Friday, January 2, 2009

What Motivates You?

**This is my first, of many, installments in a series of writings aimed to motivate each and every one of you out there (including myself). A special thank you to everyone who I have ever interacted with in this journey that I call life. This opportunity would never be possible without you all. I will be waiting to hear feedback in order to create more strong and positive discussions. Understand that whenever you need someone to just listen to your concerns, without judgment, bias, or repercussions, I am always around! Live healthy, happy, and respectful to everyone, most importantly yourself!**

Ask this question to many young Americans and what will the response be: “MONEY!” But why is this? Why do we only care about money and buying the “newest things out?” Money is necessary in life to pay for a roof over your head, the clothes on your back, and food on your table. The rest are just products that are not really necessary for you to live your life and be happy. I am not saying that it is wrong to buy other products only that they are not necessary for you to truly be happy and successful. I had a powerful and passionate discussion with some co-workers and heard many exclusive comments that only included those who believed that money was necessary and the reason for happiness in this world. I felt this would be a great opportunity to give some insight on my opinions. I say this because whenever I talk to someone in person about my opinions, all I hear is “You can’t think like that!” or “You are such a liar! You have to have these feelings and you have to want money!”

The discussion began when one co-worker stated her stressed out state of mind because of her debt. As I heard her complaints, the only thing that I could sense was the fact that she created this debt through purchasing items that she “needed” (e.g., shoes, clothes, jewelry). The discussion then turned into a bashing of my particular views and the fact that I believe that your life does not have to revolve around money. I explained to her that money does not make you, it does not justify who you are. The response that I received was: “Yes it does because if you don’t have money, nice clothes, or a nice car, no girl will want to be with you!” Now most of you know me and one thing that you all know is that I have none of the above. I am a 24 year old, average looking, father of two who has been loved and appreciated because of who I am and not what I have. Therefore, that statement is not valid; it does not portray every person on this earth.

With that said, we come to the message that I want to get across: Money is not a motivator; it should not be your main focus in life. Living your entire life chasing the “Almighty Dollar,” worrying about having enough money, building a vicious cycle of debt will never bring you to true happiness and satisfaction. Worrying, stressing, anger, and all other feelings will keep the true motivator, you, hidden. You need to understand that the true answer to the question what motivates you is: Yourself!

I know what you are thinking: “Damn Joel you are full of s**t!” Do you really think that I do not know what I am talking about? I lived my childhood poor and never having the newest things out like everyone else. So when I finally started working all I cared about was the money and being able to have everything like the rest of my friends. I lived my life from the age of 16 through the age of 23 motivated by MONEY! Do you know what that brought me? Bills, stress, medical, emotional, financial, and relationship problems. Do you see happiness or tranquility in that list? After some great insight from a powerful mentor, I realized what the problem was; money was my substitute for happiness and love. I believed that I would be happy and others would love me as long as I always had money and items to prove it. The truth is that the love and happiness never came; I did not find true happiness until I looked inside myself.

I realized that the best way to motivate yourself is to first look inside yourself, find your true self, and then you will find the keys to happiness and success. Always believe that you can make of life what you want to; you can succeed in everything that you do if you believe this. Live life to its fullest, one day at a time.

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