17 February 2012

Being a "Professional Motivator" is More than Just Being Happy

There are many people who call themselves "motivational speakers" but all they do is portray an "All is sunny in the world and will always be sunny if you just keep smiling and think happy thoughts" philosophy. I suppose that's good for whoever wants to buy it. I don't get down like that. I have a philosophy that I call "Embracing the Darkness."

The source of MY motivation comes from overcoming my struggles and obstacles. When the times are GREAT, I'm being rewarded. When the times are just smooth, then I know things are cool, and I'm kind of on cruise control. But when times are hard, that's when I know I'm being taught something. That's when I know my character is being structured. You can't have a testimony if you've never been tested and you can't possibly have a message if you haven't been through some mess. You can share a "Pollyanna" type message with children because you want to keep them excited about life, but adults have been through some "thangs." If you want to motivate them, you've got to give them something to relate to.  In fact, depending on the environment, there are a great many young people who have been through some "thangs."

John C. Maxwell says, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care," and Jim Rohn taught that you have to meet people in their struggle. He said, "Here's the clue to really affecting people ... Start with where they are before you try to take them where you want them to go."

Be wary of people who call themselves "Motivational Speakers," but have no struggles to share. Be wary of the speaker who gives you nothing but happy shiny smiles. Genesis 1:3 says "(out of eternal darkness,) God said, "Let there be light, and there was light." There is no triumph without trouble.

If you've got a speaker standing before you, and all he or she has for you is a variety of ways to say "YOU CAN DO IT!" (sounding like the Cajun guy in the movie "The Waterboy"), you just might want to reconsider staying there. The fact of the matter is you CAN do it, but in order to do it, you're going to have to GO THROUGH IT.

There's just no way around it.

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