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Does Listening to Motivational Speakers Really Make a Difference?


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Their names are icons of American Optimism. They are synonyms of Success. They walk in notoriety. They are admired by hundreds of thousands and even millions not only in the United States, but around the world. Ziglar, Tracy, Rohn, Waitley, Canfield, Hansen, Robbins, Covey, Alessandra, “Tremendous" Jones, White, and many more. The Old Guard of Positive Thinking, inspirational, motivational, can-do speakers and writers such as Carnegie and Nightingale passed their baton to a new generation years ago. Some of the old-timers in the current group have already begun to pass the baton to a younger group such as Maxwell, Gitomer, and Widener. This new and improved group also includes many women such as Frapp, Podesta, and Jiminez.

But for all their good press and positive feel-good message, does what they have to say really make a difference? Personal Develop is an $8 Billion dollar industry in America. But at the end of the day, will you be a better person because you listened to them? Will listening to them make you more successful in your career? Will you make more money? Will your relationships really improve? Can you really become a better leader just by listening to these experts?

You might be surprised to find out that “yes" it does make a difference. I think Earl Nightingale said it in his classic seminar, The Strangest Secret “We become what we think about most of the time. " Now, as simple and practical as that may seem, consider the implications of it for a moment, not just in the realm of motivational speaking, but in all walks of life. What does a surgeon spend a great deal of his time thinking about before he becomes a surgeon? Answer: surgery. What does a scientist spend his time thinking about most of the time before becoming a scientist? Answer: science. What does a theology professor spend his time thinking about most of the time before becoming a professor? You guessed it: theology. What does a millionaire spend his time thinking about before becoming a millionaire? Making money.

So, it only stands to reason that this basic principle of most of success and positive thinking genre is true. We become what we think about most of the time. So, if you want to change your life, you have to change your thinking. OK. That makes sense. But, do you become a doctor just by thinking about it? Of course, not. You think about it and are motivated to follow a path and think about it almost obsessively. The Success Gurus are saying something a little bit deeper than to just change the content of your thinking. They are actually saying that you need to change the process of your thinking. In other words, your mind has to be retrained. Your mind was trained to think as a child. You had very little control over it. Perhaps you had good training from your parents, teachers, and peers. Perhaps you had lousy training from people who thought you were not worth the time or effort. Maybe they even constantly belittled your or put you down. Maybe they told you things like you would never accomplish anything, or called you a quitter or a loser. Every time you failed at some task, instead of thinking of that failure as a lesson learned, you just had your old training reinforced.

Unfortunately, we live a world where far more people are beaten down than are lifted up. Imagine what your life would be like if you had a few more people in your corner believing in you and encouraging you. What dreams could you accomplish.

As we said earlier, we are not responsible for the early training we received. However, we are responsible for our lives. We do not have to let incorrect training guide us forever. If it was wrong, we need to shed it and replace it with something that works for us.

Consider Matt Morris. Matt's parents divorced when he was 4 years old. That leaves enough scars. A year later his father broke into his mother's home and killed her boyfriend. He was sent to prison. Matt grew up and failed at every business venture he tried. By age 21 he was living in his car. But he believed he could change. He invested in himself and in positive motivational materials. Today he is the owner of one of the largest and fastest growing self-help sites on the internet, Success University. His company has thousands of customers from over 146 countries. With America's passion for personal development, Matt's site is ranked as the #1 Personal Development site on the web today. He is now a multi-millionaire with a passion to help others to achieve success.

So, what is the appeal of the Success University and the whole Success Motivation genre? Primarily, that it helps a person change his/her thinking process and also learn some practical principles that can make a real difference. Because these speakers all have their resources and they are entertaining and usually fun and interesting to listen to, people can receive daily encouragement, daily inspiration, and daily teaching in some specific area. Just listening to a CD everyday on during the daily commute to work, a person can receive the equivalent class time of a college degree in only 2 and ½ years. In other words, anyone can become an expert on any subject in the world, while driving to work. That is truly amazing! Because of the advances in technology, we can use ipods, pda's, smart phones, laptops, home entertainment centers, dvd's, car cd players, home computers, wii's, ps3's, as listening and learning devices. Because of mp3's and mpg's and audiobooks, anyone can carry around the wisdom of the universe in their pocket.

Does it really make a difference? The millions of followers of these self-help experts would give enthusiastic testimonials to that fact.

I can say from personal experience that it has made a difference for me. The people and relationship principles I picked up just from reading How to Win Friends and Influence People as a teenager have helped me throughout my entire life. The Leadership Principles I picked up from John Maxwell have helped me in my business. The motivation and relationship principles I learned from Zig Ziglar have become guiding principles of my life.

When I was going through a very difficult time in my life and it seemed that everyone in my immediate surroundings was looking at me with disdain and contempt and didn't believe in my leadership, it began to be very tempting to just through in the towel. I was beginning to give in to the negative majority that didn't believe we could accomplish the task before us. I could literally feel myself sinking down, being pulled down by their opinions. I remember seeing a Tony Robbins infomercial. He had a new program. I didn't care how much it cost, I just knew I had to get it. I needed someone to believe in me and tell me I could do it, even if he didn't know me personally. It helped me turn a corner in my life and in my organization. We went on to complete the task and see success. But we would never have accomplished it if I had not been able to change my thinking and my perspective first.

I recently came across the best Success Library every assembled in one place. Success University has combined the principles of distance learning and personal development and created an incredible and amazingly affordable resource. It includes the greatest motivational speakers and trainers of modern times. What makes it unique is that not only can a person get the continuing education of a lifetime, but they also have the opportunity to benefit financially while they learn. I have loved it since I found it and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for the best of the best and the most affordable price around.

So, why not consider investing in yourself first, so you will be able to make a difference in your family and your world.

Dr. Kelly Carr

Dr. Carr and his family live in scenic Chandler, Arizona where he writes and works as a pastor. If you would like more information about Success University send a blank email to and you will receive the "Success University Secrets E-Mail Course" free of charge and the Classic Motivational Ebook "Acres of Diamonds" by the Adventurer and Founder of Temple University, Russell Conwell. This ebook also contains a link to the original audio by Dr. Conwell.


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