Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Get Motivated, Stay Motivated

I took a phone call this morning from someone who had been talking to someone who had heard from someone who had heard from someone else about my blog and particularly liked my post Smiling for Sea Shepherd which I introduced with the wonderful sentiment that, "The Opposite of Happy is Very Happy."

David lecturing at the Global Village during
the Volvo Ocean Race, Galway, July 2012
"I'm organising a conference for [major organisation]," she said. "We need a motivational speaker from the world of business with an interesting story to tell. Would you like to do it?"

Of course I said yes. It is what I do most of when I am not volunteering for Sea Shepherd and, let's face it, where else are they going to find a vegan, ocean activist business executive with experience of talking to large audiences in this part of the world at short notice?

I don't always speak exclusively from a mostly business angle of course, sometimes I get to speak a bit for Sea Shepherd - but only when there is not an even more motivational speaker like Captain Paul Watson or Captain Peter Hammarstedt around, both of whom make me look like not much more than the warm up act for the warm up act.

They are truly awe inspiring to listen to and I am proud to number myself amongst their followers as someone dedicated to ocean preservation. Dedicated, I should add, mostly because of their incredibly powerful motivational influence. But don't take my word for it, judge for yourself with this full-length video of Capt Paul speaking at Sea Shepherd's 35th Anniversary Event in Colorado:

From my own experience having delivered many lectures with some great and some not-so great results and having listened to other lectures - like those from Paul and Peter - which have produced amazing results, one thing seems clear. It is possible to be either a "motivational speaker" or to be someone who just speaks motivationally. The difference is measured in results - which lecture inspired the greatest commitment to action?

So what is it that makes the difference? Well it is not enough to get people motivated, we need them to stay motivated. I can do the latter for business because that is where my experience lies. Paul and Peter do it for the oceans because that is where their experience lies.

You can "get" anyone motivated by being genuine, honest and enthusiastic about something they are kind of interested in to begin with, talking from the head with passion if you will. You can only keep them motivated if you are able to demonstrate that you have been there and are determined to stay there, talking from the heart and talking from the heart with knowledge, experience and understanding.

If you haven't watched the video above yet, please do, I think it demonstrates that viewpoint admirably.

So we motivate people with compelling recollections of big life experience. Is that a defining characteristic of humans, the need to share knowledge? Perhaps, more than just humans, that is what defines the higher order species on our planet as this link to a BBC Science and Nature report suggests Humpback whale song spreads to other whales

If that is true then, "I think, therefore I am." is no longer sufficient. Existence without purpose is an evolutionary dead end and who wants to be one of those? And I never heard a song without purpose, that would just be called noise and who wants to be accused of that?

Is it too much to extrapolate the theory that both whale song and motivational speech is an example of, "I think, therefore I must do?" I hope not, because it is where I find myself as I campaign more and more on behalf of Sea Shepherd, on behalf of the oceans, on behalf of us all.

If you feel even just a bit more motivated to do something because of today's blog then please... motivated for the oceans. They need you.

Thank you for reading