Practice Makes Perfect When it Comes to Motivation

Are you one of those people who likes to go to seminars? Are you a once a-year kind of person or a real seminar junkie?

Either way, ask yourself what you really learned and how much stuck with you after the next week of work.

The fact is, seminars don't work for most people. Most of us come away from a meeting and (if the speaker was dynamic) say, "Wow, this is great, I'm going to change this and do that!"

It's more likely that we put the seminar material on a shelf and never look at it again. Motivation is like deodorant: It wears off, and the next day you smell again.

Now put yourself at any stadium in the country, for any professional football game. If you followed the team into the locker room during half-time, you would hear the coach firing the players up and saying things like, "I know you guys can do it, you're the best, I believe in you, etc.." Then, when the team returns to the field, everyone is feeling good but something unexpected happens: they lose the game. Total disappointment

What happened?

Simple: The coach gave a great talk, but there was no practice. He was not ensuring improved performance by motivating his players and going over the basics.

Motivation is successful only when it includes training.

How does a dog learn to do tricks? You show him what to do, praise him, then give him a little treat. Through repetition and positive motivation, the dog learns to perform. Children learn the same way. In fact, here's an earth-shattering fact: so do adults.

What's missing in pure motivation is the practice and repetition. If you want to get real help from seminars, you must do more than just sit, listen, take notes and go back to work. Try something new.

Follow these rules and transform the information you receive into action that could make you more successful and maybe even richer:


Determine your plan for implementation after the seminar. Think of it this way: If you applied for a bank loan without a business plan, you'd be turned down. Decide in advance what you will do and in what time frame, then write it into your plan.


Goals become reality when they are precisely defined. First, your goal must have a specific time frame (days, weeks or months). Second, it must be measurable (so you know when you've achieved it). Third, it has to be realistic, so you do not give up in frustration. Lastly, your goal must be challenging, to give a sense of accomplishment.


Do a little bit each day toward your goal. You've never heard of anyone having a great body by working out just once, or getting thin on a one-day diet.


Who said you should celebrate only after you reach your goal? Don't undervalue all the incremental steps you've taken along the way. If you want to lose 50 pounds, aren't you thrilled when you lose the first 10 or 20?


After you have changed your old habit, you have to practice to reinforce the new. But beware. In his book, "Swim With the Sharks",Harvey McKay said, "If you are practicing all the time and doing it wrong, you are perfecting an error." Continue to practice the right way all the time and you'll eventually refine the habit and make it part of your everyday activities.

When motivation becomes a permanent part of action, it's no longer deodorant: it's learning.

If you really want to change or enhance behavior, then the next time you go to a seminar and hear a speaker, don't just leave and say, "This will work, I can do it." Draw up a plan, follow your plan and make your goal a reality.

Remember: The idea is 10% and its implementation is 90%.

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