In life, in business, or wherever, it is necessary to find sources of motivation to help maintain peak performance. My business partner and often co-author Orrin Woodward once said, "If you don't want to do something, no one can stop you!" Inertia is often hard to overcome, so we look for sources to get us moving. Motivation is the force we use to overcome our general desire to lay on the couch and have someone fan us and feed us grapes.
There are motivational speakers, motivational seminars, and reams of motivational books. Much of the information found in these sources is valuable and at least temporarily able to kick us in the fanny. Sometimes, though, these things can miss the mark. There are times when things that sound true on the surface fall apart upon further inspection.
One time I was at a business conference listening to a speaker on stage who had been a famous NFL football player. His talk wasn't really a talk, it was more like a well-rehearsed theatrical performance. Every line was memorized; every word delivered with just a little too much polish. It was obvious he'd given this exact talk a hundred times. Still, it was pretty good. But then he said something that left me wondering. "The key to success," he shouted with a pause for dramatic effect, "is to fall down ninety-nine times, and get up a hundred!" The crowd went wild. Children cried. Heart patients clutched their chests. Such beautiful words. Such wisdom. Such motivation.
Such bad math!
I chuckled to myself as I imagined how it was possible for someone to "get up" one more time than they'd fallen down!
There is another such phrase so common that nearly every one of us has said it at one time or another. It is in books. It can be heard in speeches. It has been said by well-intentioned advice givers everywhere. The phrase?
"It's never too late!"
But there is one certainty as reliable as taxes: there IS a time when it's too late. When you're dead, it's too late! Or when you've blown the important relationships in your life, it is probably too late. Or when you have destroyed your health, it's too late! There IS a too late!
Now, I understand, the phrase is meant to encourage people that even though they've wasted time, or even though they've failed in the past, or even though opportunities have passed by - that's no excuse for not taking the next positive step. Still, good intentions aside, the phrase is not true. One of the reasons so many people accomplish so little in life is they live as though they've got forever; they live as though it's never too late.
There are many other "motivational myths" out there. Can you think of some? If so, share them with the readers of this blog in the comment section. We need to be a little aware of the "truths" we are swallowing without critical consideration. Success in life, in relationships, in finances, in anything, requires action consistent with true principles. Learn the principles and steer clear of the myths.
Motivate yourself to get cranking now, because although there is a day when it will be too late, it might not be yet! And, if you should get knocked down, feel free to get up once for each time it happens. That should be sufficient.