Does somebody have the ability, the power, to motivate you? The answer may surprise you. 

For many years it was the general consensus that motivation was an external function. The truth is that motivation is an internal process. Only you have the ability to motivate yourself.

Others may inspire and empower you, but the choice regarding whether or not you get motivated is totally up to you. We all process information in our own way, and in doing so, we then determine whether or not we are going to do something based upon the information we have acquired. 

The two greatest and most powerful motivators are desire and fear. We generally do the things we do, based upon one of these two reasons. We tend to get motivated based on either the rewards of success or the fear of failure. Here is a great example:

If I placed a 20ft. board that was 12 inches wide and 3 inches thick on the ground and placed a twenty dollar bill at the opposite end from you, would you walk across the board to retrieve the twenty dollars? Most people would easily make the decision to do this. The desire for the $20, and no fear, makes it a no brainer.

Now let’s place that same board atop two forty story buildings with the 20 foot board over the open air between them… and this time I will have to place a large rock on the twenty dollar bill so that it doesn’t blow away in the strong winds up at forty stories. Would you make that walk now?

Most people would not risk this for $20.00. The fear of falling would be far greater than the desire for the money.

Would you do it for $100… $1,000… $1M? Maybe… maybe not. But, would you do it if the building you were on was on fire??

Another example would be the man or woman in a public place who sees someone they would really like to get to know across the room. Some people would approach the total stranger because their desire to meet them is greater than the fear of rejection. For others it might be reversed.

This is all based on the way we see the world, and how we see ourselves. This influences the choices we make. To some an event may be perceived as an opportunity; for others it may appear to be a threat. 

Become aware of how you face reality. Are you motivated by the rewards or are you motivated by your fears?

Take ownership of you. Here are some action steps:

  • Stop waiting for someone, or something, to motivate you
  • Become aware of whether you are fear or desire oriented
  • Optimism is another word for positive motivation
  • Look for and focus on the rewards of success
  • Keep your sights on the positive outcomes you desire
  • Let go of fear as a motivator
  • 95% of our fears are never realized
  • Take responsibility for you
  • Get excited and enthusiastic about the rewards of life

Remember… Every day is a gift, and the quality of your life is your gift to yourself. 


  • Barry Gottlieb

    Author - Speaker - Success Mentor - Trusted Advisor

    Barry is sought after by organizations of all sizes to assist them in the following areas: *Leadership - *Strategy - *Execution - *Company Culture - *Time Management - *Emotional Intelligence. As the Founder and President of Coaching the Winner's Edge, Barry has built a successful practice offering counsel and guidance to both private individuals and corporations. In addition, Barry is a successful author and speaker. His books are: "TGIT-Thank God It’s Today". - "Every Day Is A Gift". - "Brilliant on the Basics...a Playbook for Business Leaders". Barry started out his career as an educator... First a school teacher and  Principal; and then as an instructor at Santa Fe Community College, and the University of Florida. During his time at the university, Barry experienced a life altering challenge. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was given just 3 to 6 months to live. His story of recovery and the paradigm shift that it created in his life was the inspiration for his first book, "TGIT - Thank God It’s Today". Shortly thereafter, Barry decided to make a career and life style change and left teaching to enter the world of business. This he says, “Is where my real education began.” He and his partners built a very successful $75 million international company from the ground up, that they later sold for $55M. Barry shares the the wisdom and insights of building a very successful company... and culture, in his latest book: "Brilliant On the Basics... A Playbook for Business Leaders". Barry's Mission: To inspire and empower others to reach their full potential.