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Motivation Article

Are You Building Your Foundation of Success: Six Secrets of Motivating Yourself for Success
By Ed Sykes

motivate yourself motivation, motivate, bricks of success, foundation of successAre you creating your foundation of success? Are you motivated to take on challenges that others are not willing to do? The following is a story of someone who did and achieved great success in his life and how you can, too!

There once was a young man who grew up in Crawford, Mississippi. His father worked as a brick mason building home foundations. Everyday after school and during the summers, this young man would help his father build foundations. It's not the most glamorous job by any stretch of the imagination, but it's an honest, backbreaking, and low paying job that put food on the table and paid the bills. The father would start by throwing bricks towards the son in the area where they would build a housing foundation. Under the hot, sweltering Mississippi sun, his son would catch brick after brick with his hands, day after day. While most other kids were enjoying their summers or working in less strenuous jobs, this young man was motivated to work long and hard with his father, while catching those bricks and building a foundation for success in more ways than one.

You see, each time that young man caught bricks, he was not only making his hands stronger, he was building character and the foundation for success in his later years. With each brick he caught, he was even more determined to be successful in life. When he wasn’t helping his father and going to school, he was pushing himself through football workouts to be better than any other football player. You see the young man's name is Jerry Rice, and he went on to become the most successful NFL All-Pro wide receiver of all time with the San Francisco 49ers. Some of you non-football fans may know him as a contestant from the television program, “Dancing with the Stars.”

The following are the six success secrets that Jerry Rice used that can easily motivate you to achieve success in any aspect of your business, career, and life:

  1. Motivate Yourself to See Opportunities in Every Challenge
    Jerry could have looked at the job of catching bricks as a chore that was a waste of his time. But he saw the big picture and made the chore more enjoyable by developing games out of the activities. Many times in life, we are thrown bricks and complain and miss the opportunity it presents to us. The person who can find solutions in the challenges they are faced with can write their own ticket for success. When you take on a challenge, it’s preparing you for an opportunity in the future. You may not know when the opportunity is coming, how it is coming, or what the opportunity will look like, but it is coming; and will you be prepared? Embrace your challenges so you will be prepared.

  1. Motivate Yourself to See That It’s Normal to Experience a Little Pain
    As Jerry was experiencing the pain of catching bricks each day, this pain was actually building him to becoming a stronger person. Each brick was fueling Jerry’s internal desire to be successful. Think of some situation at work, in business, or in life that was painful. Your pain may be an embarrassing moment, it may be a learning experience, and it may be a setback. How can you use this setback to motivate you to become more successful? We achieve success in our businesses, careers, and life when we develop the success tools of using our “pains” as a learning experience and a springboard to success.

  1. Motivate Yourself to Take on Unpopular Tasks
    Catching bricks all day is not the most glamorous job in the world. Many times we are thrown bricks in life and avoid them like the plague. Volunteer to catch these bricks while others decline. This will allow people of influence to see your special skills and offer you opportunities for success. It is what I always say, “It’s not what you know, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows what you know.” When you volunteer to catch those bricks, you allow others to now know and see the special skills and talent you exhibit.

  1. Motivate Yourself To Take Action
    Just the simple act of taking action will make you more successful than 98% of other people. Many times people are waiting for “just the right moment” or “more resources.” Motivate yourself to take action where you are at today and make the appropriate corrections as needed.

  1. Motivate Yourself to Go the Extra Mile
    Jerry Rice’s off-season personal football workouts were legendary. He would train six days a week running five miles, along with running wind sprints up the steepest mountains in his community. He didn’t need to do this grueling workout, but he wanted to be in better physical shape than any other professional football player. He went the extra mile to be the best.

    What are you doing to go the extra mile? Do you have a continuous learning program in place? Do you give of yourself to make your employees better? Do you give your clients something extra to show appreciation of their business? These are all opportunities to put you above the rest and to succeed in your business, in your career, and in your life.

  1. Motivate Yourself to Create a Masterpiece
    Jerry Rice wanted to be the best professional wide receiver ever in football, and he achieved that title. He was motivated to pay the price to achieve that goal.

    Are you motivated and ready to create a masterpiece? Do you have a vision of what your business, career, or life masterpiece looks, feels, or sounds like? Are you willing to sustain the quality effort, attitude, and determination to create your masterpiece? What are you willing to give up in order to achieve your masterpiece? Until you are ready to answer these questions, you can’t lay the foundation for achieving your masterpiece.

    After you answer the above questions, create S-M-A-R-T-E-R goals as your roadmap for success. If it’s not on paper, your goals don’t exist. Be motivated to create, write, and act on your goals.

Follow these six success secrets and you, too, will be motivated to lay the foundation for your success.

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Additional Motivation Reading Resources:

Are You Singing Your Song of Success? Five Secrets to Following Your Dreams and Achieving More Success in Your Life

 Leadership Starts with Tough Decisions:  Five Leadership Skills for Outstanding Team Building

JumpStart Your Employee Motivation: Ten Motivation Secrets to Empower Your Team

Appreciate to Motivate (The Key to Successful Team Building)

 The Secret to Living Your Dreams: Five Success Techniques to Achieving More Success in Your Life!

Seven Change Management Secrets to Creating a Winning Culture of Change
Are You Building Your Foundation of Success: Six Secrets of Motivating Yourself for Success

Employee Motivation, Don Imus, and Team Building: Five Secrets of Motivated Teams

Motivate Your Customer Service Team for Outstanding Customer Service: Six Secrets of Customer Service Motivation

Life Before Downsizing: Six Secrets to Managing Change and Creating Opportunities for the Future

Success Starts with a Can Do Attitude: Three Secrets to Creating More Success

Coaching: How to Succeed in Half the Time Using a Personal Coach

Leadership Techniques for Anyone: How Kermit Shared Five Leadership Secrets with the World

Eight Leadership Techniques for Outstanding Teams

Motivate Your Team! Eight Quick Tips to Motivate for Success

Adversity: Your Seed of Greatness (Three Secrets to Using Adversity to Become Great)

Connect the Dots! Your Roadmap for Success

Every Super Hero Needs Theme Music. What’s Yours?

Seven Secrets to Being the Leader Everyone Wants to Follow

Have You Appreciated Someone Today?

Nine Ways Johnny Carson Can Help You Run Outstanding Meetings

Five Secrets to Gaining Credibility with Your Team for Outstanding Results

How Appetizing Is Your Feedback? (5 Steps to Giving Effective Feedback)

Ten Techniques for Motivating Others Through Chaos

Eight Ways to Motivate Part-Time Employees

Delegate to Accelerate Success (How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Success)

The Greatest Gift of All - The Gift of Empowerment

Leadership Secrets for Challenging Times

Goal Setting Secrets to Jumpstart Your Life



Want to learn how to motivate your team members to achieve more? Our Team Building, Leadership, Change Management, or Assertive Communication workshops can help you motivate team members to achieve more.  


Also read our articles on motivation skills, leadership, presentation skills, customer service, etc.


Call us at 757-427-7032 or e-mail us at for additional presentation skills information.

Ed Sykes is a motivational speaker based in Virginia and is published in the areas of leadership, change management, customer service, presentation skills, and teamwork. He works with business, government organizations, and educational institutions that want to reach the next level of success and individuals who want to perform at their best. You can email him at, call him at (757) 427-7032 or visit his Web site at

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