Here I am again. “What am I doing here,” I wonder? That’s an easy one. I’m getting motivated. Motivated for what? Well, for “SUCCESS” – why not? Yes, I’m at one of those motivation seminars – the big kind with the well-known celebrity speakers. They tell us how they became successful, and I guess the idea is that we are supposed to emulate them, be inspired and become successful also. Sometimes success is largely due to hard work, dedication and motivation – but shouldn’t we also consider the fact that incredible luck can also play a very large part in some cases?
But, I like the seminars. I must. I go every year. It stimulates my thinking and helps me to clarify goals to work toward. It really seems to be geared toward people in sales, real estate and insurance, but I’m in social services. Sales people are not the only ones who need to stay motivated – we all do. I decided a long time ago that life is too short to be unhappy. I work hard maintaining a positive attitude and a high self-esteem. Whatever I need to do toward meeting that personal challenge is worth the time and effort to me.
Most of what the speakers have to say is the same old stuff we heard in psychology 101: Security is from within. We get what we feel “worthy” of. We have to be able to change. We need to question what we don’t believe. We should live by our own inner wisdom instead of by what others tell us. We must get out of our comfort zone to take some risks. And we must have the inner peace to be able to deal with failures and stress. Yes, I’ve heard it all before. In fact, I’ve probably said it to others. Still, it is reassuring to hear it over again, and know that I did remember correctly.
The speakers this year seem to be focussed on economic success, financial planning, limited partnerships, and estate planning. I don’t know if that is evidence of demand for a more realistic approach to these things, or just the general perception that success and money are pretty much the same thing. Of course, according to the speakers, the best way to be financially successful is to buy the overpriced motivational tapes they push at these affairs. I don’t know about assuring my own financial success, but I am certain of theirs at the prices they charge for their recorded suggestions. I sort of feel that one way to insure my financial success might be to avoid spending big bucks to buy these expensive extras.
The seminar itself is relatively expensive to my way of thinking, about $50 per head. Actually, that’s about the going price of a ticket for a live theater performance around here too. If you think of it that way, it doesn’t seem like as much. It is a full day and I get to see important people, be energized, perhaps inspired, and perhaps even MOTIVATED.
I found out, after the first seminar I ever went to, that you can hear and see the big screen just as good from the cheap seats up top as you can from the expensive seats, and you don’t need that $20 workbook, thanks. So, I am motivated at a considerably lower price than some people are. Also, the friendly, neighborhood library has a large assortment of motivational tapes and disks that don’t cost a cent to check out. And they want to teach me about financial planning?
It is fun to come, of course. People get tired sitting for long periods of time and so they do a few activities like the wave, dancing to surfing music and tossing beach balls around – the usual big crowd stuff. And there is a BIG crowd. Most of the people are here with corporate sponsorship – free and with a paid day off. My employer does its own training. Another test of motivation is being willing to spend some money on self-improvement. I take a day off work and pay my own way to go. Now that is what I call being really motivated.
Just what is success anyhow? Well, I’m gonna tell you the secret and you won’t have to spend the money for tapes or even the $50 for a ticket (Of course you will miss out on the fun.)
1. The first level is just survival. Most of us have that down pretty well by now.
2. The second level is achieving security: emotional security, being optimistic vs. pessimistic and financial security. (Most people get stuck at level two and never move any further.)
3. The third level is having surplus of security or finances.
4. Fourth level is having a life that is significant and making a positive difference in the lives of others.
5. The final level of success is achieving satisfaction with who and what you are.
That’s a lot to think about, isn’t it? Maybe that is why there are not as many successful people as one would expect.
Well, I’m gonna listen now and work on my own success. I’m happy I could come to the seminar so you didn’t have to. If you change your mind, just come on. I’ll be here on the back row, upper level, taking notes, as usual. Maybe one of these years I’ll get successful enough that I don’t have to worry about how to be successful any more.