A move to success: the power of motivation

I’ve been a fan of motivational literature since I was a teenager. I’ve always  liked reading books about empowerment and change, but I’d never bought motivational tapes or anything like that. Well, not until I turned 21 anyway.  That year I bought a CD program from one of the best-known motivational speakers in the world and I have to say, the change wasn’t like a lightning strike. It was more like a river, in which the tide slowly starts to turn. And it really wasn’t long before my life started to change markedly.

I’d already made the first big change myself, getting out of a bad relationship with my first `love’. But my life was not really going forward. I wasn’t enjoying the work I was doing and I had this nagging feeling I was at a crossroads in life. I was looking down the barrel of an `okay’ career, probably basing myself in the same town for good. It wasn’t a bad life by any means but it wasn’t the one for me.

So I ordered the CDs. Everybody mocked me for doing this program, but I was determined to give it a go anyway.

If nothing else, listening to the CDs forced me to look at what I really wanted out of life. The program asked me to list my goals, what I wanted and what my timeframe was. Initially  I wrote down a lot of stuff that I clearly didn’t really want – not in the short term anyway (eg big cars, luxury homes), but I thought that was the stuff you were `supposed’ to aim for.

In between all the stupid stuff I wrote, I actually started to make some sense. I really decided the biggest change I wanted to make was in my career. And whether or not I already believed I could do it, I realised I actually should go back to university and study something completely new.

I told a friend I was thinking about doing a degree in nursing. She asked me why I wanted to do nursing, when I `obviously had the brains for medicine’. I’d never thought about it. Well, I might have had the brains (debatable!) but I certainly never had the drive. I did well at school but I could have done a lot better if I’d actually devoted my energy towards school instead of part-time jobs and parties.

I thought about it and realised I liked the idea of nursing but I would really love to become a doctor. So I looked into what I had to do to make that happen. I won’t lie. It was daunting. I’d needed to make up some chemistry and mathematics subjects from high school (I had studied the creative arts strands like Journalism and Film and Television Studies). Even then, I was unlikely to be accepted in to any of the incredibly competitive undergraduate degrees straight away. I was probably going to have to do another degree first. And then there were the interviews and exams … and all the other testing stuff that I had always avoided when I was younger.

Yet I did it. I did night school for a year, then did 2 years of a medical science degree before being accepted to med school (a 6-year undergrad program). And now I’m in my final year, with my final exams behind me. It seems hard to believe that I am nearly done after so much time … that I am nearly a doctor.

It seems my life will be vastly different to how it would otherwise have turned out. As an example, even this year, as a final year student, it seems likely I will travel overseas (at no personal cost) to attend a medical conference. I can’t imagine that happening in my old life.

As an aside, I now love every day at `work’. I get to meet people and help them through the best and worst days of their lives. I know how privileged I am.

Looking back, I have to wonder what role all of the different motivational books, and the CD program, played in my career turn-around. I know this is a personal finance blog, and this post has been all about motivation. But I do also wonder also what role the motivational literature have played in my turnaround to financial responsibility. Would I have continued to live paycheck to paycheck forever? Would I ever have looked seriously into investing? Would I have bought a McMansion and spent my working life trying to afford the repayments? I’m not sure, because I fear many of us buy stuff because it’s what we think we should want, regardless of whether or not it is really right for us.

I know motivation books and programs are not for everyone. But in the context of my experience, in the future I wouldn’t think twice about making a relatively small outlay to take advantage of another person’s perspective on life. Whether or not it can be put down to a CD program – or that I bought the program because I was already at a crossroads and want to change my future, the result has been good. I have no regrets!

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1 Comment »

  1. Wow, your story is great! I believe those CDs will have helped a great deal. The reason most people don’t get out of debt is a lack of motivation, often brought about by being daunted by the task.
    Borrowing someone else’s motivation until you have your own is a great idea.

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