A great teacher, boss, leader, friend or family member can often do something or say something that motivates you. They can help bring out the best in you.
But so much of the time, motivation is an inside job. You’ve got to do some things to keep yourself going, in good times and bad, with appreciative or undeserving people, no matter how you feel. It’s simply a part of being a “true” professional or being a person of “character.”
One of the ways I keep myself motivated is to reflect on Dr. Kent Keith’s Paradoxical Commandments. They’re so good that even Mother Teresa had them inscribed on the walls of her Calcutta orphanage. I suggest you print out a copy for yourself and keep them in a place where you’ll see them and read them every day.
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001