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By Michael Angier

How to Get Re-motivated

We all have times when our motivation is lacking. The tragic events of September 11th have caused us to experience many emotions. In addition to the feelings of fear, anger and confusion, we also may be less confident and have less direction and focus than before.

We must not forget and we must mourn the loss, but it's our patriotic duty as citizens of the free world to get on with our lives—to not let the terrorists succeed by sidetracking our economy and negatively influencing our way of life.

So how DO we get motivated again?

Perhaps it would be helpful to take a close look at motivation itself—what it is, what it’s not and how we can increase our personal motivation.

I do motivational speaking, but I’ve always had some resistance to being called a motivational speaker. I don’t even think it’s possible to motivate someone other than ourselves. Certainly we can present information, help others to look at things in different ways, remind them of what’s important to them, tell inspiring stories and help to increase their belief.  

All of these things help. But the truth is we can only motivate ourselves. We might get pumped up by an inspiring speaker, a thought-provoking book or a motivational tape. But in order to have sustained motivation—the kind that will enable us to move past the inevitable roadblocks or challenges—we must dig deeper.

We must have motivation FROM THE INSIDE OUT. It can’t be pasted on the surface. It must live powerfully and deeply within us.

We’re either motivated to move toward something we want or away from something we don’t want. One might think they’re motivated by something higher or better than these two options, but if you examine your objectives carefully, you’ll find that they will fit into one or the other.

The REASON we want to achieve something is far more important than the HOW to accomplish it. I often see people getting bogged down in the mechanics of reaching a goal (the HOW) instead of getting clear and committed to the why.

If my child is on the other side of a door in a burning building, I don’t need to read a motivational book in order to psyche myself up to get through the door. The DESIRE to save my child provides the motivation to do WHATEVER I must do in order to achieve my purpose.

Assuming we’re clear on what we want--and this can easily be an erroneous assumption—it is our desire and commitment more than any other one thing that determines our success.

Not long ago, a friend of mine shared with me that he always gets his business and personal income taxes done by the end of January. Not one to do so myself, I asked him how he did that. He said that the satisfaction of having this done and out of the way was stronger than any sense of dread he had about doing the myriad tasks needed to get the job done.

His focus was on what he wanted where mine had usually been on the distastefulness of the job. By focusing on the prize—what we want and WHY we want it, we increase our determination and motivation to achieve our intended outcome.

The root of the word motivation is motive and means “An emotion, desire, physiological need, or similar impulse that acts as an incitement to action.” I interpret this as the REASON for doing something. Motivation also denotes motion—action—doing something based upon a strong reason.

When I find myself less than enthusiastic about working toward an objective, I find it helpful to refocus on what I want and especially WHY I want it. In doing so, I regenerate the drive and dedication to make it happen and I place myself in a position to enjoy the journey.

The motivation that comes from inside not only lasts longer it produces a greater resolve and creates a passion that is not only powerful but infectious as well.

I encourage you to revisit your values, your mission and dreams. Remind yourself of why you have chosen to achieve your goals—why you are doing what you’re doing. Only we can motivate ourselves to action. Only we can accomplish our dreams. Let’s do it.  


"Every adversity carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit."
—Napoleon Hill


“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.”
—Stephen Covey


“When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”
—Edith Hamilton, historian


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Last Updated 01/30/2004