Self-Motivation Tip – The Lists!

Motivational ListJ.D. Meier at recently put up a post describing one method of simple self-motivation gleaned from the book Vision: Your Pathway to Victory by Gordon D’Angelo.

The suggestion in D’Angelo’s book is to use motivational people, books and quotes to motivate yourself.  How?  By making a list of each.

Ready to get started?  J.D. did a top-10 style list for each.  Here’s my attempt…

Motivational People

  • Tim Ferriss
  • Jennifer White
  • Jeremy Schoemaker
  • John Chow
  • Daniel Pink
  • Seth Godin
  • Jack Welch
  • Malcolm Gladwell
  • Mark Sisson
  • Cameron Hanes

Motivational Books

  • 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
  • Work Less, Make More by Jennifer White
  • Drive by Daniel Pink
  • Moonwalking with Einstein by Tim Foer
  • Linchpin by Seth Godin

Motivational Quotes

  • “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn
  • “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” - C. S. Lewis
  • “Families are the compass that guides us.” – Brad Henry
  • “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” – Scott Adams
  • “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” – John F. Kennedy
  • “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau
  • “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C. S. Lewis
  • “choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” – Aristotle

Now I ought to point out that having a top-10 for each is not the important thing.  Due to time constraints this morning I fell a bit short of 10-each myself.  More important than the number of entries you come up with, I feel that the value of this exercise lies in the following:

  1. The creation of the list
  2. Use of the list as an ongoing reminder

Give it a try for yourself – how did your lists turn out?

How does it work?

Like myself, you may have found this exercise motivating… buy why?  What does this do besides put words on paper?  After all, we are at least vaguely aware of the people and quotes that we have found motivational in the past.  How could the simple act of creating a list help to motivate us?

I have not had the chance to read this book yet, so perhaps the author elaborates on this idea further.  That said, I think there are several aspects at play here.  One has to do with the intentional thought required to create such a list.  Focusing our attention on the task forces us to recall motivational characters and information from our memory.  This dredges the motivational material out of our long-term memory onto the stage of our active, conscious thought.

Making a list also requires that we organize this material and ask why it motivates us (or why it has motivated us in the past).  This helps to awaken the emotional connections that makes it significant to us.

And finally, the act of writing down (or typing out) the list gives additional emphasis – perhaps a feeling of permanence – to these thoughts.  It adds a visual affirmation to what is in our mind.

The next time you feel that you need a motivational shot-in-the-arm, give the above exercise a try.  Keep in mind that this is not a one-time activity.  Your motivations will change over time – and so will your lists!

What made your list?  Leave a comment below!

Read the full article here:
“Motivating Yourself the Simple Way” via

Find the referenced book here:
Vision: Your Pathway to Victory by Gordon D’Angelo

Image Credit:  Flickr user jonathanblocker

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