Stop Saying You Want to "Motivate" People and Help Them

Stop Saying You Want to “Motivate” People and Help Them

Motivation is cheap. Posters of eagles and encouraging statements and slogans like “aim for the moon and if you miss you'll land amongst the stars” are a dime a dozen.

What people need is not motivation. What they, what we need is real help to do something that matters.

Want to listen? There's an audio version below


In my free 30 Day Blog Transformation email course (which you should join), one of the questions I ask students is, “What do you want to be known for?” Ending with a preposition aside, that question is a powerful one.

Without thinking about how we want to be remembered, we'll never know how we should behave.

But, after the second lesson, Identify Your Ideal Client and Maximize Your Impact (and Profit!), the one where I first ask the “What do you want to be known for?” question, I started seeing a problematic pattern emerge. A far too common response from new students is that they want to be known for encouraging and motivating people, they want to be a positive force in the lives of the people around them.

Well, what other option is there?

I've never heard someone say,

I want to be the spirit of realistic pessimism and the Debby-downer of my social group.

Everybody want to be positive. We all want to motivate others.

But being positive doesn't pay the bills. Cheerleaders don't own the team. Motivation is cheap.

If you want to make a difference in the lives of the people around you, help them. Stop saying, “You can do it” and, instead say, “You can do it, here's what you'll need, and here's what you need to do.”

Ya, I know the world can be a scary place. Ya, I know we all could use a little more positivity in our lives. But I also know the successful people are the ones who produce results. And if you want to be really successful, learn how to leverage the talents of others to produce even greater results.

Motivation is great, but soon we have to realize that at some point we have to show up and do the work. To paraphrase Steven Pressfield in The War of Art, professionals don't need motivation; the true professional gets to work whether he feels like it or not.

If you want to help people get results, stop trying to motivate them. Find the motivated people, focus on them, and provide the help they need.

Photo Credit: Parker Knight via Compfight cc


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