Sociologists, therapists, and psychiatrists have spent entire careers investigating the ins and outs of health, success, and happiness, but their findings are inaccessible to ordinary people, hidden in obscure journals seen only by other experts.
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October 31, 2006
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Excerpt from The Simple Secrets for Becoming Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise by David Niven
Motivation Beats Everything
Lack of motivation is a handicap that can stifle a person's potential regardless of their strengths. If you do not want something, it simply does not matter how talented you are. Understand that motivation is the biggest asset you possess in pursuing your future.
Sam worked in the kitchen washing dishes at a restaurant in Fresno, California. It was undeniably the worst job in the place. "It was backbreaking work in unbelievable heat. The pace was always hectic, and when the dinner rush finally slowed, you had to face the pots and pans," Sam says.
Although only a teenager, Sam thought about the things he would do differently if he ran the restaurant. "The tile floor would get slippery as the night wore on, and we were always trying to come up with ways to keep the waiters from falling down, 'cause if they fell down, it was the dishwashers who had to clean it up," he recalls.
It was only a dream at the time--but little by little he saved what he could. He moved up step-by-step through restaurant jobs until he was running the kitchen. Twenty years after he started as a dishwasher, he opened his first restaurant, and within a few years he had four locations.
Sam, who won an award for the success of his restaurants, credits his outlook for his success: "It would not be possible without hard work, but it would not be possible without believing in it. If I didn't believe, I never would have saved. I never would have learned everything I could about the business. If you have persistence and confidence, you have a bright future."
Researchers found that the future career earnings of schoolchildren were four times more strongly influenced by personal motivation than by any other factor. (Russell and Atwater 2005)
Be Happy to Succeed
We all think we would be happy if we were a success. But happiness is far less dependent on objective measures of success than success is dependent on happiness. A positive approach precedes a positive outcome.
"A law firm can be a pretty high-stress place," Mike admits. The cofounder of a midsize Indianapolis firm, Mike, together with his partners, committed to a different vision of a law firm from day one.