What is health and wellness if we don’t have balance?
This article is from one of my mentors. I hope that you find enjoyment and possibly some inspiration for your own life. God Bless.
by Denis Waitley
Lisa, our youngest daughter, recently
earned her master’s degree to start a
career as a high school English
teacher. I doubt she was more
excited about her graduation than
her parents were.
As we entered the stadium for the
commencement services, it dawned
on me that after putting seven
children through college and
graduate studies, I’d finally be able to
fund my retirement plan.
It was very hot in the concrete arena.
A midday sun beat squarely in our
faces. I suspected that the exercises
would be long and merciless. As the
graduates filed in, I was amused to
see slogans taped to their tasselled
caps. “Will work for food!” “Get my
room ready, Mom!”
Our daughter’s read, “Thanks Mom
and Pop.” Some wore bathing suits
beneath their gowns. Some blew
bubbles with a pipe and soap. Most
were ecstatic about finally leaving
school, visibly impatient for that
night’s parties and for freedom and
the opportunity to earn.
Olmos “Stood and Delivered”
As the warm-up speakers droned on
about politically correct issues, I
wondered whether any time would
remain for the main speaker. In fact,
his address lasted barely ten
minutes, which may have set a
national record for brevity.
(Winston Churchill holds the
international record: thirty seconds to
repeat “Never give up!” nine times.)
That main speaker was Edward
James Olmos, the actor-activist who
played Jaime Escalante in an
inspiring movie about inner-city
students called Stand and Deliver.
Olmos stood up, removed his cap,
and regarded the graduates. “So
we’re ready to party?” he asked.
“Yeah, let’s party!” they answered in
unison. “I know, thank God it’s
Friday,” he resumed.
“But commencement means to
begin, not finish. You’ve had a four-year
sabbatical from life, and now
you’re ready to go out there and
earn. You’re only beginning Real
World 101 in your education.
“One more thing before we leave,”
he continued. “Please never, ever
work for money. Please don’t just get
a job. A job is something that many
of you had while you worked your
way through college.
A job is something you do for money.
But a career is something you do
because you’re inspired to do it. You
want to do it, you love doing it, you’re
excited when you do it. And you’d do
it even if you were paid nothing
beyond food and the basics. You’d
do it because it’s your life.”
What he was saying, which I have
tried to recall and interpret in my own
words is that many of you will go out
and try to get the highest-paying job
possible, regardless of the industry,
regardless of the opportunity,
regardless of the service or product
the company may provide.
If you chase money, it may catch you
– and if it catches you, you’ll forever
be its slave.
By letting money pursue you but
never catch you, you’ll always be its
master. By always doing what you
love, loving what you do, delivering
more than you promise, you’ll always
be underpaid – which is how it
always should be.
For if you’re paid more than you’re
worth, you may be restructured,
re-engineered, replaced, fired,
declared obsolete, disposed of.
Overpaid people are overdrawn in
their knowledge bank account.
People who are underpaid for the
level and quality of the service they
provide are always in demand and
always ahead of the money in their
knowledge and contribution. So
money and opportunity are always
chasing them. This is what I got out
of the commencement speech that
Olmos concluded with a charged
voice and moist eyes. “Chase your
passion, not your pension! Be
inspired to learn as much as you
can, to find a cause that benefits
humankind – and you’ll be sought
after for your quality of service and
dedication to excellence.
This passion will make you oblivious
of quitting time and to the length of
your workday. You’ll awake every
morning with the passion of pursuit,
but not the pursuit of money ….
Those who do more than they’re paid
for are always sought for their
services. Their name and work
outlive them and always command
the highest price. Chase your
passion, not your pension!”
The graduates were stunned. Many
cried with joy. I was speechless,
which is rare indeed. Olmos was no
actor speaking for an honorarium. He
was all passion, pure and simple.
“Maybe we should have taught that
in a class,” I heard a faculty member
Motive in Action
Motivation is a contraction of motive
and action. An inner force that
compels behavior, it comes from
within, not from any external
circumstance. You know where
you’re going because you have a
compelling image inside, not a travel
poster on the wall, a financial
statement with a big bonus, or a
slogan in the hall.
