S.P.E.A.K. It Into Existence!

by Eugene on September 24, 2011

A little over a week ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a group of team leaders from Students Run Philly Style, an amazing youth mentoring organization that spends time training students to run marathons!  The topic of discussion?  Motivation!  Specifically, how to motivate self and motivate young people!  Being a favorite topic of mine, I was honored to have the opportunity to share!

The 1st part of motivation is to SPEAK it into existence!  Positive self talk, often times, is the slight edge difference between success and failure.  Believing you can and telling yourself you can go a long way in accomplishing your goals!  Next, I thought of the various parts to getting and staying motivated and the word S.P.E.A.K. was staring at me on the page!  Let me start by saying I recognize the only real motivation is self motivation, motivation which comes from within.  Motivation from an outside source is fleeting at best, the effects of which usually diminish within hours or days of receiving the initial dose.  I’m a huge believer in attending the seminars and reading the books of the great motivators like the Les Browns, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohns, and the like to get their special brand of motivation.  Many of these phenomenal speakers are able to provide listeners with valuable tools and techniques which can be used to guide them to the source of their own power.  However, I realize to experience lasting motivation one must have an incredible reason, also known as a strong ‘WHY’!  As the saying goes, if you know ‘WHY’ you can conquer any how!

So let’s talk about S.P.E.A.K.!

The ‘S’ is about State management, what Tony Robbins refers to when he talks about getting into a state of certainty.  You’ve seen the NFL kicker coming to kick the game winning field goal, many times you know whether or not he believes he can make it just by the way he’s carrying his body.  His physiology tells the whole story.  When you’re attempting to accomplish something important, something outside of your comfort zone, how do you approach the situation?  What is your physiology saying?  So before you do anything, get yourself into a state of certainty, a state of absolute knowing.  What does that look like?  Stand and walk tall, shoulders back, head high, taking full breath!  Sometimes you have to literally shake off the disempowering thoughts.  Maybe you clap your hands or pump your chest or simply shake your whole body.  Whatever you need to do, do it!  Get yourself there!  Certainty feels great!  Change your physiology, change your result!

Setting Proper Expectation is what the next two letter are about.  If we’re able to properly set our expectations, successfully navigating our way to the finish line is made less challenging.  As my regular readers know, I coach youth basketball and one thing I like to do at the start of each season as well as a few minutes at the start of each practice, is take time to set proper expectation with the team.  I like to let them know what to expect in as many areas as I possibly can from the intensity of the workouts to our philosophy on playing time and everything in between.  In so doing, as the players inevitably encounter challenging situations, they are better prepared to fight through to the end!  Specifically for the group of leaders with whom I was speaking, it is key to help students set proper expectations when running marathons.  What will they experience throughout the year of working up to a full marathon?  And when they hit that proverbial wall during the marathon how will they respond?  If they didn’t know to expect it, what do you think is the likelihood they’d continue?

It wouldn’t be a discussion about motivation if it didn’t include some talk of Attitude.  I’m sure you’ve heard all the cliches, “your attitude determines your altitude” and “whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right,” etc.  What’s the #1 disempowering attitude of all time?  I can’t…  Remove this from your vocabulary!  I asked the leaders what are some of the disempowering thoughts they hear from the students and most start with, “I can’t…”  Right away I thought about the statistics of marathons.  Something like less than 2% of the population completes a marathon.  Wow!  Just completing something as challenging as a marathon catapults you into the top 2%!  Who wouldn’t want to be in the top 2%?  Top 2% of earners in this country earn over $300,000!  ‘Nuff said!

Lastly, the ‘K’ is for Knowledge of past personal successes as well as the successes of others and knowing your ‘WHY’.  That is to say, I’ve done it before so I can do it again or if he or she did it I know I can too!  Sometimes we forget about past successes because maybe in the whole scheme of life it didn’t seem that huge.  It doesn’t matter how big or small, success is success and it can be used to springboard into your next success.  As I mentioned earlier, discover your ‘WHY’ and you won’t have to look to anyone else for motivation.  Anchored by a solid ‘WHY’, motivation will come from the inside and will last!

S.P.E.A.K. It Into Existence!


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Aginah Shaw September 27, 2011 at 1:04 am


This article is wonderful. I am learning that attitude and how we choose to percieve our situations has such a huge impact on our quality of life. I have decided to let go of what I don’t need ( in the way of materials and habits) and concentrate on those things that speak to me (practices, purchaces, etc.). One better choice makes a world of difference. Thanks for the inspiration.


2 eugene September 27, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Thanks Aginah!
And you’re right, perception is everything which is why it’s key for us to think about what we think about! One of my favorite books is Blink by Malcolm Gladwell in which he talks about the importance of that split second before making a decision. It is in that moment where we create our lives! Congrats on letting go!


3 Allison Walker September 26, 2011 at 12:52 pm

BRAVO! Thank you Eugene for this awesome message! The one thing that is crystal clear to me is that I am responsible for my failures as well as my successes based on alot of conversations that I had with myself.


4 eugene September 27, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Clarity is the 1st step on the road to change. Once you can see the challenge, you can discover a way to overcome the challenge! Congrats in advance on your success!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: