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The motivation lies within ourselves rather than with motivational speakers.

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Tariq Mahmood Awan

For far too long, the motivational speaking scene in Pakistan has resembled a marketplace hawking snake oil. It’s a scene where blind promises of success and unwavering optimism are the norm, painting a rosy picture that conveniently ignores the harsh realities of life. This approach, I find, is increasingly problematic and in need of critique.

True empowerment, I believe, is not found in excessive motivation but in a deep understanding of oneself. It’s time we move beyond generic clichés and understand the intricacies of our personalities, our strengths, and our weaknesses. This self-awareness, I argue, is the key to unlocking our potential and performing life’s inevitable challenges.

Honing your talents and cultivating your personality is the end of human transactions. While motivation acts as a catalyst, it’s merely one piece of the puzzle. Every individual possesses a unique emotional makeup and a distinct set of challenges. There’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution.

The current brand of motivational speaking in Pakistan, with its commercialized approach, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Instead of empowering people, it often fosters unrealistic expectations. I propose a different approach that moves beyond motivational lectures and encourages people to embrace the full spectrum of human experience. This includes acknowledging the positive aspects of life alongside the inevitable struggles. We need to move away from grand hero narratives that paint a picture of mandatory victory. There will be setbacks; there will be mental roadblocks and they may even not be little successes. But these are all part of the journey. We want little success, little sensation, and, of course, little accomplishment, and hard work will surely do it. 

Understanding our limited capacity is crucial. Not everyone will have a triumphant ending. Life isn’t a fairy tale. However, by embracing the complexities of the human experience, we can build resilience and helm the inevitable challenges with greater understanding and hard work.

The current narrative, with its relentless emphasis on fighting spirit and never giving up, can be psychologically damaging if not employed rationally. It implies that losing is unacceptable and that exhaustion is a sign of weakness. However, balancing it out is the way forward.

There’s a time and place for perseverance, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of mental well-being.  We need to create space for vulnerability and acknowledge the emotional toll that life can take.

Let’s move beyond the motivational snake oil and empower individuals to understand themselves, their potential, and the challenges they face. This is the true path to lasting change and personal fulfillment. We live in a world obsessed with winning big. From lottery dreams to overnight success stories, the allure of being wealthy, joining civil services, and life-changing victories are our desperate imagination’s hallmarks. However, authentic success, I believe, is paved with a different kind of triumph: the celebration of little victories. These daily wins, conquered challenges, and achieved milestones are the building blocks of a fulfilling life.

Focusing solely on grand achievements fosters an unhealthy mentality. It sets us up for disappointment and ignores the inevitable setbacks that life throws our way. Instead, cultivating a “never give up on the small stuff” attitude empowers us to face challenges head-on. Every conquered obstacle, every completed task, and every step towards a goal is a victory worth celebrating. Nothing is the end of life.

These little victories serve multiple purposes. They instill a sense of accomplishment, reminding us of our capabilities and fueling our motivation. Each win, no matter how small, reinforces a positive self-image and propels us forward. Additionally, overcoming challenges through consistent effort builds resilience. When faced with more significant obstacles, we can draw strength from our past successes, knowing we have the grit to persevere.

But celebrating little victories is about more than just personal satisfaction. It cultivates hope. Recognizing progress, however incremental, reminds us that positive change is possible. This hope acts as a beacon, guiding us through difficult periods and keeping us focused on the long-term goal.

Little victories also pave the way for more significant achievements. By consistently working towards smaller goals, we refine our skills, develop valuable habits, and gain valuable experience. These, in turn, become the foundation for future success. Imagine building a magnificent castle – it starts with laying a single brick, then another, and another. Each victory, each milestone, is a brick laid in the foundation of a fulfilling life.

While striving toward goals is essential, a fulfilling life encompasses more than just professional or financial success. It’s about achieving holistic well-being. This includes intellectual success – constantly learning and expanding our knowledge base.

Emotional success is equally important. It involves acknowledging and expressing our emotions healthily, building strong relationships, and fostering emotional intelligence.

Furthermore, psychological success – maintaining mental well-being and resilience – is crucial. This requires managing stress effectively, practicing self-care, and cultivating a positive outlook.

Finally, social success – contributing meaningfully to our communities and building strong interpersonal relationships – is a vital component of a well-rounded life.

The key lies in recognizing that success isn’t a singular destination; it’s a journey with multiple facets. Each victory, big or small, contributes to our overall well-being and propels us closer to achieving a truly fulfilling life. So, let’s celebrate the little victories, for they are the stepping stones that lead us to a life of purpose, accomplishment, and lasting happiness.

The modern rat race has compromised societies’ mental peace. Yes, success is essential, but to what extent and at what cost? Then, it is also relative. There is always an excelling talent in an individual human. Developing that talent is the art. Then, who should motivate us other than ourselves? Should we not know our inner callings? So, who is stopping us from knowing what we have inside us? None is doing it. It is the only lack of confidence; we are heroes of our untold stories. We need to win like heroes, not only for ourselves but also for the people around us. We need nothing but little victories. Even if the state and the society are not ready to provide, let us win them for ourselves! And a little hard work can do it for us.

Lastly, my argument does not fit on public civil services. Public services are structural careers, and one will only grow according to seniority. My little motivational argument is only for independent professions and life.

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