Is there value to motivational speaking or is it just babbling by people who have found a way to extract money from the purses and wallets of the unsuspecting? Can the words of some unknown person who you have never met impact you in such a way that your fortunes will change forever? Is it possible to find meaning in life by listening to what someone blessed with the gift of gab has to say? These are frequent questions from sceptics about the relevance of motivational speaking and its impact on those seeking to change their perspective on life. I was never a fan of self-help literature. Therefore my initial scepticism to motivational speaking is not surprising. I struggled with the notion of understanding, why, so many books are written about finding meaning and purpose in life, yet there so many unhappy and unfulfilled people in the world? I had even concluded that it was an elaborate con game or just a side hustle for those involved. I did not quite grasp why anyone would be willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to hear someone else speak of how good their lives could become if they just applied some critical principles to their lives, they just made it seem too easy.
There is a difference between a person who motivates for change and someone whose aim is to only make people feel good about themselves; this requires minimal effort. Yes, excellent speakers may be able to pull huge crowds and earn substantial sums, but it does not mean that peoples lives are being impacted positively. Anybody who speaks eloquently can draw people to listen to them, but it requires individuals who have a real understanding of the human spirit to unlock potential, ignite passion and drive purpose to bring about change. The person who is just interested in having a payday will not do it for the joy of change, but for the glory of the dollar. On the other hand, the speaker who is interested in changing lives will speak to the human condition and point persons in the direction where they can fulfil their purpose through positive thoughts and actions.
I first heard renown motivational speaker Les Brown from the USA when I was 21 years old while working for Grace Kennedy Co. Ltd what I heard then should have impacted me, but don’t I think at that age I was not yet ready to listen to this prolific speaker talk about finding purpose and igniting passion. I was at a point then where I felt I could conquer the world and I had all the time available to do it, I would later get a rude awakening when faced with failure after failure. Motivational speaking for me back then was just something people did if they were good at talking and could get a few clueless people to listen to them and get paid for it. Almost 25 years later I am now beginning to understand how that one video has helped to shape my thinking and placed me on the road to unlocking my passion and finding my purpose. I have been converted to the value of motivational speaking and reading motivational literature when it is designed to bring forth change through positive actions.
If you are in the habit of finding your fulfilment in the flattering words of some writer with little or no life experience, then the self-help section of just about any bookstore is an excellent place to begin. But if you are interested in solution-oriented motivation that will require you doing hard work only the very best will good enough. There are motivational speakers, and then there are motivational speakers, you must make a conscious decision as to what and to whom you want to listen. Listen to persons who do not only want to provide feel-good moments but are intended for pushing you towards change. Listen to speakers who will cause you to examine yourself and commit to becoming better at living. Great motivational speakers are committed to telling the truth even when this must hurt us deep in our souls.
Being motivated is only half the job, applying knowledge which results in deliberate action is the other half that is required. If people are not willing to change and become better at living, then all motivational speaking results in are sessions of listening to sound speech. Efficient motivational speakers are not just interested in sharing their experiences, but also have a genuine desire to have those look to learn from them. They speak not only to be heard, but also to have the listener/s ask questions about their own circumstances and find ways to begin moving towards their purpose. Great motivational speakers enjoy the prospect of having individuals discovering and unleashing the power that is within them even more than the millions that they can earn.
Since starting this journey much of what I use to believe about the world of motivation has been placed in proper perspective. I realise the most rewarding benefit that can be derived from engaging in motivation speaking is in the action/s. The best speakers will seek to call people to action, and the best listeners will take what they have heard and use it to their advantage impacting their own life and the lives of those around them. It is good to feel motivated, but it is greater to be driven to action so you can begin unlocking potential, igniting passion and fulfilling your purpose.