurdles you will inevitably encounter. And in the end, you will arrive at your finish line, your ultimate dream of success! Congratulations!


My Success Affirmations

Today I am born anew. Today is the most important day of my life because it represents the glorious and first day of my new life.

I now understand that I alone control my destiny, my success or my failure in this wondrous world of opportunity. Am I now capable, too, of greatness and fortune like those highly successful individuals I have learned about? For now I truly understand that I can accomplish anything I carefully program into my mind. Does not the immigrant cherish fully the American opportunity, knowing they must succeed and that failure is not an option in their newfound world? I will adopt a similar burning desire, and I will excel.

I am born anew. For now I realize that I am the greatest miracle in the world, unique to anyone ever born. No longer will I count the obstacles and drawbacks in my life. I now realize that, like the inventor who welcomes each new failure on the road to victory, so, too, shall I. For now I understand that each failure only brings me closer to the success I know will be mine.

Never again will I allow self-pity, doubt, or negativity to penetrate my new power-mind, protected by a new negativity-shield, for now I realize that 80 percent of all talk and actions around me will be negative. I now realize that negativity has been around since the caveman, and yet successful people always prevailed. I, too, shall prevail. I, too, will stand out from the crowd. I am a king and the world is my new kingdom, for now I realize that the knowledge I possess is worth more than all the riches of the world. 

Today I possess an immense knowledge of how to change my life forever. It is a true celebration indeed because now I realize that the best is yet to be. Just like the wind that graces the earth, never will I look back. Never will I revisit yesterday’s problems and heartaches. They are dead. I will always look forward with a newfound, childlike excitement and energy.

Never again will I allow my life to be likened to a casino game of chance because I now understand that I alone take full responsibility for my results along the long road to success, and I vow to apply the principles I have learned along the way. It is a joy to travel the long road to success. I will savor every step, enjoying the rough as well as the easy road I encounter.

Today and everyday forward I will welcome each new day as a blessing from above, and I vow never again to squander such a precious gift, knowing that the richest king can never buy one more day of life. It is truly a gift from the Creator and shall never again be wasted.

Enthusiasm, I have learned, is contagious. And I know that if I project an enthusiastic, positive attitude to all whom I encounter each day, they, too, will be enthused and will spread it to others. And like all wealth shared with love, it no doubt will inspire me all the more.

I realize that I have choices in life:

I can feel happy, or I can feel sad.

I can act positive, or I can act in a negative manner.

I can succeed greatly, or I can settle for failure as an end result.  

I can love all others I encounter, or carry around baggage of doom and gloom and aversion.

I choose to be different, to stand out and set an example that others will admire and want to emulate.

This is my new life. I am like a newborn, pure in heart and mind from prejudice, hatred, failure, or fear. And like a newborn, full of life and hope, I now understand that I, too, am unspoiled now in my mind. I now possess the great knowledge of the ages. For now I know that the mind controls the body, and the subconscious controls the conscious. As long as I feed the subconscious mind good, pure, and positive thoughts, the subconscious will radiate like the rays of the sun, thus renewing, invigorating, and warming me each day like the powerful rays of the sun. For this little-known secret of my subconscious is now part of my life, part of my daily routine. And with each new day that I take a breath of air, I, too, will begin it with positive self-suggestion statements.

My newfound positive-attitude shield will protect me from the arrows of negativity that kill off the spirit and drive off so many other people. I am different; I am new. I will apply the newfound knowledge I possess.

No longer will that negativity seep into my mind. I will not allow negativity to affect the computer-mind God gave me. I was born to be great. Greatness is my destiny.

From this day forward I will never again worry, for now I know that 92 percent of all worry is useless, self-defeating, and draining.

Like the seasons that change, I now understand that my emotions, too, change, and though I may not feel as happy one day, I know that in a day or two I could possibly be ecstatic. Like the cycles of the world, emotions change, and now my newfound knowledge is power I will be able to use.

With love in my eyes and heart, I will greet everyone I meet with sincere kindness. For now I understand that love alone will soften the coldest hearts of enemies and friends alike. And if I am to help others along the road to success, I must set an example of pure love and inspiration for all to follow. My new attitude will be my shield that will protect me from the dreaded arrows of negativity that kill off the spirit and drive off so many others. I am now different; I am new; I am driven.

And as someone who loves himself, I now vow to allow only good things to enter my mind and body, and to eliminate anything harmful from affecting me. I will ignore the surrounding negativity and indulgences that can harm this masterpiece-body that I have been born with. I now know that I am the greatest work of art in the world, a masterpiece that no money can ever duplicate.

I now vow that each new day will be carefully unwrapped and savored for the precious gift it represents. And in the end, I will know that I have made my Creator proud of what I have accomplished, and I will be able to look back, knowing that I have set a truly inspiring example and have made a lasting, positive difference in this great world of ours.  
















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