A great many people have, over the course of their lives, been influenced to a certain degree by attending seminars presented by motivational speakers, or others professing to have the secrets of personal success and financial independence at their fingertips. Strangely enough, if one were to conduct an extensive, world-wide survey it would probably become apparent that the only people who really have become financially independent through these seminars are those who are themselves the presenters and/or motivational speakers. Their wealth has often been the result of their international presentations as well as the sale of their books and videos, (in the past it was tapes) which attendees had been encouraged to buy. Humans are often vulnerable and open to brainwashing in one form or another, and when the financial aspect of their lives leaves a great deal to be desired, it stands to reason that it would be fairly simple to fill the halls where a well renowned speaker is going to impart the secrets of his success.
The hype which accompanies the actual seminar is often extremely euphoric and attendees are still fired up with optimism and enthusiasm as they leave the conference centre. However, to take what they have heard, and to read the books and implement the theories which are often outlined, is not a simple matter. Life has an uncanny knack of interfering with the positive plans which have been emphasised by the motivator. Notes have been taken down during the session, books have been purchased and possibly even personally signed by the presenter of the seminar and now it’s all going to fall into place. Or is it? It would be cynical to say that no-one benefits long term by these ra-ra sessions as there are often some incredibly meaningful messages coming out of such events.
There are many successful motivators or experts on improving one’s self-esteem, or current situation, and Dr. Brian Jude was a well known motivational speaker whom I was privileged to hear when I attended one of his seminars in Johannesburg, whilst being involved in direct selling. Several of his anecdotes have stayed with me ever since. One was GOYA – get off your arse! Only by getting off your butt and putting thoughts into action will there be any change. Another one was WIIFM – what’s in it for me. When dealing with potential customers it’s necessary that the person you want as your client sees that you are giving him a good deal, or excellent service. Taking yourself out of the equation and putting your client’s needs first makes him realise that you have his interests at heart. Both of these anecdotes could assist in growing one’s income potential.
Changing one’s attitude and becoming more successful in various areas of one’s life is a journey which involves so much more than merely attending a talk, and reading the right books. They can certainly help in gaining perspective but believing in yourself and seeing the glass half-full as opposed to half-empty can be extremely difficult for many people and there are so many factors which play their role. Confidence, self-love, feelings of self-worth, encouragement, are all words which come to mind when this subject is broached.
Whilst being involved in the training of young staff whilst owning a restaurant, an exercise which I found very useful in encouraging them to feel more confident was to ask each of them to list 6 things that they liked about themselves. It was distressing when there was one teenager who just could not come up with anything at all. In a situation such as this, the intervention of a qualified counsellor could have surely assisted in building his self-esteem. Just a thought?
We all thrive on positive input from friends and family as well as business associates and clients. However, it is very easy to become disheartened and to start doubting one’s capabilities when we receive negative comments. Very easy to say “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”, but as humans most of us have fairly fragile egos especially when our capabilities are being questioned. This is where one’s childhood and upbringing come to the fore. Where parents have built self-esteem from a young age, then in adulthood it is usually easier to handle criticism. However, a child who has constantly been demeaned and put down by parents may never really have the confidence in the big bad world to reach their full potential
To keep positive in a world full of negativity and stress, it is certainly a good idea to surround oneself with material which can regularly be used to help improve one’s state of mind. Amusing videos, books which lift the spirits, friends who make you feel happy when you speak to them, and never forgetting the importance of good health and regular exercise in the maintenance of a positive self image, are all important factors to bear in mind. Yes, motivational seminars can provide one with good ideas which one can try to implement, but ultimately maintaining a healthy mental attitude to life and oneself is a constant work in progress.