Just a thought: Do you have the motivation to read this?

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What motivates you? No really, what motivates you?

What causes you to get out of bed each day and take action with your life? Something or somethings motivate you to do what you are doing today.

Why not be depressed and lay in bed all day? Why not sit on a couch all day and watch television shows? Why not mope around and ask others to feel sorry for you? Does anyone really care? Any of us can choose to be unmotivated.

Motivation is a part of each of our lives whether we want to recognize it or not. Motivation drives your attitude. Attitude is everything in determining your view of the world and your enjoyment of life.

Motivation caused me to write this column. Motivation caused you to read this. You get the idea.

I understand there are people with major depression issues and who need professional help. I encourage them to get help and am not trying to offend anyone with a serious diagnosed condition. For any of you with severe depression, give yourself another day, another chance, you will find your courage eventually. Don’t give up on yourself.

But for all of us, at the end of the day your motivation will write the story of your life.

Much of motivation is outside you and much is within you. Sometimes motivation moves you towards a good end result. Sometimes motivation moves you away from a bad outcome. Either way it is motivation that is moving you from point A to point B.

Do you have good motivators around you? Who influences you? Are you trying to keep up with eagles or are you trying to rise above turkeys? Either way motivation is critical.

I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but these are important for you to understand if you want to be proactive with your life, choosing how the story of your life will be written.

Let’s talk about a few external motivators, because there are many of them out there.

Family is a big motivator. You have a spouse who needs you to earn income, parent children, or cook meals. You get up so you can make money to cover basic costs of living and to seek to improve your quality of life. You may or may not enjoy what makes you money but, when your day is finished, having money to spend motivates you to go to work.

You have children who have needs. You get up to feed them, to make sure they get to school or to their soccer game. You provide a bed and food for them. Children don’t raise themselves. You have a parent who is elderly and needs help in his or her life. You are there to take care of them.

Your faith in your creator can motivate you. You choose to make good daily decisions because of what you believe spiritually.

Your altruistic nature can motivate you. You are part of an organization that helps the needy. You are motivated to give your time to a cause you believe in.

We often live to meet the expectations of others. A child is challenged by a parent to get straight A’s. He works hard day after day, year after year to meet the expectations of that parent. This motivates him.

Your employer wants you to increase your sales. You work hard each day to bring more money into the business.

You may be motivated by a doctor who tells you to lose weight. You drop fifteen pounds and can’t wait for your next visit to see the look on the doctor’s face when you tell him so.

Your pastor challenges you to do a daily Bible study. You get up each morning and work your way through the study taking notes and trying to apply each message. You are motivated to improve yourself spiritually.

These and many more are external motivators.

Then there is the motivation that comes from within. On a scale of one to ten, with ten being high, what would you score yourself on your internal motivation? In other words, what is it that you feel you need to do that causes you to get out of bed each day? Something that is not expected from you by anyone else that you want to do because you are motivated from the inside to do so.

Self-motivation determines if you grow. You can live life within your comfort zone, or you can push yourself outside your comfort zone. You decide. Greatness isn’t accomplished if a person lives life within his or her comfort zone. It takes motivation to push yourself into an arena you are not familiar with. It may result in success or you may fail, but motivation is the first step in the process.

I believe people who do great things begin with self-motivation. They see an injustice or a gap in needs being met and they internally believe they are called to take action. They don’t back into life, they step forward and choose to impact the world.

In my life I live with a state of mind that life is short, that each day has value. I must motivate myself because I desire to be a motivator of others. Whether it is helping them through difficult times wearing my attorney hat, praying for a friend who needs surgery, or speaking to a group about their living a better life, I want to add value to the lives of others.

That is my measurement of success for my life, not what happens to me, but what happens to others using the gift set God has given me. This is why I haven taken hours each week for over 20 years to write this column, to add value to others.

My challenge to you today is to stop and answer the questions above about who and what motivates you. Are these influences healthy for you? Maybe you should celebrate your motivators or maybe you need to get rid of some.

Examine yourself regarding your self-motivation. Ask yourself what you would do each day if you had no outside motivators. Maybe you need to adjust your self-motivation “engine.”

At the end of the day it is my desire that you live life with healthy motivation and plenty of it. There are countless reasons to get out of bed each day...most of them are to add value to the lives of others. Motivation in your life can change the world one life at a time.

Just a thought...

Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@kraftlawfirm.org or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.

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