The performance of many externally
motivated individuals begin
declining as soon as they win
contests of one sort or another. I’ve
personally witnessed this among
Super Bowl champions and World
Cup teams that lost the incentive to
maintain their excellence after
winning the cup, the honors, and the
If you’re really committed to peak
performance and leadership, you
must motivate yourself from within.
Studies of achievers show that inner
drives for excellence and
independence are far more powerful
that desire for wealth, status or
The Inner Drive
Behavioral scientists have found that
independent desire for excellence is
the most telling predictor of
In other words, the success of our
efforts depends less on the efforts
themselves than on our motives. The
most successful companies, like the
most successful men and women in
almost all fields, have achieved their
greatness out of a desire to express
what they felt had to be expressed.
Often it was a desire to use their
skills to their utmost in order to solve
a problem. This is not to say that
many of them did not also earn a
great deal of money and prestige.
William Shakespeare, Thomas
Edison, Estee Lauder, Walt Disney,
Oprah Winfrey, Sam Walton and Bill
Gates all became wealthy.
But far more than thoughts of profit,
the key to their success was
inspiration and inner drive by
creating or providing excellence in a
product or a service. All were
motivated by the desire to produce
the very best that was in them.
Go for the Inner Applause
The late Ray Kroc, a former neighbor
of mine who founded McDonald’s
Corporation when he was in his
fifties, stressed the importance of
people working for the inner
satisfaction, not just for the money.
Ray said most people find it difficult
to associate applause with their work
when they can’t hear literal applause
– but the important applause should
come from within. It is the faster
heartbeat, the pride and satisfaction
Kroc told the University of Southern
California’s Business School that the
first thing a business executive
needs is love of an idea.
If you don’t love your concept, drop
it. If you prostitute yourself at an
early age by taking a job where the
money is, you’ll be working for
money all your life. Loving their work
is particularly important for younger
people. If they lose that love early,
they may never grow to anywhere
near their potential for self-actualization.
Hire People Who Have
An inner drive for excellence
motivates you always to be the best
you possible can in whatever you do.
Leaders and managers should take
special note hear.
They must be careful in their use of
external motivators – money, perks,
prestigious offices and titles – in
trying to inspire their team members
Enduring motivation must always
come ultimately from within the
That’s why empowerment and vision
are so crucial to team performance
and quality. Their power and their
vision, not those of the leader must
compel team members.
Interviewing potential members, you
should look for internally motivated
individuals who hold their work
important for its own sake, who love
their field or their industry, who seek
the exhilaration of testing their limits
and contributing to the world. Be
wary if they show more interest in
your compensation package than in
their contribution package.
Put Your Signature On Your
No one exemplifies the concepts in
this article better than Antonio
Stradivari, an Italian violin maker
who lived from 1644 to 1737.
Stradivari died at the age of ninetythree,
at a time when the average life
expectancy was a little over thirtyfive
He taught himself his trade. His tools
were primitive, and he usually
worked alone until later in life, when
his sons joined him. Stradivari had a
He put the best of himself into every
violin and viola. When he was
finished and was certain that his
craftsmanship measured up to his
personal standards, he signed his
name on the instrument.
Nearly three hundred years later, his
violins sell for hundreds of thousands
and even millions of dollars, and
Stradivarius is a synonym for quality
throughout the world. But far from
every man or woman with
uncommon standards of excellence
At this very moment, thousands or
tens of thousands are working
unknown and unsung in industry, the
arts and the sciences. The public has
never heard of them and probably
never will; yet they refuse to turn out
shoddy work. They are in the
minority, but that’s where they’ve
always been – playing for a gallery of
one, for their own inner applause.
Remember, people who consistently
do things well set their own
standards and make themselves
measure up. In so doing, they:
Give the best of themselves to
benefit others, making their work
a source of joy and satisfaction
while they experience deep self-respect
from being uncommon
Build a kind of security that lasts
a lifetime or beyond, because
respect for quality always abides
and will always command the
highest price. If you accept
nothing but excellence from
yourself and feel entitled to put
your name on your work, both will
endure. The bitterness of poor
quality lingers on long after the
sweetness of low price.
Chase your passion, not your
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