Motivation: The act of convincing yourself or someone else to complete a task that, a) you don’t want to do or b) they don’t want to do for a promised reward.
My father is a great reader of books from motivational speakers, I think that’s what spawned my desire to read and learn what life was about and how to get what I want. I’ve traced the lineage of motivators who have inspired me throughout the years.
James wrote a series of books titled The Celestine Prophecy. I felt like Alice in Wonderland when I read the first book. I was introduced to a character who is dissatisfied with his life and wants a change. A series of coincidences puts him in Peru, where he’s searching for a manuscript which explains the meaning of life through eight insights. It was an excellent first step to questioning old beliefs and allowing new thoughts to creep in. The books are fiction, but the insights are helpful, and they clarify the question, “what is the meaning of life?”
Anthony Robbins was a huge catalyst for changing the circumstances in my life. I read each of his books cover to cover and listened to his speeches with relish. He reminded me that it doesn’t matter where you start from, it matters where you finish. Tony loves to share the story of his humble childhood and how the kind act of a stranger giving his family a Thanksgiving meal awoke the desire in him to be able to do the same. He found a mentor who challenged him to reach for a better life by asking, “What is perfect about this situation?”
I reached beyond my bounds and traveled alone to see him live for a week in San Jose, CA. I learned how to use a taxi service, how to embrace strangers, and how to question my beliefs further. I came home a changed person who knew that life is meant to be amazing.
I learned that Tony Robbins had a mentor, and I knew I had to read and learn from the individual who inspired my mentor. Jim had a spin on motivation, “Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot, and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.”
I thought the key was to keep getting excited and then the life I want would unfold, but the reality is, I can get hyper and fail to move toward what I want. Using motivation as action towards what I want makes the difference, as Jim put it, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” 
Esther Hicks (Abraham)
While I watched the movie The Secret, I was drawn to Esther Hicks, who is a channel for the spirit guide Abraham. At that time in my life, I was a few years into my career as a retail pharmacy technician, making good money, and really angry that life didn’t feel good. I had abandoned my religion and was looking for a new thought system that would help me to feel better consistently.
I learned that happiness is a choice, peace is a choice, and love is a choice. I fought tooth and nail to keep my old beliefs that how I feel is dependent on what is happening around me. When I let go of that conviction my world changed drastically. I learned how to move myself up the emotional scale from powerless to powerful. I took responsibility for my feelings and pretty soon my great days outnumbered my unfortunate days.
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Earl Purdy (A Course In Miracles)
My father loaned me a set of CD’s and said, “You need to listen to this guy.” I looked at the cover and saw Wayne Dyer and wasn’t really impressed. I had seen him a few times on PBS and thought that he was just another talking head. He mentioned a book called A Course In Miracles, and I thought I would take a look at it. Be advised if you begin this book you will forever change, so don’t begin it lightly. At first, I kept falling asleep when I tried to read it, so I decided to study with an online group, and that’s where I met Earl. The funny thing is, I thought I was on a high spiritual path before, but I was in for a very disruptive journey. Reading A Course In Miracles is like taking an S.O.S. pad to your soul, but if you stick to it, then you release a lot of inner demons which limit progression.
I continue to study the book off and on with Earl because he makes it very easy to understand, and tells you up front you don’t have to believe any of it, and you are free to stay or to leave.
I have to hand it to Wayne Dyer, despite not being the best fit as a mentor for me, has led me to others who are. Neville Goddard is my current mentor, and I adore him! He treats scripture as a psychological experience rather than stories of people who lived long ago, Christ is not a person, but the result of you achieving what you desire through your imagination. Let me illustrate with a story from the Bible, Noah was told by God to build an ark because there was going to be a flood which would cover the Earth. Neville interpreted this flood, not as water, but as facts. Isn’t it funny when you have the idea to achieve something great, friends will come out of the woodwork to flood you with facts about why you can’t achieve it.
Noah was commanded to bring two of every kind of animal aboard the ark, so they would survive the flood. The translation for this is every dream comes to fruition through the dual power of your imagination and your belief. The ark is your mind, which keeps you safe from the false facts that others would try to flood your mental ark. This is the tip of the Neville iceberg, and I would encourage anyone who wants life to be easier to listen to his lectures on YouTube or read his material on any number of websites.
The point of motivation, for me is to make life a wonderful place. I prefer to copy the method of those who have the life I want instead of reinventing the wheel. Let me know who your mentors are in a comment and share this article if you like it.
Honorable mentor mentions: