Motivation – What Keeps us Moving Forward…

Father holding book sitting on bench with son (5-7)

Motivation.  A very simple, yet complex concept.

All of us need motivation to move forward, whether we acknowledge it or not. Way back to our earliest stages in life, we used certain forms or motivation to gain what we wanted – even if we really did not understand it at the time. Consider when we stumbled forward, barely walking, just to make into mom or dad’s arms and get picked up for a big hug! Or we did all those chores like cleaning our rooms, just to earn a small allowance. Later we learned how studying a little bit harder for an exam would help us achieve the higher GPA, or how pushing ourselves a little harder each time around the track would ensure a win in the state championship.

As we grow in life and find ourselves achieving new levels of success, we invariably set new goals to strive for. These goals can be business orientated, personal in nature, or even philanthropic. At any given time in fact, we all have a number of goals we are looking to obtain – some we have made a priority, and others just hang in the back of our minds as something we would like to do. Whatever the goal may be though, without the motivation to drive you forward, it may take a little longer than planned!

For each of us there are many motivators that we will rely on, and they will likely change over time as well. These could be in the form of motivational speakers who inspire us to achieve more, a strong network of supporters, or some type of reward incentive. For myself, one that has always been a strong force in helping me achieve my goals, is that of learning.

For many people, achieving a high school education is all that they will obtain. For those fortunate to go further and seek out a college education, or even graduate level classwork, they will be exposed to not only a higher level of learning, but also a wide range of teachers that will no doubt inspire them – and indeed motivate them to learn even more! I did achieve a B.S. in Ed. from Illinois State University, and found this along with my high school education to be a strong influence on my future. Perhaps if I had stayed on as a teacher myself, I would have found myself taking graduate courses as well.

Beyond college though, after I had started ownership of a small business, I did circle back to the need for additional learning to help me achieve my goal of growing the business. I found myself seeking out membership organizations such as our local Chamber of Commerce and a trade group – the National Association for Print Leadership (NAPL). Both of these groups offered me a number of educational resources, and also networking opportunities. What I was able to learn from these groups helped motivate me to learn even more, and to become successful in business. The conferences and seminars inspired me to use the information I learned in ways that would help me grow the business.

Over time, my need for using learning as a motivational tool has continued. It is interesting that with the advent of content marketing, each of us have more opportunities right in front of us than ever before! I find myself signing up for an online webinar at least every other week, or downloading a special report. Sometimes the brief, concentrated agenda of these specialized courses can be just the inspiration that I need to push ahead farther on a goal of mine. The more I learn, the more I am able to accomplish towards the end goal.

The art of learning, the desire to learn more, and the knowledge we gain from learning are strong tools that can help motivate us to do even more than we think possible. That is what I know.

What is it that motivates you?

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