The Importance Of Discovering The Proper Motivation

We’ve all seen what happens when we have the wrong motivations.

Great companies fall. Bankers rip off their investors. Shoddy products are produced. Employees are treated poorly.

This is why you must discover the proper motivations for the projects you undertake.

Falling into the improper motivations can be easy. We’re drawn to the quick and easy. To what benefits us the most.

When we focus on these motivators, we will never achieve our full potential.

Instead, we need to find the proper motivations. Motivations that are not self-serving but other-serving.


When all is said and done, this world isn’t about you or me. It’s about US. What we’re doing to serve the world and make it a better place.

Think about it. When do you feel most satisfied?

When you:

  • Put yourself first. Finding every little way to benefit yourself. Squeezing every last drop of personal benefit from the company.


  • Putting others before yourself. Helping someone who needs a helping hand up. Giving something of yourself to benefit society.

I’m betting you’re a person who finds more fulfillment out of helping others and bettering the world. Now that’s the proper motivation!

Meghan Vogel lived out this principal during a track meet. Here’s her story

Vogel was running the 3,200 meter race and about 50 meters from the finish line when she saw Arden McMath, a sophomore from Arlington High School, collapse. Instead of passing her, Vogel stopped to carry her competitor across the finish line.

Meghan could have finished the race and left the injured competitor behind. Instead, she chose to help her cross the finish line.

Her motivation wasn’t in winning or losing. It was in helping other people.

Begin looking for ways to help others in your life.

Is there a way you could help improve your customer’s life? How could you improve your employee’s working conditions? Is there a way you could help your competitor succeed?

When you begin to look for opportunities to help others, your chance of success begins to rise.

Success isn’t stepping on and over anyone in your path. It’s helping and encouraging others to become better.

Let this become your motivation.

Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?’
— Brian Tracy

Question: What’s your motivation? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Very true! And I love the image you used to go with this post!

    • Thanks, I really liked the image as well. It’s eye catching and engaging.

      How could you apply what was in the article to your leadership?

  • Aidam_e

    I agree. A little bit of recognition and a good pat in the back for a job well done is very important in motivating employees and in creating positive influence . I also read similar article at

    • It’s amazing how far some of the “little” things will go. In the end, a lot of it’s about showing recognition and appreciation.

      Thanks for sharing the other article. I hadn’t seen it but I’ll be reading it shortly.

  • I like your emphasis on “us” in this post.  

    • That’s what leadership should be all about. Us, us, and us. Instead of me, me, me. Thanks for catching that Dan!

  • Powerful quote by Tracy at the end. I think “what’s in it for me” is the underlying mentality of many in today’s world. I don’t think we mean for it to be that way and many don’t even realize they have that mentality. It’s just become ingrained in us.  Thankfully there are several who do not have the type of mentality and they help make this world a better place.
    Thanks for all you give your readers.
    God bless.

    • I know TC. I really liked how Brian made it about others and not himself with that quote. It brings about leadership to it’s true reason, helping others move forward.

  • I want to represent God well in my work.  That is my motivation.

    As legacy leavers, we need to work and lead in such a way that leaves a legacy in our companies long after we’re gone.  This means thinking down the road past our careers.  How do we want to leave the company?

    • Great philosophy Jon. We’ve always got to be thinking ahead and planning how we want to leave the company.

      • This happens when we make solid hiring decisions, when we invest in our existing employees, and when we intentionally develop a culture that lives on past the here and now.

  • Jeff

    My motivation is a bit tricky.  Some of my goals really are for me, yet when I think about what I would want to do with my fitness goals or writing skills, it’s about joining with someone else to be a part of their lives as well and bring joy and community to them.  Even when I produce art, it’s about helping others see beauty, hope, and novelty in the world.

    But for now, I feel like my goals are directly so that I can feel better.

    • Jeff, sometimes by looking out for ourselves we are really looking out for others. I believe it was Kevin Miller who said he wanted to get in shape so he’s not worthless to his family when he gets older. In part it seems selfish and then it gives that juke where it’s actually about others.

      • Jeff

        It sounds like the same situation about making myself happy, so that others can be around a happy, uplifting person.

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