cause, not applause

“Work for a cause, not for applause.”

—Author Unknown

QC #1032

Image from Flickr by Jody FaFerriere

I’ve been interested in what motivates people since I was a boy. In my youth, I washed cars, mowed lawns, and shoveled snow—all to earn a buck and purchase things I desired. The Thank You’s I received for a job well done also meant a lot, especially when they were heartfelt.

As I grew and continued to investigate what motivated me and others, it was clear that applause or extrinsic factors still have a hold on many of us. At the same time, the intrinsic aspects of a passionate purpose seem to take things to greater levels of fulfillment and life satisfaction.


Examine your own levels of sustainable satisfaction and fulfillment when you work for a cause. How can you capture the best of both motivators?

Move On

“Everything will change when your desire to move on exceeds your desire to hold on.”

—Alan Cohen, Author of Daily Dose of Sanity

Image from

Image from

The ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes once said that if he were given a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, he could move the world.

Consider, today, your most deeply held commitments for a better future as your long lever, and your most important and foundational values as the fulcrum on which to place them.

One of my other favorite quotes is, your commitment supersedes your comfort.


How and in what ways can you experience the world-moving changes you desire by living each day more consistently with your most cherished commitments and values?


Inspiration comes

“Inspiration usually comes during work, not before it.”

—Madeline L’Engle, American 20th Century Author

Photo from Flickr by Hector Alejandro

Photo from Flickr by Hector Alejandro

Consider these three definitions of the word “inspiration”:

  • Divine Intervention
  • An instance of breathing in
  • That which brings about creativity or perseverance

I suggest we blend the three together. My reasons will be more readily apparent through the following example:

Imagine you wake up one morning and you are not particularly inspired to go to your health club and work out. The exercise gods simply haven’t infused you with enough energy to leap out of bed and into your sneakers.

In spite of not “feeling it,” you garner the discipline to just do it, and minutes later you are on a bike, a treadmill, or an elliptical machine. You notice your breath growing faster and more pronounced, which increases your mental and physical state, and gives you the energy and momentum you need to gain all the good that comes from rigorous exercise.


How can you simply begin a project, motivated or not, and let the effort and engagement of the first few steps energize you so that you keep it up and finish more inspired than you ever imagined?

Do a Little More

“Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can.”

– Lowell Thomas, American journalist


Image from Flickr by Jessa9

Exploring our limits is a useful exercise in a coaching relationship. By doing more, we usually achieve more.

I attend a local fitness center called Lifetime Fitness – which is a great name and an excellent example of branding. Among the staff are 25 personal trainers who support thousands of individuals to achieve their personal fitness goals. With physical and sometimes mental coaches by their side, people discover that they are able to do a little more each day than they think they can.


In what areas of your personal or professional life are you capable of one more rep, one more mile, or a little more of something than yesterday?

Select a friend, family member, mentor or coach in your life to push or pull you to be your very best each and every day.

You can even be your own coach by establishing a “one more …” Post-it note reminder in strategically placed locations in your environment.

Getting Re-Motivated in the Journey Toward Your Goals

This is an excerpt from my appearance on BlogTalkRadio’s show On the Dean’s List, with host Dean la Douceur.

In this five minute clip, Dean and I talk about:

  • Hitting a plateau in your journey toward your goals – and what you can do about it.
  • The concept of “creative tension” and what this means when you’re stuck at a plateau.
  • Exploring a new vision for the future to re-motivate you.
  • What to do when the people around you are uncomfortable with you changing.
  • The book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything and the power of different types of support.

Simply click below to play the audio file:

[audio:|titles=Barry Demp, “On the Dean’s List”]

If you’d like to hear the whole of my interview with Dean la Douceur (37 minutes), please click here to visit the Podcasts page on my Barry Demp Coaching website. You can listen to it online or download it.

“You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere.”

“You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere.”

– Charles Kettering, former head of research at General Motors

I’ve been learning about the differences between introverts and extroverts in relationship to their various routes to achievement. Given the quote above, you would be correct in assuming that extroverts would probably stub their toe a bit more often. Introverts tend to be a bit more cerebral and cautions about the steps they take, to apparently avoid some missteps.
Regardless of whether you are an introvert or extrovert, Kettering emphasizes the need to act if we wish to move our lives forward


Ask friends, family members and colleagues for feedback regarding your propensity for action. Are you more of a ready-aim-shoot or a ready-shoot-aim person? Hopefully you are not a ready-aim-aim-aim-aim kind of individual!

“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”

“The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”

– Zig Ziglar, best-selling author and motivational speaker

Have you ever tried to cross a small stream on rocks that were sticking out of the water? In my youth, we had this opportunity at summer camp and in the Boy Scouts. In both cases, we found some of the stones already in place – and in both cases, we needed to place other stones of the appropriate size and shape at the right distance to ensure our successful journey to the other side.

I like Zig Ziglar’s choice of foundation stones to stand upon: they are big, solid and stable.


What additional foundation stones would you add to this list, which will provide you with the additional footholds you need to help you on your journey?