On “Mountains of Motivation”

by | Leadership, Thoughts

Two temptations can dwarf your potential for maximizing your performance. 

The first is to “sit around and wait for happy endings.”  Second is to “sit around and wait for a motivator.”  The first temptation results in calluses at the point where you sit.  And the second temptation results in illusion and perpetual waiting.  These inclinations must be squelched.

Take responsibility for your motivation!

Your motivation-button does not dangle on your left shoulder.  It is not located where another person (a motivator) can reach it and press it.  Your motivation button is located deep within you, so deep that only you can press it.  This thinking runs counter to the understanding or approach that many hold.  The number of outstanding people who believe that one person can motivate another person is legion. 

Mountains of Motivation takes a position on this subject that runs contrary to the thinking of many.  The thrust of Mountains of Motivation is that ultimately you must be responsible for your mountains of motivation.  Others can certainly assist you by helping to create a motivational environment or by providing manuals, workbooks, and guides that present helpful fodder for your thinking. However, your motivation is your responsibility.

You must learn to motivate yourself. 

Nouns brought to life with colorful adjectives and verbs embellished with graphic adverbs can inspire, but you motivate yourself.  Narratives grounded in scenarios where tenacity triumphs over tragedy and will dwarfs temptation can inspire, but you motivate yourself.

The authentic mountains of motivation equal more than the books you read, the speeches you hear, and the models of courage you witness.  The genuine and dynamic mountains of motivation equal the attitudes you form, the choices you make, and the actions you take.

Once you are personally involved, Mountains of Motivation becomes more than ink on paper and greater than anecdotes and illustrations. The book comes to life.  You will bring your mountains of motivation to life, or you will let it die. 

Without you, Mountains of  Motivation is an Invitation without Participation, Theory without Practice, Passive without Activity, or Boring without Excitement.  You must accept the invitation to participate by putting these theories into practice.  Accept the reality of motivation by planning activities and interjecting excitement into your life.

Your thought-life determines how well you climb your mountains of motivation.  Do not believe everything you think. 

You may need to alter your thinking somewhat or, at the very least, re-examine your thinking: 

1. You will need to examine how you spend your time.  How do you manage your energy?  Ask yourself “Is this use of my time and energy taking me closer to, or further from, my targeted outcomes?” 

2. Stop belittling yourself.  It is true that we can be our own worst enemy.  The words that you utter to yourself are the most important.  You cannot give what you do not have.  If you cannot speak kindly to yourself, then how can you provide an encouraging environment for the other people that share in your life’s journey?  Treat yourself as you would like others to treat you. 

3. Make your adjustments or alterations in small phases.  “Celebrate incremental finished-ness” during your journey. 

When you learn to replace hurtful routines with helpful behaviors, you become the beneficiary of the effort.  In reality, the mountains of motivation are being crafted by you.  You are responsible for your own motivation, your own choices, and your own life experiences. 

You can stack the odds in your favor in the effort to motivate yourself by implementing and nurturing helpful habits.


Stephen is the best-selling author of 26 books, including What Do They See When They See You Coming? He has also written countless articles for a variety of publications and has produced multiple audio books and video programs. Stephen has appeared on PBS Television and XM Sirius Satellite Radio. He continues to hold one of the highest invite-back ratios in the speaking profession.