Excuses! Excuses! I’m full of ’em.

Somewhere along the way, I quit being self-motivated.  Or have I?  A long drive today was the perfect time to enjoy my latest audio book.  It didn’t take me long to realize it was the third book in the series instead of the second, which I wanted.  Ugh!  What else is already loaded on my iPad? Nothing but this free download I’ve had for years. Double Ugh!

I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again.  God works in mysterious ways.  The free audio book available to me, a collection of excerpts from Zig Ziglar presentations, entitled “How to Get Motivated”.  Whoa! God, are you talking to me?  I’m out of shape, overweight, still in the planning phases of this “new life” of mine and seemingly off to a very slow start.

In the past, I’ve read, listened and watched just about everything I could get my hands on by Zig Ziglar, Stephen Covey, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale and Og Mandino.  More recently, I’ve been inspired by Charles Duhigg, Christopher McDougall, Gretchen Rubin and many others.  While reading, I am the most motivated person you know.  Then, ………  I would venture to guess that 40% of the plans I make in my head actually make it to paper.  Wait!  Where did I put that paper????  Yep. I get stuck there.  I lose the paper.

The first thing from “How to Get Motivated” to stick in my memory was a study that found people who committed their goals to paper, averaged something like $4,000 more income per month than those who did not commit their goals to paper.  Surely I heard that incorrectly? I was driving, after all.   I’m not a money-driven person but those findings were significant.

The second point to make an impression upon me was a statement by an NFL team owner, after a big conference loss, that the reason they lost was because they were playing to not lose the game, whereas the other team was playing to win the game.  A lightbulb went off in my head.  Immediately, I realized that my quartet, in our last contest was preparing to sing with the goal of not coming in last, when we should have been preparing with the goal to finish first.

My final thoughts, after processing all the wonderful information Zig Ziglar was providing, was that being motivated is a lot like going to church.  The more you do it, the more you can’t do without it.  The longer you stay away from it, the easier it becomes to make excuses not to go.  When I was younger, in my entrepreneurial mode, reading leadership, or motivational materials was a weekly occurrence.  No longer owning a business is no excuse.  There is work to be done.

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