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Motivation is direction or focus toward a goal or mission that is fueled by energy and

enthusiasm. It is the key to success in any venture. Motivation is like the motor in a car.
The car is not moving unless the motor is running. Unless, of course, the car is coasting
or being towed! True motivation comes when your own internal motor is driving you
toward your goals, not when you are coasting or being pulled along by another’s
direction. Let’s take a closer look at the key aspects of personal motivation.

Motivation and Personal Leadership

True motivation comes from within. The highest levels of motivation come when we are
in tune with our sense of mission. This is personal leadership. Our mission statement
defines what we love and our purpose for being on this planet. When we are in touch with
this true calling, we are maximizing our motivation and functioning at our highest
capacity. Without this true sense of purpose or mission, one cannot be fully motivated.
The answer to motivational problems is personal leadership, or the deep belief in a vision
of who you are.

Maximum Production
Being in touch with your true calling unleashes a tremendous amount of energy that,
when combined with focused direction, results in the highest level of motivation. Three
of the most important qualities of a highly motivated person are clarity, focus and
persistence. The more clear the focus, the greater the energy toward your goals.
Motivation is visualizing success and moving toward it.

Motivation in the Workplace

Very few people are highly motivated at work. Most people work at only a small fraction
of their actual capabilities. Imagine a workplace where everyone worked at even 80% of
his or her potential. The key to being motivated at work is in understanding that it is not
the responsibility of your employer to motivate you. He or she can only create a
motivational environment. It is up to you to motivate yourself.

Self-improvement and Motivation

Self-improvement is one of the best motivators. Increasing your knowledge and learning
new material pushes you beyond boundaries and brings greater rewards. Work to improve
yourself every day and your motivation will increase. Allow yourself to expand beyond
safe paradigms.

The Personal Barometer

We all have a personal barometer that guides our comfort zone in response to our levels
of success. Why do some people drive a BMW and others a Geo? It has to do with how
they see themselves. Any disharmony in this area will motivate actions to get back in
balance. Motivate yourself by raising your own personal barometer. Expect more from

Positive Environment
It is very important to create an environment that motivates you. You should get a charge
from where you work, not a drain. Also, the people with whom you interact affect your
motivation tremendously. Spend time with those who build you up, support you and
avoid negative people. If you don’t receive positive feedback, do a personal assessment;
there may be a reason for it.

Money Does Not Motivate

Beware of false motivation, such as money. Money, as a motivator, is a very tricky
proposition. People adapt to the amount of money they are making; as a result,
motivation is short- lived. People work up to what they expect to be paid, based on their
personal barometer of what they are worth. When they reach that level, fixed pay adds no
additional motivational value. Be careful that you do not place too much emphasis on
money. Your mission comes first and then the money will follow in direct proportion to
the service you have provided. The key is to provide the service that is your true calling.

Self-motivation is personal leadership via your own vision, goals, values and your own
unique definition of success. A commitment to personal leadership with a high level of
motivation is a long-term process. It will take time for behavior to change and be
sustained, and longer for the rewards to come. But when the rewards do come, it will
have been well worth it.

The most important decision we make in our lives is the attitude we choose to express
each day when dealing with people or circumstances. This critical choice determines
success or failure in sales and in life. The key is the realization that we choose. That’s
right. You purposefully choose your attitude. Choosing a positive state of mind will lead
to virtually unlimited success in your career and your life. A negative attitude will lead to
unhappiness, poor relationships, difficulty at work and ultimately, poor health. In fact, the
most common causes of death in the United States are heart disease and cancer, which are
related to stress. Stress is a result of a negative attitude, carried out via perceptions,
choices and behaviors.

Where Does Attitude Come From?

One of the most powerful questions I ask during training sessions is: "Where does
attitude come from?" Often the group will think for a moment. Many will respond with
comments such as, "Work," "People," "Traffic" and other examples. Finally, a brave
individual will announce, "Attitude comes from within us." This often leads to a chorus
of ah-has as people begin to realize the power in that statement. You determine your
attitude. We may blame others, circumstances or events for our situation; however, the
key is our response to those things or people.

As you read this article, think about your day. We usually have a series of encounters with
things and people whom we feel cause a reaction in us. In fact, we choose that reaction.
We can choose to respond in a positive or negative way to these challenges. Your
challenge, especially in sales, is always to respond with a positive attitude.

Consequences of a Negative Attitude

A sustained negative attitude will kill you. By far, the worst side effect of a bad attitude is
stress and the top fatal diseases in this country are caused, in large part, by stress. Stress
turns quickly into anxiety, depression and ulcers. Now that you know you have the power
to choose, why choose negative attitudes? Sales people with negative attitudes struggle
and have difficulty closing sales. One common statement coming from negative
salespeople is, "I’m not negative, I am realistic." This is an excuse for being negative.
Reality is what you make it. Make it positive.

Rewards of a Positive Attitude

People like to be around positive people. In sales, customers like to buy from positive
people who have confidence in what they are selling and help their customers enjoy the
buying process. People do not want to be sold, but they love to buy and own. Having a
positive attitude will improve your relationships; make you happier and lead to success.
The rewards of a positive attitude are enormous, if you are willing to keep your spirits up
over the long term.

Everything is a Learning Experience

Everything that happens to you in your life is a learning experience. This is positive. We
may have hoped for a different outcome, but face the facts in a positive light and move
on. Let yourself become stronger from the experience, rather than weaker, full of doubt
and stressed. Experience is just another word for mistake. Learn from these experiences
by choosing a positive attitude that prepares you for the next challenge in life, which is
right around the corner.

Avoid Negative People

One of the tragic parts of negative attitudes is that misery loves company. Negative
people will search out others and attempt to bring them down to their level. This is how
negative attitudes spread. Their negative influence feels powerful and they use it as a self-
esteem boost. People do this in attempt to feel better about them, but the end result is
short-lived and unproductive. In sales, it is hard enough dealing with rejection from your
prospects and customers. Find positive people and let their attitudes stick to you.

Being Positive
In my work as a manager, I have found that there are basically two kinds of people --
those who take responsibility for their lives and those who blame others. People who take
responsibility for their situations are positive people who see the world as a good place.
They have made the conscious decision to be this way. This is not easy; however,
understanding these basic principles about attitude are the first steps. Keep in mind;
choosing your mental attitude is the only thing you can control in your life. Learn and
practice a positive mental attitude, and enjoy the rewards.

By: Thomas Wood-Young