Years ago I wrote an article titled Sometimes People Don’t Want To Be Motivated. In that post I talked about coming across people who don’t like motivational messages for whatever reason. I also talked about the need to keep trying to motivate people when you can, especially if they work for you or are your friends, for just because some people don’t like it many others do, even if they don’t know it.

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As with everything else, there’s always another side to this type of issue. I figured I might as well tell my own story because it leads us back to the title of this piece.

I wrote an article for LinkedIn titled Are You A Victim Of Your Own Expectations?. I talked about my second book at the time and why I’d been delaying it when it’s been completed for a long time. I was more worried about my expectations of how it might be received than by just putting it out, especially the way I was going to do it, and letting the chips fall where they may.

This doesn’t happen to me often, but it’s happening to me more lately in the months before and after my mother passed away. Sometimes I hold certain things back because I’m not ready to put myself out into the open and potentially embarrass myself. You’d think I would have plenty of experiences that show I won’t embarrass myself, but sometimes it doesn’t matter.

One of my majors in college was music. I wanted to be a songwriter but I kept getting put out there as a performer. I had to play in two recitals, which I hated, but I did pretty well. I also played and sang in a talent show; that didn’t go so well, and I decided I wasn’t going in that direction.

Years later, I offered up a song I’d written for a friend’s wedding. The song didn’t quite thrill her but my voice and piano playing did, and she asked me to sing at her wedding. Thus, I had to overcome a major fear of singing and playing in public again and became a wedding singer for 14 years. Each time I had to pull some courage together beforehand but once I started I was fine.

Almost 20 1/2 years ago I decided to go into business on my own. Four months after that I traveled to Pennsylvania and had my first paid speaking engagement. Strangely enough, I wasn’t nervous at all standing in front of a lot of people talking about leadership and health care. I was more nervous putting it together, especially getting it on those transparencies (who remembers those?).

50-cent book
Even 50 Cent wrote a book 🙂

I wasn’t nervous when I put my first book out to the masses; I never even thought about it. I basically released the book while I was consulting out of town and at the time the only place I mentioned it was on this blog and when I did speaking engagements. I was more nervous sending it to publishers, which included a chance meeting with Ken Blanchard, who asked if he could read it; that was freaky!

At this point in my life and career, I find that while some things remain the same, some things have changed. I’ve developed into a better writer if I say so myself. I’ve got over 6,000 articles online in all sorts of places, including my own blogs. One would think that putting together a new book wouldn’t have been much of a challenge…

But it was. It took two years to put it together, even if most of it was already written. Finally the book has been finished, edited, and had a lot of rewrites. Then I shared it with some people who said they’d read it and let me know what they thought…

And not one of them did. I felt disappointed. I followed up with all of them and never heard back from them, and all of them were friends of mine… I felt a little depressed.

It caused me to basically shelve the book for a long while. I thought maybe it’s not good enough; maybe no one will be interested in it. After the effort, maybe I wasted my time. Maybe my friends are being kind by not telling me how bad it is… maybe they were just being nice by telling me they’d read it.

See how we put scenarios in our own heads?

Meanwhile, I continued writing posts here about motivation. I wrote posts on one of my other blogs about motivation. I’d done a few videos on motivation. I’d watched a bunch of other videos on motivation.

Then one of those motivational videos finally struck home. You know who it was… Oprah! This video:
 

https://youtu.be/Dp_cmLfJZ1w

That was needed! The funny thing is that I’ve always said that you can get 10 people to talk to 100 people about motivation, saying the same exact words, and at the end of the day each person will have touched someone who responds to the message based on how they said it.

I’d been listening to a lot of motivational messages along with those videos, and I’ll admit that most of them were testosterone-laced; hey, I’m a guy! I liked a lot of them, felt a little better after listening to them, but none of them said it the way Oprah said it; I guess that’s why she’s Oprah.

It’s what got me thinking about the book again, and I realized that my sitting on it because of what other people said they’d do that they didn’t do wasn’t about them; it was about me. I’m responsible for me, just as you’re responsible for you.

It’s good to ask people for their help or their opinion but when all is said and done we’re responsible for ourselves, our successes, our “experiments“, our happiness, our dreams and goals. It’s nice to have someone share them with you and encourage you but that’s not always going to happen.

So I put the book out, talked about it, promoted it, marketed it… all that stuff. To this date I’ve sold… 3! And I have no idea if anyone ever actually read it or finished it. I’ll admit that I had higher hopes for the second book than I had for the first, but at least I made my money back on the first book. Since I didn’t pay to have this one put into paperback (it’s in a pdf format) I can truthfully say that I made money off the book; that’s something to be happy about. 🙂

Big dreams and big goals don’t always come true. I won’t say it didn’t matter, but I’m proud that I put it out there anyway. I remembered that I’m responsible for how I deal with the consequences of success or the other thing like everyone else; sometimes it’s the best we can hope for.
 

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