Vail Valley: How do motivators stay motivated? |

Vail Valley: How do motivators stay motivated?

In his latest book, “Embrace the Struggle,” Zig Ziglar writes, “Getting knocked down in life is a given. Getting back up is a choice.”

I have spent the better part of my life studying the works of motivators, coaches, sales trainers, leadership gurus, military leaders, and professional athletes. One of the things that always amazed me is their ability to inspire others even when they were struggling or facing adversity.

Mark Sanborn, a Coloradan and author of “The Fred Factor,” “The Encore Effect,” and “You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader,” writes: “The motivator must motivate himself or herself because if we are not motivated how can we possibly motivate or inspire others?”

It really doesn’t matter what title we have, what role we are in, or who we are because at some point we all get knocked down, and we all have days and times that are just tougher than others. We don’t feel like going to work, or getting out of bed to go to school, or making it to the gym because we are just too tired, burnt out, or stressed out. Or maybe we are just dealing with a situation that is too big right now, too much to handle.

And as much as I agree with Mark about the need for leaders and professional motivators to be able to motivate themselves, I know that when I am experiencing a rough spot in life, I look to those closest to me to help me make the choice to bounce back, get fired up again, and jump one more time into this wonderful game of life.

A boxer doesn’t lose a match because he gets knocked down – he loses the fight when he stays down. We will all have fights and battles in our lives, and each end every one of us at some point will have to decide if we are going to rise up and fight or lay down and accept defeat.

The referee could be standing over us, waving his fingers as he counts to 10. Whether we choose to stand back up and fight when he first starts counting or we wait, catching our breath until he gets to eight or even nine, the most important thing is that we get back on our feet, shake off the punches that life just threw our way, and get ready to fight again.

Maybe you are the motivator in your family or the inspiration for your friends. Perhaps you are a leader at work or in your church. People look to you for direction, leadership, drive, and motivation and sometimes you just don’t feel like you have it in you. That’s OK – it happens to everyone, because sometimes the motivator needs motivating.

I would love to hear what motivates and inspires you at and make it a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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