It's hard to determine what motivates a person to either excel or just get through life each day. I'm still trying to figure that out for the most part.

I used to work with an upper level  manager in our company who at times made my life miserable, mostly because she had no idea how the radio business worked. She was really big on those pieces of motivational art that you might see in a company's conference room. You've seen them before. A beautiful pastoral scene with some sort of inspiring quote attached.

Those things just don't work on me.

I would say that fear is the biggest motivator in my life. Fear of dying before my time was what motivated me to have bariatric surgery.

I did come across some honest motivational advice from Geoffrey James, author of "Business Without the Bull****".  He raises some points that resonate with me, and possibly you as well.

Here’s how to remain a go-getter, even when the going gets rough:


1. Realize that YOU are in control. You cannot control the outside world, but you can control your emotional reaction to it.


2. Accept where you are. Life is like those signs that read “You Are Here.” You can get somewhere else only if you know where you are now.


3. Adopt a positive vocabulary. Use strong adjectives (e.g., “fantastic”) to describe what’s good and weak words (e.g., “annoying”) to describe what’s not.


4. Condition your mind. Train yourself to think positive thoughts while avoiding negative thoughts.


5. Condition your body. It takes physical energy to take action. Get your food and exercise budget in place and follow it like a business plan.


6. Avoid negative people. They drain your energy and waste your time, so hanging with them is like shooting yourself in the foot.


7. Seek out the similarly motivated. Their positive energy will rub off on you, and you can imitate their success strategies.


8. Have goals—but remain flexible. No plan should be cast in concrete, lest it become more important than achieving the goal.


9. Act with a higher purpose. Any activity or action that doesn’t serve your higher goal is wasted effort—and should be avoided.


10. Take responsibility. If you blame (or credit) luck, fate, or divine intervention, you’ll always have an excuse.


To me, these seemed to be common sense approaches to motivation.


Now to just put them on a beautiful pastoral scene and put them up in our company conference room.