Motivational Speakers have not revealed the whole truth

Motivational speakers & self help gurus  enjoy telling us that
whatever we want, we can do, have, or become.

This is NOT always  the case. And I’ll show you what I mean in a short while.
But first, let’s look at some of what the prominent gurus have said:

Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe,
it can achieve.”

Earl Nightingale: “Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind
and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a

When I was first introduced to the world of personal development,  I mistakenly believed this as well.
I managed to  naively believe that I could do, be or have just about  anything I wanted.

The problem with the mindset is that it  is often not true at all.

Here are a few Examples:

  • Unless you have a high IQ, you’re probably not going to be an astrophysicist.
  • Unless you are athletic, you won’t get drafted by the the New England Patriots, or FC Barcelona
  • Unless you can sing, you probably won’t win American Idol, America’s Got Talent or Britain’s Got Talent.
  • Unless you’re strong and can fight, you probably can’t Knock Out Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

Just having the positive thought, or planting the right though in your subconscious is not enough
What many positive thinkers ignore is that it takes more than just positive thoughts to achieve a goal.

So, What does it take to do or become what you desire?  

First, as one of my mentors puts it, ” you need the equipment: the aptitude, affinity, and
knack for a particular field or profession.’ 

Example: I am in my early 30s , 5’6, short,  a bit bulgy in the midsection of my body, and currently nonathletic. I would like to be the a midfielder for Arsenal or Chelsea. So given how the  soccer industry works, no matter what I think, that isn’t going to happen. I’m almost near the retirement age for many soccer players. I’ve never played any club level soccer.

But I do have an affinity for teaching. I enjoy it. And that is why  I have routinely been
paid hundred, sometimes thousands of dollars a day to give training classes and

Second, you need strong, burning  desire. 

This is especially true in fields like acting, music, and sports Where there’s fierce competition for a very limited number of opportunities.

If you don’t have  a burning desire for the goal, you won’t stick with it and make the effort it takes to get there. Just by thinking about you being a world class musician won’t cut it. Thinking positive thoughts will help you, no doubt, but that alone won’t cut it.

 Third, you must be persistent. 

There’s an old adage which you probably now: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Winston Churchill said: “Never give up.”

What I’ve come to find is that most people who want to pursue an  accomplishment or achievement give up way too early.  I knew I wanted to be a highly paid writer and teacher since 2004.  And while I do live by my teaching and writing, I’m not yet at the point I want to be at.  So I continue to write.

Fourth, you need  talent. 

You should have some natural talent or, if not, you need enormous
enthusiasm for the field in which you want to make your mark; enough to endure what it take to develop the necessary to develop the kind of talent you need.  Positive thoughts alone won’t cut it.

Fifth,  you need skill. 

In today’s competitive world, it’s tough to make a go of things
if you are poor or mediocre in your profession.

To increase the odds of success in your favor, you must get
really good at what you do. The key is: practice.

One author, Mark Ford, suggests that you can get good at just about anything by doing
it for a thousand hours … and become a master when you have done it ten thousand hours.

To acquire skills, you need training. Your training may be on the job or in the classroom. It could be
night school, seminars, in-house courses offered by your company, or college.

I’ve invested thousands of dollars so far in acquiring trainings in areas i knew I needed to develop. And this has made me more valuable in the marketplace.

I wouldn’t be able to run this blog successfully if I didn’t invest in the right training on running a blog as a business.
You must acquire the basic knowledge practitioners in your field are expected to have.

Sixth, you need connections. 

Your dreams are your own, but you need others to help you make them a reality.
When you cultivate the right network of colleagues, specialists, and potential
clients or employers, and through that you real your goals faster.


So there you have it.

The next time you hear another motivational speaker say that all you need is to think positively,  you’d know that there more to the equation than that the thought.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please share in the comments below.


  1. Ola September 18, 2017
    • Dan Maxwell, Jr September 18, 2017

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