Friday, June 10, 2011

Is Success in Youth Work About Motivation?

Looking for somewhat of a different training experience from the norm my team and I attended the “Get Motivated” seminar in Seattle.  We traveled down the night before so that we could arrive on time to the event without having to fight traffic.  As we were getting ready for bed a Simpon’s episode came on in which they made light of the tone of many self-help books that proclaim the power of positive thinking.  If you like the Simpson’s or not, the show is often a good barometer of cultural views and in this case it really showed our obsession with success.  The next morning we took our seats and were presented with several videos and speeches that mirrored the exact things that we had seen mocked on the Simpson’s episode the night before. This lead to some good laughs, but also helped us maintain perspective throughout the day as many of the presenters offered secrets of success.  Aside from some of the sales pitches there was quite a lineup of highly acclaimed speakers including Laura Bush, Colin Powell, Rudolf Giuliani and Bill Cosby.   Here were some of the notes I took throughout the day, perhaps you will appreciate some of them.

I am not a politician, in fact the only thing that I know about politics is that “poli” means “many” and “tics” are blood sucking creatures.  – Krish Dhanam

How often should you tell your wife you love her?  Before someone else does. – Krish Dhanam

I don’t want [my people] merely motivated.  I want them inspired.  If they are inspired they will motivate themselves and I won’t have to motivate them every day. – Colin Powell

Remember these 10 magic words: if it is to be it is up to me – Dan Rather

If you want your husband to tell you he loves you more send yourself flowers with no card every week for the next 3 months.  You will see a change in him real fast. – James Smith

You can achieve anything if you believe you can achieve anything – Dan Rather

It is pitiful for you to sit here and listen to us to tell you to get up and do something. – Bill Cosby

If you want to be motivated realize that there must be someone on this earth dumber than you. Try and take advantage of them. – Bill Cosby

It is not about being the inventor but about using the invention better than anyone else – Steve Forbes

Those who do not have goals are forever enslaved by those who do. – Brian Tracey

I am painting a very rough picture of the day.  I did really enjoy hearing from some of the retired leaders from years past and getting perspective on their humanity and not just their position.  I think I could invite the Bush family over for a BBQ without it feeling awkward.  It is a good thing to realize that these people really are just that.

On the way home my team shared a great conversation about what it means to be successful especially as a follower of Jesus.  Many of these speakers talked about the “American Dream” and one went so far as quoting the bible as saying it wanted you to be healthy, wealthy and wise.  However as we look to Jesus’ words he is very clear that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  His kingdom is uncomfortable because it doesn’t allow us to remain in our comforts.  His really is a third way.  We ask not for poverty, nor for riches, but for his faithfulness in providing exactly what we need (even if what we need s not what we want).  In return he asks not for greatness in stature nor even a great name.  After all what do we really have to offer to him.  No, instead he merely asks us to be faithful.  Not patriotic, not successful merely – faithful.
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