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Staying Hungry


By: Michael Aun


It is hard to be hungry when you are well fed. How do we motivate ourselves and others? That is one of the big challenges that managers everywhere face with their sales forces. It follows that hunger cannot be the only motivation.

Coaches will tell you that complacency is the worst enemy of greatness. When complacency sets in, bad things happen to good people. Casualness leads to casualties.

Confucius wrote “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” Easier said than done. The greatest enemy of progress is complacency. The only way to defeat complacency is becoming responsible. As Coach Bill Belichick would say: “Just do your job!”

The very definition of complacency is a feeling of being satisfied with how things are… and not wanting to try to make them better. It is difficult to embrace that philosophy.

In everyday life we have a choice. We can see the opportunities or we can see the obstacles. We can execute… or we can excuse our efforts. If we populate our mind with positive options, positive results will follow.

Fear can be a tremendous motivator. Unfortunately, the things we fear are usually the things we do not know. My mentor Elias Mack, Sr. used to tell me that fear is just an absence of knowledge, a lack of information.

If lions could talk, their mantra might be “Everybody wants to eat; nobody wants to hunt.” That is why the task invariably falls to the mother of the cubs. If you could see inside her soul, you would not question her motivation – to feed her young. What if we were all similarly motivated?

When the lion surrounds itself with others of similar ilk, they become an unstoppable force.  The reason… hope is the only emotion stronger than fear. Sometimes it is not about fear; it is about who is hungrier.

Successful people start with the premise that the future can be better than the present. Further, they believe they have the power to make it so. Vince Lombardi once said “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will.”

In the early late seventies, I had the privilege of speaking at the huge positive thinking rallies held in enormous venues like the New Orleans Super Dome. Crowds of 50,000 and greater were common.

One of the many presenters on those platforms four decades ago was Dr. Robert H. Schuller, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame®. One of his common phrases was “Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future.”

So often our pain leads the way in our decision process.  “If there is hope in the future, there is literally power in the present,” said the late Zig Ziglar, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame®. another of those speakers at the rallies.

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present,” said Jim Rohn, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame® another rally speaker. In 2010, both Zig and Jim were both posthumously enshrined into the Legends of the Speaking Profession® along with yours truly.

We should never lose hope because everything happens for a reason and one never knows what tomorrow may bring. Winners make it happen. They make their own future.  They make their own hope.

So many times in life we find ourselves in fear. My grandfather Eli Mack always also said “It’s okay to be scared. Being scared means you are about to do something really, really brave. Do not be afraid to take a chance.”

We have to pray for the vision to see the best in others… the heart that will forgive the worst in others… the soul that dismisses the evil of others and never loses faith. 

Michael Aun, CSP®, CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame® received the George Morrissey Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Speakers Association Central Florida.