The career of “motivational speaker” is, at its basic level, not dissimilar from most other occupations.
It’s a job. Hopefully, one gets fulfillment — beyond what he’s paid — out of doing it. (Be assured that those who make big bucks for speeches are — like with most careers — the exception, not the rule.) Granted, it has its perks. There’s very little heavy lifting or backbreaking labor, and since you’re fortunate to be your own boss, you can watch your kids play soccer, or take a long walk along the beach during the day. Again, however, like any other way of earning a paycheck, it has ups and downs.
In the same fashion that comedians might always be expected to be funny; or therapists should always be insightful; one con of this profession is people expect you to be, well, motivational. After all, a “motivational speaker” who is constantly whining doesn’t seem like he’d be much in demand, does he?
Of course, despite common perception, we are “normal,” with emotional highs and lows; and of late, for whatever reason; I’m in a valley. There have been many mornings when I’d rather pull the blankets up over my head, be left alone, and just go back to sleep. “Motivational” would not be the first word you would use to describe me pre-coffee. Mostly, I work alone, so it’s usually not problematic — but not always.
My cranky pants were snug last week as I arrived early to set up my presentation. Not familiar with the locale, I grumbled to myself about having to lug my materials over hill and dale — only to finally locate “room 104” and, of course, find it locked with no one in sight to assist me. My associate arrived and recognizing quickly the issue, took off to seek help, leaving me alone, with only my thoughts in the cold, clear, crisp morning.
“I better get my attitude in line, or this is not going to go well,” I considered (especially since today’s presentation was how to improve your attitude).
So I queried of myself, “What would I tell these folks in the same position?” The obvious answer: “Change your viewpoint.”
Instead of focusing on annoyances, the solution is finding something we appreciate.
One cannot be grumpy when grateful. It’s impossible. The reality is that our feelings are tied to our observations; so if we change them, we change what we feel, which lifts up our attitude. It’s amazingly simple; we just need to remember to do so.
Sauntering around the corner of the building, I planted myself in the sun and watched the melting frost drip-drip-drip over the edge of the gutter on to a mossy mound of stones and leaves. I noticed the sun’s reflection as it bounced off the glistening rocks. I saw my breath form white mist in the snappish air and felt warmness on my face. Inhaling deeply the morning, I appreciated that of all the places I could be in this moment, and of all I could be doing to earn my living, this spot in time, at this location wasn’t bad; quite the contrary, it was serene, beautiful, and peaceful. I was fortunate to get to be here.
Life was again good.
Mood reset, I waited — somewhat more patiently — for my associate to return with the key, when I noticed that room 104 had a door on the side of the building where I was now standing — and it was unlocked.
It had been all along; I just hadn’t noticed it until I changed my perspective.